LB Thapa

Pokhara:

The establishment of the International Mountain Museum (IMM) in Pokhara is a solemn tribute to mountains and mountaineers who challenged the unforgiving peaks. IMM added a new chapter to the history of Pokhara. The construction of IMM started in 1996. This museum is the first of its kind, which involves mammoth undertakings. It has made all necessary arrangements to display the history of mountaineering methods in the most pragmatic way; and the museum will also function as an archive for both Himalayan and internal mountain research. The museum is surrounded by green, lush foliage where richer Seti flows right below the foot of the museum. On the top of the museum stands Mt Fishtail itself. The IMM has the following main exhibition halls which are partially opened for the visitors. Although the construction work of the main building of the museum has been completed, yet indoor decoration and systematic placing of large number of items need little more time.

The IMM has received various aid from several organisations and individuals; otherwise the construction of IMM would have never been possible, say officials at IMM. On the request of UAAA, JICA has managed to send Prof Hisao Ando to work at IMM for two years. Prof Ando is a scholar and an expert on museum management. As per grand arrangement, the museum has five different huge halls. They are — The Hall of the Himalaya: displays geography of the Himalayas, notable peaks, study of ornery, flora and fauna, ethnic diversity and livelihoods.

The Hall of Internal Mountains: displays internal mountain ranges and peaks, culture and ethnography in these mountain regions, bio-geography and climbers of internal peaks.

Hall of Fame: displays feats of great mountaineers, memorable events associated, famous explorers and research and discoveries. Hall of expedition: displays history of mountaineering, equipment used in expeditions, development of mountaineering techniques and famous expeditions in the Himalaya. The mad rush for scaling Mt Everest boomed when Tenzing Norgey Sherpa and Edmund Hillary scaled Everest for the first time on May 29, 1953.