Nepal is renowned throughout the world for mostly three things. One is that Nepal is the home of 8 out of the 14 highest peaks in the world, the other being that it is the abode and birthplace of Lord Gautam Buddha, and finally it is the home of the fierce soldiers, known as ‘Gurkhas’. The word ‘Gurkha’ originated from the Gorkha district in Nepal. From here, the unification process of Nepal took its first step. Led by King Prithvi Narayan Shah, Nepal was unified from small quarreling states to a strong and powerful nation. During the time of the western invasion, these brave warriors fought off the western armada and engraved their name in history as the mightiest warriors. The western army was impressed with the valor displayed by the Nepali soldiers and decide to enroll them in their forces.
The Gurkha Memorial Museum stands as a token of gratitude or a symbolic representation of selfless service and bravery portrayed by the Gurkha soldiers during the destructive World War 1 and World War 2. It also celebrates the awards that the Gurkhali soldiers have received throughout the years and their contribution to peace & prosperity in the world.
Brief History of Gurkha Memorial Museum
The museum was established in 1994 AD to honor the contributions Gurkhali soldiers made in the world. During that time, it was only an archive of data with only a few military items kept on display. The museum was initially built in Lainchaur, Kathmandu. As the years went by, they received numerous grants and donations thus enabling them to broaden their display area. From 1998 to 2000, the museum added 3 more rooms in its arsenal after receiving a hefty grant from the British Government. The museum displays continued to improve with layouts and spare military items were imported from the UK as well.
The museum reached new heights in 2004 when Commander Colonel Peter Sharland gave a leased land outside of the Pokhara valley to the Gurkha Museum. In the coming years, the museum expanded more, and in 2005, the first floor was completed and made open to the general public. By 2008, additional stories were also added and opened for public display. The construction of a parking lot in 2015 marked the end of a full scope construction of the museum.
Getting Gurkha Memorial Museum
The Gurkha Memorial Museum is located in Lamachaur Road, Pokhara. There are numerous ways through which you can arrive at the museum. You can catch a bus from Lakeside, which will cost you approximately 25 rupees. The distance covered is 6.6 km, and it will take you at least 20 minutes to reach there.
You can hire a taxi or Hire private vehicle at Lakeside if you want to travel in private. If you want to enjoy the beauty of nature, then we recommend you to hire a bicycle and head towards it.
Permit and Fees to enter in Gurkha Memorial Museum
To enter the museum, it is necessary to purchase tickets at the counter. The price of the ticket depends on your nationality. The price of a ticket for a non-Nepali is Rs. 200 and for a SAARC member, it is Rs.100. The ticket price for a Nepali is Rs. 20. There are discount facilities available for children.
Some interesting facts about Gurkha Memorial Museum
- The museum is divided into Ground Floor, First floor, and second floor.
- The ground floor shows you the background of the Gurkha soldiers including their habitat and daily lifestyle. Their lifestyle is pretty harsh, and as a result, they make for splendid soldiers.
- You’ll be greeted by vintage displays of pictures that were clicked on 1815 and 1857. Along with that, you will see uniforms, medals, and Kukris along with other military items.
- As you dive deeper, you’ll get a display of 10 Gurkhas who have won the illustrious Victoria Cross.
- You’ll get to see pictures of the Gurkhas infamous predicaments like Malayan Emergency, Borneo Confrontation, and the Falklands War.
- The final section of the ground floor comprises of a display of support provided by the Nepalese army to the British army at Lucknow during the time of Indian Mutiny.
- On the first floor, you can observe the uniforms of Gurkha infantry regiments. This area is solely focused on the customs and traditions of each infantry regiment. They are also supported by photographs of regimental life in the barracks.
- The second and final floor of the Gurkha Memorial Museum focuses on specialists like engineers and transport regiments.
- There are also other sections that include the Band of the Brigade of Gurkhas, Gurkha Contingent of the Singapore Police Force, Gurkha military police, and the Gurkha Dog Company.
- Another section which prioritizes on Indian Army has been added where there are displays of uniforms, medals, flags, and photos of those Gorkha people, which belonged to the British army but before World War 2.
Things to do around Gurkha Memorial Museum
During your tour of Pokhara, you can add the Gurkha memorial museum as one of the must-visit sites in Pokhara. You can visit here by initially visiting all of the major landmarks of Pokhara like Fewa, Tal Barahi, and the Peace Pagoda. After visiting these parts, you can make your way to the outer parts of Pokhara like Rupa, Begnas, and the Gurkha memorial museum.
This is a great place to observe the relics and monuments of ancient times. If you have a thirst for adventure, want to learn the rich history of Nepal, and are willing to witness it in all its glory, then this museum is definitely the place to be.