Bhutan in itself is a living museum because of its policy of protecting its tradition and culture from outside influences and isolation of the country. Yet Bhutan’s museums offer a unique perspective on Bhutanese history, culture, rural lifestyle, artistic traditions, textile art forms and religion. Besides, the major museums covered here, you may also visit the Museum of Traditional Medicine and the Institute of Traditional Arts at Thimphu and the museum in Tang Ugyen Choling in the Tang valley of Bumthang district on Bhutanese life, history and culture. The main museums in Bhutan that you must visit are:
National Museum of Bhutan
Opened to the public in 1968, the National Museum of Bhutan in Ta Dzong at Paro has over 3000 artworks and masterpieces that display more than 1500 years of cultural heritage of Bhutan. These art works speak of various disciplines of arts and crafts in Bhutan and the various Bhutanese creative traditions. You can see an eclectic mix of past and present art forms here along with a glimpse of future of the Bhutan’s traditional arts. It is a must visit for all local and foreign visitors to Bhutan.
Folk Heritage Museum
Inaugurated by Her Majesty, the Queen Ashi Dorji Wangchuck on 28th July 2001, Phelchey Toenkhyim or the Folk Heritage Museum at Thimphu provides you a glimpse of lifestyle, items and artifacts of Bhutanese villages and rural households. Besides the display, the museum also organizes demonstrations of rural traditions, skills, habits and customs, educational programs for children and research and documentation on rural life of Bhutan. The museum building itself is one of the star exhibits of the library.
National Textile Museum
Her Majesty, the Queen Ashi Sangay Choden Wangchuck, inaugurated the National Textile Museum in 2001. She is also the patron of the museum and has helped in boosting both national and international interest in Bhutan’s textiles and textile art traditions. Bhutan's textiles are an integral part of its cultural and heritage and are unique for their diversity and sophistication. Textile Museum at Thimphu has given a new platform to the nation’s textiles and Bhutanese weavers and boasts of an invaluable collection of antique textile artifacts of Bhutan.