Pokhara has its fair share of museums, but the Annapurna Butterfly Museum truly makes the heart flutter. The butterfly museum is tucked away on the second floor of a building in the Prithivi Narayan University campus, which also has a small natural history and environmental museum (and possibly the world’s worst taxidermy leopard).
The museum displays nearly all of Nepal’s 660 native species of butterfly and moth. Wonderful handmade dioramas display the medley of moths and butterflies. The dioramas and the meticulous index show the regions of Nepal in which the winged critters were found.
Other butterflies are preserved under glass in wooden drawers and are grouped by related species. Exploring the drawers is a fun box-of-chocolates way to become acquainted with the stunning variety of native moths and butterflies of this diverse and unique biosphere, especially before taking off on a trek to visit their living relatives.
A highlight of the collection is Attacus atlas, the largest moth in the world by wingspan. But if you don’t see the massive moth, admiring the many mountain and tropical butterflies displayed in this curated, meticulously organized collection is still a treat.