A fascinating yet informative place to spend a day with your family and friends, the Bengal Natural History Museum is a place housing diorama, taxidermy, lepidopteral and entomological specimens that makes a great sighting with spell binding fauna and flora of Bengal.
Timing: 8am to 7:30pm (Thursday closed)
Location: Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, Jawahar Parbat, Darjeeling, West Bengal .
Entry Fees: Rs.10 per person.
Situated at the heart of the beautiful city of Darjeeling, the Bengal Natural History Museum is one of the must-visit tourist attractions and is housed at the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. A repository of the indigenous and vibrant flora and fauna of the county, the Bengal Natural History Museum is known to exhibit over 4000 impressive specimens of the natural world. Originally established as a small edifice in the Botanical Garden in 1903 to display a variety of butterflies and hills, the museum was shifted to its current place in 1915 and was inaugurated in 1923 with a plethora of preserved relics of species of birds, reptiles, insects, fishes, and mammals showcased in an imitation of their natural habitat. Apart from living organisms, a magnificent display of striking minerals of the region is also present for sighting.
The museum is divided into two sections – one exhibition is displayed on the ground floor and the other is in the basement. This section includes a wide-ranging collection of a rare variety that comprises Himalayan Brown Wood Owl, Northern spotted owlet, Northern Brown Fish Owl, Pelicans, Pheasants, Tibet Fox, Tibetan Lynx, Toddy cat, Panthers, Leopards, Tigers, and the Estuarine Crocodile which represents the innate biota of the Eastern Himalayas. The museum also houses a vast collection of the different types of nests and eggs of a variety of birds placed in the natural setting of tree branches.
Another highlight of the museum is a taxidermy unit exhibited to oversee the curing, stuffing, and preparation of the birds and animals and is displayed as exhibits. The comprehensive collection of the insect exhibit comprises butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and beetles. If you want more insight into the natural world of the Bengal region and the nearby places, the museum also houses a small library with a wide-ranging collection of interesting books, including the 125-volume series titled ‘The Fauna of British India’.