The National Museum of Myanmar is located at No.
66/74, Pyay Road, Dagon Township, Yangon, Myanmar.
The National Museum of Myanmar was founded in 1952
with its premises at what was once the Jubilee Hall.
In 1970 the museum was moved to a more spacious
building on Pansodan Street. But these premises were
not originally constructed to house a museum. The
present National Museum is located on Pyay Road in a
splendid five-storey building constructed for the
purpose in spacious and specially landscaped
grounds. Priceless ancient artifacts, works of art
and historic memorabilia are on display in 14 halls
on four storeys. Three halls on the ground floor
hold exhibits on the evolution the Myanmar script
and alphabet, the Lion Throne Room and Yatanabon
Ground Floor One can study the origins of the
Myanmar alphabet, Myanmar script and literature as
well as those of the other national races of
Myanmar. There is also an interesting stone funerary
urn of the period AD1 - AD 9 with Pyu writings on it
in this hall.
In the throne room you will see miniature models
of the eight kinds of thrones of ancient Myanmar
kings and the magnificent Royal Lion Throne of our
last monarch King Thibaw in all its original
majesty. This great throne is made of smooth-grained
"Yamanay" timber adorned with lions at its base. The
whole throne is heavily gilded. This throne is
always placed in the "Hluttaw" Hall, (the Hall of
the Council of Ministers). The king uses this throne
when deliberating with his ministers on state
affairs or delivering judgments on important issues.
In the 19th century Yadanabon Period Exhibit hall
one can see clothing fashions, furniture and other
household articles of the time. There is also a
palanquin used by king Thibaw's Chief monk. It has a
gilded roof with three spires.
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On the first
floor of the museum are four halls, one with an
impressive display of the royal regalia, a second
hall with exhibits of historic significance; the
third hall with exhibits of pre-historic times and
the fourth containing exhibits on natural history.
In the hall of the royal regalia one can see
beautifully ornamented objects that played a
significant role in important royal ceremonies of
ancient kings throughout Myanmar history. An example
of the high standard of craftsmanship is the royal
betel box in the shape of a Brahminy (Hamsa) bird.
It is a beautifully gilded box embedded with
In the hall of Myanmar history are the pagodas,
temples, monasteries and ordination halls of the
Bagan Period and the marvelous murals of the Pinya,
Innwa, Toungoo, Nyaungyan and Konbaung Eras. One can
see rare ancient votive tablets with moldings from
scenes of the Jataka Stories, that is the Lord
Buddha's birth stories.
In the hall of pre-historic times is a model of
the Padalin Cave which is over 10,000 years old
where stone age men once dwelt and etched drawings
on its walls. There are also stone weapons of the
Neolithic Period and also some bronze weapons of a
later age. Then, there are clay pots, urns, votive
tablets and necklaces that date back to the Pyu Era
that spans the period from the first century to the
ninth century A.D.
Then there are rare and priceless exhibits -
silver chedis (stupas) found in the archaeological
excavations at the ancient Pyu city of Sriksetra.
They provide material evidence that Buddhism had
flourished in Myanmar as far back as the ancient Pyu
In the exhibit hall on natural history are many
fossils dating back millions of years. In this hall
is an exhibit that is a truly rare find. It is
fossil of an anthropoid primate that has been dated
as being approximately 40 million years old. It was
found in the Pondaung region of Upper Myanmar.
The second floor of the museum is where exhibits
on Myanmar culture can be seen with one hall
assigned to Myanmar music, song and dance.
In the hall on culture are displayed exhibits on
Myanmar rural life. One can learn much of the
social, economic and cultural traditions as well as
modes of transportation of days gone by. One sees
the Myanmar bullock cart still in use in some rural
areas. The utility cart is used to transport heavy
loads of paddy and other agricultural produce
whereas the cart used on ceremonial occasions is a
thing of beauty decorated with delicate wood
carvings. The cart is very light and dainty with
streamlined proportions. It is used at pagoda
festivals and novitiation ceremonies when its
passengers are belles of the village dressed in
their best finery.
An offering bowl for monks gilded and wrought
with mosaics of semi-precious stones is also on
display. It is used for offering food and other
comestibles to monks on religious occasions.
In the hall of music, song and dance, you will
see many musical instruments and the ornate "saing
waing" or drum circle as well as marionettes that
can be made to dance in classical dramas and operas.
On the third floor of the museum are 3 exhibition
halls, two for Myanmar paintings and a third for
ancient ornaments and jewelry.
In the Hall of Paintings you can observe the
progress of the Myanmar art of painting beginning
with the cave paintings of the Stone Age and down
through the Bagan, Innwa, Amarapura, Konbaung and
Ratanabon periods to 20th century contemporary art.
The works of famous artists are on display.
In the third hall can be seen the personal
ornaments and jewelry worn by the Myanmar people
since ancient times. Here you will see an ornament
for the ears of the 18th century A.D. It is called a
"Nadaung" in Myanmar and is a cylindrical plug which
is worn by pushing it into the pierced ear lobe. It
is an ancient piece of jewelry.
On the fourth floor are halls for the Buddha
Images and for the display of the culture of the
ethnic races of Myanmar. The Buddha images include
those which date back to the Pyu Period and up to
the present day.
In the Hall of ethnic culture you can see a
colorful display of their national dresses as well
as various artifacts that they traditionally use.
The National Museum thus is a treasure chest of
priceless stone inscriptions, documents, carvings,
paintings and a host of other artifacts that testify
to the ancient culture and civilization of the
Myanmar people. Anyone who has made a tour of the
museum will come away with greater knowledge and
understanding of Myanmar and its people.
- Opening Hours
: 10am to 4pm, except on Myanmar New
Year Holidays (Thingyan Festival) in
- Admission Fees : US$ 5 per
- Contact Ph : 95-1-282563,
- Location : No. 66/74 Pyay
Road, Dagon Township, Yangon.
The Shwedagon Pagoda is within a walking
range about 20 minutes from the National Museum. The
Sein Gay Har Super Market also lies about 10
minutes walk from the Museum, towards downtown.
People's Square and People's Park is also close
by about 10 minutes walks.