Butterfly Museum

Butterfly Museum, Sattal: Address, Butterfly Museum Reviews: 4.5/5

Butterfly Museum

5 reviews
Very good

Faridabad, India39 contributions
Wonderful !!
Dec 2018 • Family
If you are in Saattal then this is a must visit place as it is unique in its own sense.
Good collection of many rare species of butterflies may be witnessed.
Written June 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Wasique R
Noida, India11 contributions
Must visit for the curious ones
Dec 2016
Mr. Peter Smetacek's Butterfly Museum is an eye opener. With butterflies from all over India and the world, featuring one that looks like an owl and one that looks like a snake, there is much to learn and cherish. Mr. Smetacek has a very charming and affable way of explaining the nuances and puts his points across with interesting anecdotes. Although Mr. Smetacek guides Phd scholars and is an authority on butterflies, he can connect to even kids. We with our six year old son thoroughly enjoyed the experience and came out wiser.

We highly recommend this place for all, specially families with kids.
Written December 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Erode, India69 contributions
A must visit
Oct 2016 • Family
I must admit Peter Smetacek had created a wonder of the world. Less known to visitors but famous in local public. You have to keep your imagination wide open as you will experience a journey through paradise. Imagine a small 10x10 room with thousands of butterfly and insects. small library with all handbooks you need. I weren't lucky enough to meet Peter Smetacek in person. Will visit the place again for sure. Good to know a home stay will be there shortly - eager to stay there during next visit. Butterfly and insect lovers, please never miss the research center...
Written October 28, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New Delhi, India82 contributions
Family trip to Butterfly Museum
Dec 2014 • Family
placed at nice place, just in mid of the lake where one has to reach by the boat. I like concept and the location but its not well maintained. Had this been maintained well, would have helped attracting more folks. Frankly sharing, don't think its worth visiting this place and more attention is needed to make this place a really tourist spot
Written February 19, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Dilip S
Vadodara, India1,121 contributions
Beautiful Butterflies and Moths Showcased Not In Beautuful Way
Oct 2014 • Couples
A short but dangerous and tedious 2 km uphill drive on a kachcha road from Bhim Tal lake led us to the Butterfly Museum , housed in the house of Peter Smetacek , a well-known lepidopterist who discovered a new butterfly, Neptis Vaishneyi . The narrow and steep road had a sign board at the beginning assuring us we were on a right track . But later on especially when the road was bifurcated there was no signboard resulting us choosing a wrong left steeper branch of the road which was blocked after half a km by construction material to be used for a nearby house . The road was so narrow that we could not take a turn and it was so steep that while taking a reverse our throats were dried up . Vaijayanti insisted to return while as usual I insisted to scout the right hand flatter branch of the bifurcation . My insistence resulted in our approaching a small house nestled amidst the forest of Cypress and Deodar on a green hill overlooking Bhim Tal . The house belonged to Peter and its one room was called the Museum .

Though Peter was unavailable at that time his wife showed us the Museum and told the story of it . The story of the Smetaceks (pronounced Smet-a-check) began when Frederick Smetacek Sr , a German of Czech origin , arrived in India in early 1940s . He made a considerable fortune supplying goods to the Allied forces during the World War II and later settled in Bhimtal , where he pursued his passion of collecting butterflies . The earliest record of a butterfly specimen was noted by Frederick Smetacek Sr. on 10 September 1947 from Naukuchiatal . The Smetacek family’s collection had more than 10,000 species , collected by Frederick Sr as well as his children , especially his sons Peter and Frederick Jr . In 1980 , Peter returned home from school in Nainital to see the shocking scene of walls lined with empty boxes . An attack by museum beetles had reduced most of the carefully arranged lepidopterans in Friedrich Smetacek Sr.’s collection to dust . A day flying moth collected by Viktor ( Peter’s another brother ) in 1949 was one of the rare specimens that survived the destruction . This one event shaped Peter's destiny . He decided to rebuild the collection which could last for generations . Since then , the collection has grown and today it contains more than 2,000 of India's estimated 12,000 species of butterflies and moths .

The beetles were displayed in one frame and other butterflies & moths occupied about thirty frames hanging on walls . Hundreds of butterflies and moths were stored in chesters . My first impression was the collection was not properly sectionwise displayed . It would have been far better to classify and display the butterflies as per their families , such as : Hesperiidae – Skippers , Papilionidae – Swallowtails , Pieridae – Whites and yellows , Nymphalidae – Brush footed butterflies , Lycaenidae – Blues and Riodininae – Punches and Judies . With the help of the photographs I had taken in the Museum I could classify some butterflies as given below :

Family – Hesperiidae - Sub Family – Coeliadinae : Branded Orange Awlet , Orange Tail Awl , Slate Awl , Golden Angle , Spotted Angle , Tawny Angle .
Family – Hesperiidae - Sub Family – Hesperiinae : Chequered Darter , Common Dartlet , Himalayan Dart , Conjoined Swift , Contiguous Swift , Paintbrush Swift , Chocolate Demon , Common Redeye , Moore’s Ace .
Family – Hesperiidae - Sub Family – Heteropterinae : Orange and Silver Mountain Hopper .
Family – Papilionidae - Sub Family – Parnassinae : Keeled Apollo , Ladakh Banded Apollo , Regal Apollo .
Family – Papilionidae - Sub Family – Papilioninae : Brown Gorgon , Common Batwing , Lesser Batwing , Golden Birdwing , Great Zebra , Red Helen , Paris Peacock , Spot Swordtail , Tailed Redbreast .
Family – Pieridae - Sub Family – Coliadinae : Lesser Brimstone , Ladakh Clouded Yellow , Pale Clouded Yellow .
Family – Pieridae - Sub Family – Pierinae : Chocolate Albatross , Bath White , Small Bath White , Peak White , Pearl White , Spot Puffin , Spotted Sawtooth , Himalayan Blackvein , Tibetan Blackvein , Painted Jezebel .
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Curetinae : Bright Sunbeam .
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Lycaeninae : Green Copper , White Bordered Copper , Golden Sapphire , Purple Sapphire , Powdery Green Sapphire , Sorrel Sapphire ,
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Miletinae : Apefly , Great Darkie .
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Polyommatinae : Angled Pierrot , Banded Blue Pierrot , Banded Lineblue , Dingy Lineblue , White Tipped Lineblue , Tailed Cupid ,Chequered Blue , Dusky Hedge Blue , Hill Hedge Blue , Margined Hedge Blue , Plain Hedge Blue , Orange Bordered Argus , Small Green Underwing .
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Poritiinae : Common Gem .
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family – Riodininae : Dark Judy , Common Punch , Mixed Punch , Orange Punch , Punchinello ,
Family – Lycaenidae - Sub Family –Theclinae : Dull Green Hairstreak , Fawn Hairstreak , Indian Purple Hairstreak , Silver Hairstreak , Water Hairstreak , White Line Hairstreak , White Spotted Hairstreak , Walnut Blue , Common Acacia Blue , Silverstreak Blue , Dusky Bushblue , Large Oakblue , Powdered Oakblue , Western Centaur Oakblue , Yellow Disc Oakblue , Variegated Pushblue , Yamfly , Blue Imperial , Common Imperial , Bi Spot Royal , Branded Royal , Broadtail Royal , Chestnut and Black Royal , White Royal , Blue Tit , Long Branded Silverline ,
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family – Apaturinae : Scarce Siren , Western Courtier .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family – Charaxinae : Anomalous Nawab , Common Nawab , Great Nawab , Tawny Rajah , Variegated Rajah , Yellow Rajah .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family – Cyrestinae : Common Maplet , Tabby .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family – Heliconinae : Common Silverstripe , Western Silverstripe , Dark Green Fertillary , Highbrown Silverspot , Leopard Lacewing , Vagrant .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family - Limenitinae : Clipper , Commander , Commodore , Green Commodore , Common Earl , Common Lascar , Grand Duchess , Great Yellow Sailor , Himalayan Sailor , Pale Green Sailor , Short Banded Sailor , Yellow Jack Sailor , Indian White Admiral , Orange Staff Sergeant , Small Staff Sergeant .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family – Nymphalinae : Large Tortoiseshell .
Family – Nymphalidae - Sub Family –Satyrinae : Bamboo Forester , Bamboo Treebrown , Blue Stripped Palmfly , Common Palmfly , Common Argus , Common Forester , Common Wall , Great Evening Brown , Moore’s Brushbrown , Scarce Wall , White Edged Rockbrown .

Compared with the similar Museum privately managed and owned by Wankhar Riatsamthiah at Shillong , this Museum was a total let down . So the entry fee of Rs 100 /- per person seemed to be too much .
Still I was thrilled to see Attacus Atlas, commonly known as the Atlas moth and considered the largest moth in the world in terms of total wing surface area . Then, there was the Actias Luna or the Luna Moth , a distinctive lime-green creature . But the most prized specimen was a Parnassius , commonly known as the Snow Apollo , a high altitude moth found in the Pindari glacier .

Peter’s wife showed me some delicate pale yellow coloured butterflies usually found in England , from which the world butterfly originated . She showed me a dangerously looking death’s head Hawkmoth . There were distinctive leaf butterflies which appeared like dry , wilted leaves to confuse predators . There was an entire range of Oak butterflies having Oak leaves shaped wings to camouflage themselves . There were owl butterfly , peacock butterfly and snake butterfly too .

I was glad to see Parasitized Pupa of Papilio Agestar and Cocoon found on Oak tree .

There was one extra ordinary thing which impressed me the most . It was an intricately carved Burma Teak Wood box . The carvings illustrated ships plying on ocean , drummers beating the drums , Trees of beautiful flowers and leaves in forests , etc . Peter’s wife told me there was an offer of Rs 30 ,00 , 000 /- for this box . But Peters declined . I wondered what would I have done , if I would be in Peter’s shoes – whether I had sold the box and constructed the most scientific Entomological ( Butterfly ) Museum at Bhim Tal proper so that majority of the tourists would be benefitted .

At present there are very few like me know there was such a Museum and still fewer spend time and Rs 100 /- entrance fee and take risk to reach Peter’s house .
Written January 27, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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