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Garden of Dreams in Nepal

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Introduction

The re-decorated gorgeous Swapna Bagaicha (Garden of Dreams) is one of the most serene and heart captivating enclaves of K-town which lies just across the north street from former Royal Palace, Narayanhiti Durbar. This Garden is well-known as the backyard of Six Seasons. The library inside its premises claims the creator of this beautiful flowery garden to be late avid book collector and Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana (1892-1964), who built the infrastructure in early 1920. Back in the late 19th century, this garden was considered as one of the mostclassy and highly talked about private gardens. History says, Kaiser Sumsher, owner of the garden beautifully designed the blueprint of construction by being inspired by the famous Edwardian style. The garden owner appointed, Kishore Narshingh, one of the prominent architect of Nepal who had designed and constructed Singha Durbar in 1907, as the principal supervisor and designer for the construction his dream garden The Garden of Dreams. Kaiser Sumsher and Kishor Narshingh created an exquisite collection of pavilions, fountains, decorative garden furniture’s and European inspired structures such as varandas, pergolas, balustrades, urns and birdhouses, within the Garden walls. They erected six impressive pavilions where each pavilions are dedicated to one of the six seasons of Nepal. These pavilions provided the Garden’s architectural framework and give a cosmopolitan flavor to the formal arrangement of flowers, shrubs and trees. Today, only half of the original garden is in existence.

After the demise of Kaiser Sumsher, the garden was handed over to the Government of Nepal. However it was not properly managed for decades. Seven years of extensive renovation has revived the garden’s charm as per the original concept with added modern facilities. It has now become center of peace and serenity in the urban hustle and bustle of Kathmandu city. The size of the Garden is 6,895 sq. meter. This garden includes total of three pavilions, an amphitheater, a central square shaped ponds, pergolas, urns and amalgamation of small gardens to larger ones. The Garden of Dreams renovation project was financed by The Government of Austrian and this renovation project was implemented by Eco-Himal. This model project has become a sustainable historic site which lies hidden. Garden of Dreams has also contributed to improve the quality of life for both the citizens and tourists in the central Kathmandu and is also considered as one of most attractive tranquil oasis, tourism landmark which also runs a historic library where visitors can take advantage of, along with natural beauty of the garden, history and architectural flavor. The Garden also allows events such as private and corporate functions, government receptions, government and private institutions cultural programs, and classical concerts. During festive month, Dashain and Tihar ,you can also enjoy by swinging in a traditional bamboo swing.

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Infrastructure

The Garden’s design has much in common with formal European gardens: paved perimeter paths, punctuated by pavilions, trellises, and various planting areas, surrounded by a sunken flower garden with a large pond at its center. It is an architectural landscape that encourages the visitor to stroll around and discover the Garden’s treasures from many different vintage points. There are gorgeous details in the small garden, including the original gate, a marble inscription from Omar Khayam’s Rubaiyat, the new fountains and ponds, and a quirky ‘hidden garden’ to the south. Of the original 1.6 hectares and six pavilions (named after the six Nepali seasons), only half a hectare and three pavilions remain.

Services

Many International visitors come to relax with a book or friend whereas the national visitors were found to visit the garden mostly for picnic with family, for a date or for a short sightseeing. Those visitors who came for the purpose to relax are supplied lawn mats (free of cost).Wi-Fi is also available (Rs 50 per hour). Dwarika’s hotel operates the serene Kaiser eatery here and there and organizes occasional cultural events and exhibitions. In addition, they have recently started the service of souvenir at the Entrance counter. Souvenir consists of post cards with a picture of the garden and a T-shirt printed with a trademark of ‘Garden of Dreams’ and building of the Museum.

Organizational Policy and Rules of Garden of Dreams Committe

  1. Normal entry into Garden of Dreams is Rs. 100 per person for Nepali and Rs. 200 per person for Non-Nepali. However, they provide 25% discount on ten tickets.
  2. Children, senior citizen and disabled are subject to 50% discount every day.
  3. Membership and Benefit

Garden of dreams also welcomes everyone to be its prestigious members. Once a visitor is a member they provide following facilities:

  1. Access throughout the year upon producing the membership card.
  2. Regular updates about the events and happenings at the Garden of Dreams.
  3. Parking facilities on first come first serve basis.
  4. 10% discount at Kaiser Café – an international standard coffee shop.
  5. Access throughout the year upon producing the membership card.
  6. Regular updates about the events and happenings at the Garden of Dreams.
  7. Parking facilities on first come first serve basis.
  8. 10% discount at Kaiser Café – an international standard coffee shop.

Annual Membership fees are as follows

  1. Nepali : Rs. 2000
  2. Non-Nepali : Rs. 3000

They have also introduced the co-operate membership facility where group of 10 or more than 10 people can be member by paying the charge of RS 1500 only

Located just across the street from the former Royal Palace at the entrance to the Thamel tourist area, the Garden was neglected for decade due to which the rich variety of subtropical flora was disappearing beneath a jumble of weeds. But with the support of Austrian Development Aid and in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Government of Nepal, this national treasure has got restored and has once again gained its rightful place, among ‘the great landscape monuments of South Asia’. Operating since 2008 the garden has welcomed more than one million national and international visitors.’ The garden holds the potential to attract those visitors who are keen to know about the history and beauty of Nepal Since 2010 there has been increase in number of local people visiting the garden especially young youths but they are not using the facility with extra charges such as the café inside the garden and wifi- facility. Due to increase in number of tourist the operation timing of the garden was expanded, now it opens at 9 A.M and close at 9 P.M. Do visit this exquisite garden according to the timing favorable and don’t forget to visit the library attached with lavish eateries.

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