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“The heavenly oasis of peace and tranquility in the middle of "madness"” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Garden of Dreams

Garden of Dreams
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USD 46.00*
and up
Private Lumbini And Kapilvastu Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour
Ranked #8 of 173 things to do in Kathmandu
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Garden of Dreams, a neo classical historical garden, is situated in the midst of Kathmandu city, Nepal. 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 vantage points.
Montreal, Canada
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The heavenly oasis of peace and tranquility in the middle of "madness"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

Everybody who spends at least few days on the streets of Kathmandu knows the feeling of growing fatigue and frustration…. Huge traffic following “laws of jungle” rather than the road’s code, black clouds of exhaust gases, noise, pollution…. make you dream about an isolated enclave of pure nature where you can recover from this madness….

Frankly, it was exactly in Kathmandu when I realized that sometimes dreams can come true. Walking along the wall on the Tridevi Marg Street at the edge of touristic area of Thamel I found a modest sign promising the Garden of Dreams.

Intrigued by this unexpected discovery I crossed the small and uninspiring gate to find behind the wall a paradise in the middle of the bustling town. Well, at first moment, may be due to the contrast with busy streets it seemed to me like the biblical Garden of Eden.

Short introduction:

The garden is a legacy of one man – member of the powerful Rana dynasty ruling the Nepal for more than hundred years (till mid 20th century) – Field Marshal Keshar Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana.

Seasoned diplomat and statesman, but also well educated in literature and art as well as passionate botanist, from his frequent trips to Europe he brought several ideas and inspirations. The most important for future generations turned out to be his idea to create the garden of his dreams in the center of Kathmandu.

The second one, was may be not an inspiration but rather an admiration – this time for the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Frantz Joseph. In German the word Emperor is spelled Kaiser, so Keshar promptly changed his name to Kaiser Shumsher. As it turned out both events played an important role in the destiny the Garden of Dreams.

At the time of opening in 1920’s the garden was considered as the finest private garden in the world. Just to give you an idea – each of six pavilions built in the garden were dedicated to one of six Nepali seasons. Kaiser Shumsher’s inspiration came from old Sansktit literature and more modern poetry by R. Tagore (winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature).

Just for the record – the mentioned six seasons are: Grishma (in Sanskrit Summer), Varsha (Monsoon), Sharad (early autumn), Hemant (late autumn), Sharad (winter) and Vasantha (spring).


Well, to keep it short. After the fall of Rana’s dynasty, the garden lost its “virginity”, overgrown by jungle-like vegetation, with polls filled with mud and buildings crumbling. City “devoured” half of this once stunningly beautiful space for urban development…
By the end of 20th century the Garden of Dreams resembled rather a “Place of Despair and Desolation”.

And here comes (like a Tale from the Grave), Emperor (Kaiser) Franz Joseph or rather his compatriots represented by the Austrian Government and an NGO Eco-Himal. They provided financial help and supervision of reconstruction work.

On October 8, 2006 the resurrected Garden of Dreams was re-opened to public. It is a marvelous place to “lick your wounds” immersing in the pristine nature of flower gardens, ponds, water flowers, exotic trees and plants, place to walk along the paths covered by pergolas and trellises, place to sit on the grass and just watch the sky and clouds….. or sip the coffee served in Kaiser Café Bar…..

Practical Notes:
There are entry fees – for foreigners it is about NPR 160 (probably $2).
For about NPR 250 you may have access to Internet (WiFi)

Within Garden’s premises operates Kaiser Café Bar and Restaurant (a bit pricey but keep in mind that you are in an Oasis of Peace and Tranquility…. and obviously these kinds of secluded places have to be maintained ….Someone has to pay for that and I think if both Kaisers did it twice, we should follow with our modest contributions to the cause.

The bottom line – when in Kathmandu, consider the Garden of Dreams as a place to be (“Must” on you list of attractions).

Have a nice afternoon in Garden of Dreams
Tom

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank TomN752
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Little Spot of Peace in the craziness of Kathmandu”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2012

This was the perfect place to nap in the gardens and read for a couple hours in the afternoon to escape the chaos of Kathmandu and rest between running around to different sites. There is a fee but well worth the price, well maintained and really pretty gardens.

Visited November 2011
Helpful?
1 Thank Caitlyn S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathmandu, Nepal
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“One of the best place to eat in Nepal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 February 2012

hello guys, when you come to Nepal you must go to garden of dreams to eat. its not only good food there. it works as name It is really your Graden of Dreams. Nice garden with alots of beautyful follower,Nice smell.you dont have to anywhere for Day trip.In side Dreams of graden will be your day trip.
chers guys

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank mountainworldtreks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Al Ain, United Arab Emirates
Level Contributor
83 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
“Like a scene from Tomb Raider”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 20 February 2012

The prettiest garden surroundings to see in Kathmandu! Wonderful photo opportunities, if you look for them and the most delicious of meals I think I had while I was in Nepal, washed down with a couple of bottles of suds and then another couple, it was a great seting to unwind and relax and hearing the sound of the fountain in the not so far distance was therapeutic to my ears after all of the honking horns on the dusty streets. I would definately recommend this place for a break from everything, even if it is just for a few hours....I mean suds.

Visited October 2011
Helpful?
Thank SimonePlatzke
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kathmandu
2 reviews
“Beautiful”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 February 2012

One of the most beautiful and cleanest places in the city. I like how it is seperated from the cars and the street. The garden helps you to relax from the daily hustle and bustle. It would be good if the castle was reconstructed and opened to visitors too.
It is full of beautiful works of european inspired architecture, different plants, and flowers. Inside the garden there is also few little cafes. Tickets cost 160 Rupees and it's opened 9am to 10pm.
I suggest to visit the garden in spring or summer when there is more flowers and other plants.

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank Ruta M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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