Wednesday, 8 October 2014

In the Garden of Dreams

Andrew and I found another tranquil little gem amongst the chaos of Kathmandu. Having walked by a large walled area many times on previous visits, we wondered how on earth we could have missed it.

Originally designed and built in 1920, the Garden of Dreams suffered more than 30 years of neglect before seven years of restoration work and extensive renovations. It was opened to the pubic in 2008. Hence, why it didn’t come to our attention until this trip.

The gardens are beautiful and colourful. There are several small seating areas and it seemed as if you could almost always find a quiet place to relax. You can hear noise from the busy street outside the high walls but inside there were few people. 

The Garden of Dreams was originally the private garden of Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana who won the land from his father (then the Prime Minister of Nepal) in a card game. It’s only about half its original size, having been taken over by the sprawl of the Thamel tourist district and coming very close to being completely demolished before a last-minute save from the wrecking ball. 

We enjoyed a quiet morning here and then came back later for supper and to enjoy the evening lighting. Andrew got some nice night-time photos.
The pavilion that now holds the Kaiser Cafe. We had both morning tea and supper here.
A shaded seating area and water feature with koi.

One of several small seating areas.

The tiered grassy area is used for seating during special events.
This little elephant was originally placed at one end of the pond in the photo above.
During restoration he was moved to be closer to his mom.

Laxmi, the goddess of wealth and abundance.
Design in the walkway.
Our other little oasis . . . the garden and seating area at the Nirvana Garden Hotel.

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