Let's visit Kathmandu's Garden of Dreams with its neoclassical architecture, ponds, exotic plants, flower gardens, fountains, sculptures. It’s an oasis of tranquility for soul and with its Kaiser Café Bar and Restaurant - an enclave for body.
Garden of Dreams is back
New millennium brought hope. With the financial help from the Austrian Government (seems like Kesher’s admiration for Kaiser did not go unnoticed), garden’s restoration project got the green light.
The works were carried out under the supervision of Eco Himal – an Austrian NGO dedicated to preservation of Himalayan cultures and natural environment in the region of Mt. Everest.
On October 8, 2006, after seven years of extensive works the Garden of Dreams was opened to the public.
Despite the fact that only half of its original size was revived (1.7 acre/6900 sq. meters), the garden became an instant success.
It counts only three out of six original pavilions. Restored and brought back to their previous glory, equipped with modern amenities today they serve as lounge bar, garden coffee house and local museum. The later is home to the exposition dedicated to the history as well as new era of Kaiser’s Garden of Dreams.
This is just to remind you the craziness and chaos on the streets of the Nepali Capital....
The central lotus pond brings an ambiance of tranquility, pergolas and trellises ornamented with blooming plants offer shade and freshness. Twisted trees, exotic plants, shrubs, rare flowers lure visitors with their beautiful colors, forms and scents…
Newly added fountains and the narrow cascade of waterfalls between the old walls mask the background noise from nearby streets….
The Garden of Dreams in its recent shape...
Source: Kaiser Cafe Restaurant and Bar
The sculpture of Laxmi (Hindu goddess of Wealth and Prosperity) was initially designed as Greek’s goddess of Victory – Nike (hence her unusual style and triumphant posture not matching expectations). But later into the project Kaiser Shumsher requested to re-model this symbolic sculpture to reflect his thankfulness to goddess Laxmi for the fortune allowing him to create the garden.
Water brings tranquility....
There are also new additions to the Garden of Dreams. The series of grass-covered terraces form the “Natural” amphitheater serving open-air programs on the central stage. “Rotunda” (previously part of today’s non-existing section of the garden) has been re-built based on old documentation and photos, at least partially materializing “lost dreams”.
But the biggest change makes the night illumination. The light superbly enhances the inherent charm, beauty and secretness of this magnificent place. Indeed, one couldn’t find name better expressing this heavenly enclave than “Garden of Dreams’…..
The garden witnesses many flirting young couples, holding hands or hugging each other in a gesture of love – behavior still not accepted in public places in Nepal.
That confirms not only garden’s status as an oasis of peace and serenity in the middle of the chaos reigning on the streets. It also indicates that the Garden of Dreams is an enclave of tolerance in this behaviorally very conservative society….
Garden of Dreams: Poetry....
Delighted by what I found behind the walls I sat in one of the open air cafeterias. And then my eyes caught an old inscription on the wall slightly damaged by the earthquake in 1934.
Fragment from The Rubaiyat by Omar Khayyam..
The crack in the marble plaque now disguised as the creeping vine, is said to have been the only damage to the garden caused by the Great Earthquake of 1934.
It turned to be four stanzas from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Persian poet, mathematician and Sufi mystic living in 1058-1123.
I read twice, took notes (actually the picture) and now I’m sharing with you….. You ask me why? I do not know, may be because it was an almost thousand years old poem, and may be because its strophes matched the atmosphere filling the Garden of Dreams…. Or may be because the poem seemed to belong to this mysterious garden where dreams can fly free…..
….One moment in annihilation’s waste
One moment of the well of life to test
The stars are setting, and the caravan
Starts for the dawn of nothing – Oh make haste!
Alas, that spring should vanish with the rose,
That youth’s sweet-scented manuscript should close
The nightingale that in the branches sang
Ah, whence, and whither flown again, who knows!
Ah, love, could Thou and I with fate conspire
To grasp this sorry scheme of things entire
Would not we shatter it to bits – and then
Re-mould it nearer to the heart desire!
Ah, moon of my delight who know’st no wane,
The moon of Heav’n is rising once again:
How oft hereafter rising shall she look
Through this same garden after me – in vain…..
(Translated from original by Edward Fitzgerald in 1859).
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Beautiful place where your mind, body and soul torn apart by the madness on the streets can re-connect together.....
2nd from the left - goddess Laxmi (Lakshmi)
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Left: Natural Amphitheater....
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Right: Evening sky in Kathmandu....
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Kaiser Cafe Bar and restaurant run by Dwarika’s Group
The garden’s Kaiser Café restaurant and lounge is operated by Dwarika’s Group. They serve breakfast, lunch dinners, offer large selection of teas, coffees, pastries and beverages.
There is a small entrance fee (for foreigners it’s NPR 160 or about $2). And if you cannot dream without your computer – you may have WiFi access (NPR 250 or about $3 for five hours access).
For tourists, the Garden of Dreams is a place to withdraw from the busy and hectic life of the city, a place to relax, to “rejuvenate”. For Nepalese it is also the lasting legacy of one of their illustrious and visionary men – Keshar (Kaiser) Shumsher JB Rana.
For humanity, the ingeniously designed Garden of Dreams is the Cultural Heritage Landmark…..
As a bonus you can enjoy few minutes of video recorded in the Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu (Nepal).
Few minutes walk in the Garden of Dreams....
Source: Uploaded by uvmguy (YouTube)
If you want to restart the visit to the Kathmandu's Garden of Dreams, then please follow the link:
Kathmandu Garden of Dreams - (page 1)
If you would like to check tourist destinations in Nepal, then here it is:
Nepal Maps and Information
If you enjoyed this visit, then please share your experience with friends :-)
Related pages on Amazing World....
Related pages on Amazing World....
Lhasa-Kathmandu by Friendship Highway (5 pages)
Kathmandu Garden of Dreams (2 pages)
Nagarkot (3 pages)
Annapurna (2 pages)
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