An acclaimed travel publication of Australia has named Garden of Dreams, the neo classical historical garden in the heart of Kathmandu CBD, as one of top six gardens in the Asia Pacific region.
“Need a break from Kathmandu’s chaotic, pot-holed, hawker-filled streets? Dive into the tranquil Garden of Dreams near the tourist hot-spot of Thamel,” advises an article that appeared on Fairfax Media’s traveller.com.au on March 27. Titled ‘Six of the best: Asia-Pacific gardens’, the article places the tourist attraction in the second position among the six.
The garden was originally created by late Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana in early 1920s for his personal recreational use. He had erected six impressive pavillions, each dedicated to one of Nepal’s six seasons. But Rana’s dream remained in ruins until it was rescued by an Austria-funded restoration project that ran from 2000 to 2007.
Today, Kaiser Shumsher’s extraordinary legacy enthrals both local and international tourists and provides a respite from Kathmandu’s notoriously congested city life. “The elegant pavilions house eateries and an exhibit showcasing the garden’s transformation from overgrown jungle to a manicured paradise filled with roses, cherry trees, frangipani and a sculpted bamboo plant known as Buddha’s Belly,” the Traveller website says.
Few Australian Nepalis southasia.com.au spoke to were thrilled at the fact that the Garden was mentioned alongside world-renown sites in countries that obviously have more maintenance-resources at their disposal.
The placing of Garden of Dreams on a reputed website is an encouraging publicity for the Nepali capital city which is often in the news for one wrong reason – the mountains of unmanaged rubbish right in the thoroughfares.
Asked what the publicity meant, Nepal Tourism Board’s Sarad Pradhan said, “It is a great privilege to be alongside these renowned gardens.” The media consultant to the Board said the Garden of Dreams was a ‘must-visit place, clam and quite’, just in the middle of hustle and bustle of the city.
The other five gardens listed are Maleny Botanic Gardens and Bird World in Queensland, Shamian Island in Guangzhou, Norman Lindsay Gallery and Museum in New South Wales, Alice Springs Desert Park in the Northern Territories and the Imperial Palace Gardens in Tokyo.
Traveller’s print editions are published in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and the Sun-Herald. It is a popular travel publication Australians use as their travel resource as they embark on national and international holidays. It offers ‘the perfect mix of inspirational content and comprehensive destination guides with things to do and places to stay’.