After a month of interacting with farm animals and being covered in dirt (and things dirtier than dirt) on the daily, we wanted to explore a more luxurious side of Nepal once we returned to Kathmandu. Luckily, we didn’t need to look very far before discovering the Garden of Dreams (not to mention we splurged on a meal that wasn’t dal bhat pretty much the second we got into the city).
The Garden of Dreams is located in Kaiser Mahal and was built in 1920 for Kaiser Sumsher Rana, the son of the Prime Minister of Nepal. It’s also sometimes referred to as the Garden of Six Seasons. Six seasons? Yep, you read that right. Nepal operates with six seasons: spring, early summer, summer monsoon, early autumn, late autumn, and winter.
Despite name changes and an extra supply of seasons, the Garden of Dreams has been a favorite site amongst tourists for a little more than a decade. The property was private up until Kaiser Sumsher’s death in 1964. From the time of his passing until the early 2000’s, the garden was left untended and grew into a state of disarray…which totally sounds like the opening of an epic Nepalese fairytale. But in 2000, Nepal’s Ministry of Education, along with Austria’s government, decided to restore the gardens, completing the renovations in 2007.
The garden was a quick 15 minute walk from our hostel in Thamel and cost just 200 Nepalese Rupees apiece to enter (that’s a whopping $2 USD for you folks back home in the States). We spent several hours strolling through the grounds and imagining what it must have been like back in the day. But that’s enough chatter from me for now, a picture’s worth a thousand words as they say, and Tay managed to snap quite a few stellar shots of the Garden of Dreams:
Detailed architecture and stunning landscaping make the Garden of Dreams a must-see attraction on any trip to Nepal. We really enjoyed ourselves on the grounds, and I would love to know more about what the garden looked like prior to its remodeling. Dream on, dreamers!