The Garden of Dreams – Kathmandu, Nepal - Atlas Obscura

Kathmandu, Nepal

The Garden of Dreams

This elegant neoclassical garden is a peaceful oasis in the middle of the Nepalese capital. 

The Garden of Dreams (Swapna Bagaicha) was the idyllic vision of Kaiser Sumsher Rana, a field marshal in the Royal Nepalese Army who ordered its creation on the grounds of his palatial home in 1920. Though the garden was severely neglected following his death in 1964, the exquisitely manicured landscapes and the surviving fountains, pergolas, and pavilions have since been restored to their former glory.

The four-acre Garden of Dreams in Kathmandu was designed by landscape architect Kishore Narshingh to mimic Edwardian-era English gardens. Most notably, the site was characterized by six pavilions, which symbolized the “six seasons” of Nepal: spring, early summer, the summer monsoon season, early autumn, late autumn, and winter. In its heyday, the garden was considered one of the most remarkable feats of landscape design in the country. 

Today, visitors will only find three pavilions on just over an acre of land, but the 74,000 square-foot space remains a verdant attraction thanks to a restoration project spearheaded by the Austrian government and Nepal Ministry of Education. Through the garden’s original gates are picturesque fountains and ponds, an amphitheater, isolated gardens of varying sizes, and the Kaiser Café Restaurant & Bar. Meandering pathways are lined with hedges, plants, trees, and flowers from all over the world, complemented by charming stone urns and intricate benches that offer contemplative vistas.

While the Garden of Dreams has been transformed into a public space, it remains a tranquil escape in the center of Kathmandu, and a popular hangout for sunbathers, wanderers, residents, and tourists alike.

Know Before You Go

The Garden of Dreams is open daily from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m. It's located in the Kaiser Mahal complex in the busy Thamel neighborhood of Kathmandu. Admission to the garden costs Rs. 200 per person for tourists and Rs. 100 for Nepali residents. Wifi is available throughout the garden for Rs. 50 an hour.

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