From Sirens to Serenity

Text by Anubhuti Poudel / Photo: ECS Media

The National Botanical Garden has provided much-needed greens to the otherwise gray tones of the Kathmandu valley. For nature lovers and nature enthusiasts, Godavari is a haven of lush greenery, beautiful landscapes and a huge array of flora.

The chaos of city life can get on your nerves quite easily. More often than not, we look for ways we can revive ourselves, both in body and mind. For those of us living in Kathmandu, recreation is mostly an indoor pub with loud music and junk food. However, there are people who love nature, with its lush greenery, soothing colors, its beauty and serenity. For these people, the answer could be the National Botanical Garden in Godavari.

The National Botanical Garden is located on the base of Phulchoki (2715m) at the Southeast corner of the valley. It is conveniently close to the city but feels as far away as possible from urban chaos and pollution. Since its establishment, it has worked in conserving indigenous plants of Nepal and in collecting them for scientific research as well as educational and recreational purposes. Surrounded by rich natural forests with sections of the garden populated by ornamental plants and flowers, the garden is spread over an area of eighty two hectares. Needless to say, the gardens provide much needed relief from the city.

Established in 1962 A.D by the then Prime Minister, Surya Bahadur Thapa with the interest of king Mahendra Shah, the garden is known today for its grand landscape and rich biodiversity of both flora and fauna. More than 550 species of plants including ferns, gymnosperms, cactus, succulents, medicinal and ornamental plants, orchids are found here along with 290 species of birds and 250 species of butterflies according to a report published by the Department of Plant Resources.

The orchid house, wetland flora, tropical house, rock garden and physic garden are some of the many attractions of the place. The garden is also home to some rare as well as indigenous species of flowers. Lilium nepalensis, Brassica, Chrysanthemum, Clivia miniata, Veleriana jatamansii and Blooming Orchid are some of the varieties of plants that attract many to the garden.

Spring and autumn are regarded as ideal times to visit the garden when the plants and flowers can be seen in their full magnificence. Entrance fees for Nepalese is NRs. 10, SAARC country nationals will have to pay NRs. 25 while other foreigners will have to part with NRs. 100. It is open every day and around the year.

Whether it is an educational visit to know more about the plant species in Nepal or a recreational visit to get away from city life, National Botanical Garden has something for you. The best thing about the garden is its proximity to the city, which makes it a key destination for the residents of Kathmandu valley. Outsiders who are on a visit to Kathmandu will find that the garden a rather elaborate collection of the natural floral diversity that has become representative of Nepal. A visit to the National Botanical Garden will ensures a hearty experience in which people of all ages can enjoy the place and can take very different but significant experiences out of the visit. It is one of the finest natural treats that Kathmandu valley still has on offer.