Outside, motorcycle horns screamed and taxis dodged pedestrians streaming through the narrow streets of Thamel, the backpacker district of Kathmandu. The ever-present dull gray smog was matched at street level by crumbling concrete buildings with black mold dripping down their faces. I stepped over a pile of mud and paving stones discarded during the city’s ubiquitous construction and wriggled my nose as the scent of rotting garbage wafted up from the street. Around the next corner was the doorway I sought, where a small, unremarkable sign announced: Garden of Dreams.
Inside, no hint of the exterior cacophony pierced the thick garden walls. People lounged on lush spring grass carpeting the steps of the semi-circular Greek-style amphitheater and spoke in hushed tones. The ordered garden, hidden courtyards, and burbling fountains in this oasis of peace and tranquility provided the perfect opportunity to wind down and escape the constant craziness of Kathmandu.
This neo-classical historic garden was originally installed during the 1920′s by the late Field Marshal Kaiser Shumsher Rana (1892-1964). Originally dubbed the Garden of Six Seasons, it was considered to be one of the most sophisticated private gardens of the time. Its use of European inspired elements such as decorative outdoor furniture, verandas, pergolas, balustrades and Continue reading