[opening event programme] | [press release] | [about the garden]
email: kmahal@mos.com.np | tel. no.: +977-1-4425340
Press release, September, 2006

Gala Opening of the Garden of Dreams

The Garden of Dreams at Kaiser Mahal is finally opening to the public after six years of extensive restoration, on 8 October 2006. The Garden of Dreams Renovation Project is celebrating this occasion with two weeks of gala events between Dasain and Tihar, concluding with a festival of lights on Laxmi Puja. The programme (see attachment) is organized by Sangeeta Thapa of Infinity International and is supported by various generous sponsors, including the Nepal Tourism Board.

This once much larger and private garden, established by Field Marshall Kaiser Shumsher J.B. Rana from the 1920s onwards as his very personal dream, had later fallen into disrepair and decay for more than 30 years. However, after its still ongoing rehabilitation, it remains the most splendid and ingeniously designed garden of its era and, as a cultural heritage landmark of Kathmandu, is destined to become a new attraction for locals and tourists alike.

The one million dollar project, funded by the Austrian Government in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, is being executed through Eco Himal by the same team of local craftsmen, gardeners and experts who already created the internationally acclaimed Patan Museum a decade ago. Although most of the garden is now complete and open to the public, work to add some necessary service facilities will continue to September 2007.

Even if the garden has lost half of its original size to the development of Thamel, three of its grand neo-classical pavilions, as well as its central lotus pond and most of the other architectural and sculptural elements have survived, their complete restoration now securing the legacy of Kaiser Shumsher’s creation for future generations.

In view of the garden’s novel purpose and function as a recreational venue for the general public, a number of elements have been added, utilizing latent resources of its existing layout and fabric: an amphitheatre has been created for open-air cultural programmes, and two of the historical pavilions are converted to serve as a garden cafe and a lounge bar. The “Rotunda”, another pavilion from the garden’s lost portion has been reconstructed as a new focal point at one end of its dominant axis, and a range of new water bodies, fountains and pergolas now embellish and complement the abundance of its local and exotic flowers and shrubs. Other practical novelties are a parking area for regular clients, as well as the welcome raising of the garden’s outer walls in order to reduce external traffic noise in this new oasis of peace in the heart of modern Kathmandu.

The garden aims at being self-sustaining through admission fees, rent from the Basanta Cafe and Kaiser Bar, as well as through cultural events and private functions, in order to maintain high quality standards by its technical and gardening staff trained for this purpose.

For further information, contact the Garden of Dreams Project,
Tel.: 4425 340 or 341, Email: kmahal@mos.com.np
[opening event programme] | [press release] | [about the garden]