Soak Up Tranquility at the Godavari Botanical Garden
The Godavari Botanical Garden is situated in the village of Godavari at the foot of Phulchoki hill in the Kathmandu valley. Located just 15km southeast of Kathmandu, the gardens are a popular picnic venue and offer visitors the opportunity of enjoying more than 500 species of indigenous and exotic plants. Covering an area of around 82 hectares, the peaceful setting of the gardens is also home to a wide variety of bird species, including Golden Bush-robins, Pygmy Asian Barred Owls and Hodgson’s Redstarts, as well as masses of butterflies. While the peak flowering seasons are in autumn and spring, there is always something worthwhile to see, and strolling through the gardens is a pleasurable experience at any time of the year.
Among the plants found at the Godavari Botanical Garden is the spectacular Rhododendron arboretum – the national flower of Nepal. This evergreen tree is the largest of the rhododendron trees and can grow up to twenty meters high. It produces clusters of exquisite bright red or pink bell-shaped flowers rich in nectar, and has dark green leaves with a silvery coating underneath. Seeing these attractive trees in full bloom is an unforgettable experience.
Other plants include more than one hundred orchid species, over seventy succulents, aloes and cacti, and up to two hundred species of shrubs and trees, some of which are considered to be endangered or rare. There is also a large glass greenhouse with a variety of plants that need more controlled climatic conditions. Pathways make it easy to explore the gardens, which benches here and there offer the opportunity to sit and relax while soaking in the tranquility of this charming attraction in the Kathmandu Valley.
Also known as the Royal Botanical Garden or National Botanical Garden, the Godavari Botanical Garden was established and inaugurated by King Mahendra Bir Bikram Sha Dev in October 1962 and continues to serve a role in conservation, education and research in Nepal. The gardens are open all year around and there is a small admission fee payable which goes toward maintaining the gardens.