Godawari botanical Garden

Godawari Botanical Garden is The greenest, most pristine part of the valley lies at its southeastern edge. Officially it is called National Botanical Garden. It is For those who love to be surrounded by greenery, the Godawari at the southeast edge of the Kathmandu valley is the ideal place to be. The Godawari sits at the foot of Phulchowki (2,760m), the highest peak of the valley rim where revelers rush to, every time it snows towards winter’s end. Phulchowki means the ‘Mountain of Flowers’ and indeed is resplendent during the spring, cloaked in colorful rhododendron flowers. The valley’s only botanical garden, the National Botanical Garden lies here in the Godavari, at the very edge of Kathmandu valley, spread over a large area and has a couple of streams flowing through it.

History/Background of Godawari Botanical Garden

The National Botanical Garden, Godawari, Lalitpur, Nepal has established in 1962 AD (2019BS). This botanical garden was designed by two British designers G.A.C. Herklots and Tony Schilling. It is widely regarded as a center of plant conservation, education, research and recreation. It spreads over an area of 82 ha. of varying topography, among which, 40 ha. has been developed into various garden units. It is surrounded by natural evergreen forests dominated by Schima-Castanospsis and Alnus. It is located at the foothill of Mt. Phulchowki (2765 m) the highest peak of Kathmandu valley and lies about 16 km southeast from central Kathmandu. A natural stream (Godawari) is running from the mid garden.

Godawari botanical GardenIt comprises a natural plant landscape with various thematic gardens like physic garden, biodiversity education garden. rock garden, taxonomic family garden, fern garden, special garden, Japanese style garden, VVIP plantation garden. This botanical garden conserves about 1000 plant species including ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms.
It is an internationally recognized botanical garden and a member of Botanic Garden Conservation International (BGCI).

Attractions on the way to Godawari

The drive to the Godawari, 10 km south of Patan is interesting as it passes through Harshiddhi, a typical Newari town with a rather sinister history. The well-known pagoda-style Bal Kumari Temple was once believed to have practiced child-sacrifice as a means to appease the gods. There are steep steps leading up to the shrine.

After Harisiddhi, the drive is pleasant as it goes through less densely populated areas. The Godavari, a peaceful little village surrounded by dense jungles acquired its name from a repenting ascetic who went to a place also known as the Godavari in India to do penance for killing a cow which is considered sacred by Hindus and killing one is a criminal offense in Nepal. Upon returning to his native village where he established the temple complex of Panch Dhara or five water spouts, whose waters are supposed to flow down to the river Godavari in India.

Flora and Fauna

The Godawari is home to at least 256 species of birds (one-third of all bird species in Nepal) including the famous Spiny Babbler which was re-discovered here after it was thought to have been extinct for 104 years. It is also popular for the more than 300 species of butterflies and moths found here.

The Botanical Garden, founded by King Mahendra in 1962 is the only one of its kind in the country boasting 4,500 specimens of flowering and non-flowering plants including large varieties of orchids. There are lovely walks around the garden where you may encounter magpies and mynas flitting from tree to tree. There are butterflies all over the gardens but most of the flowers are in the enclosed area with a sign that reads National Botanical Garden.

This garden opens daily from 9.00 AM to 4.00 PM during the month of Mangshir, Poush and Magh (mid-November to mid-February) and from 9.00 AM to 5.00 PM for the rest of the months. Visitors can enter this garden by paying the entrance fees.

This area is closed for lunch from 1 – 2 pm. There are many species of flowers including orchids and one of the greenhouses has a collection of Bonsai plants. There is an exit gate at the other end of the garden which is quite useful if you need to get back to the minibus park which is closer to this end.

Entry and other fees

Visitors & Others Categories Entrance Fee with VAT
Nepali Citizens below 10 years NRs. 20
Nepali Citizens above 10 years NRs. 50
SAARC Citizens below 10 years NRs. 100
SAARC Citizens below 10 years NRs. 200
Foreigner below 10 years NRs. 500
Foreigner below 10 years NRs. 1000
Students (with Schools/Colleges/Universities approved letter) NRs. 20
Parking Fees
Bicycle NRs. 5
Motercycle NRs. 25
Tempo NRs. 40
Car, Jeep, Van NRs. 50
Mini-Bus NRs. 100
Bus, Truk NRs. 200
Digital Camera NRs. 30
Video Camera NRs. 200
Movie Shooting, Music Video and other Shooting
Music Video (Small cinema)  (Per day) NRs. 5000
National Movie (Big Cinema) (Per day) NRs. 10000
Joint Movie with National Investment (Per day) NRs. 15000
SAARC Movie (Per day) NRs. 25000
Foreigner Movie (Per day) NRs. 30000
Marriage and other Photo-Shoot (Per day) NRs. 2000
Rate of Garden Visit by Electric Vehicle
Nepalese people Below 10 Year Per Person (One round) NRs. 100
Nepalese people Above 10 Year Per Person (One round) NRs. 200
SAARC Country, Below 10 Year Per Person (One round) NRs. 200
SAARC Country, Above 10 Year Per Person  (One round) NRs. 400
Foreign Country, Below 10 Year Per Person (One round) NRs. 500
Foreign Country, Above 10 Year Per Person (One round) NRs. 1000
Students with Approved College/ School Letters Per Person (One round) NRs. 100

How to reach Godawari

If you are looking for a public bus It required to Travel to Lagankhel(Patan). You can reach Lagankhel from most part of main city. From there you have to take the bus to Godawari. There is no regular schedule but the microvan basically makes round all the time 7 days a week from 5 am to until 9 pm. If there is no traffice you will get Micro Van in every 10/15 minute.

The taxi might be expensive as they will add a waiting charge but if you took a day tour from a reasonable local company it will be USD 30-40 for the whole day.

Location

Godawari Botanical Garden is Located at Godawari Municipality ward no 3, Lalitpur.

Godawari to Phulchoki view

If you head toward the south from the main crossing along a partially sealed road and climb up 600m you come to the Phulchowki Mai Temple near the marble quarry. Damaged but not destroyed in the quake, this three-tiered pagoda temple is dedicated to one of the Tantric mother goddesses and the two large pools before the temple compound are fed by nine spouts (known as the Naudhara) that represent the nine streams that flow down from Phulchowki.

Godawari Phulchoki Hike
Godawari Phulchoki Hike Trail

To get to the top of Phulchowki, one of the options is a full-day hike along dirt tracks from Naudhara Kunda, or a very rough ride on a road only suitable for 4WDs, mountain bikes or motorcycles. Walking along the footpath is advisable as the main road goes right around the mountain taking the long and winding way up. The hike to the top may be tough but the rewards make it worth all that trouble. The breathtaking view from the top covers the entire Kathmandu valley and a wide panorama of mountains from Dhaulagiri in the west to Kanchenjunga in the east. During spring, the rhododendrons and other wildflowers are in bloom. You will also come across many orchids clinging on to the trees. At the top are also a communications tower and the other Phulchowki Mai temple. There are no eating facilities here so one has to bring food and water and walk in the company of fellow travelers for safety. The round trip will take about seven hours (four hours up and three hours down), so an early start in the morning is advised in order to be back before dark. It is also important to check the status of the trails before heading up as landslides occasionally block the road to the top. The drive up takes about 45 minutes.

Godawari Kunda, Godawari Temple

Instead of veering left towards the botanical gardens from the fork, if you stay on the road and continue for 100m, you arrive at the Godawari Kunda, a spring where the sacred water of the Godavari River pours down from the mountain. There is a Tibetan monastery nearby. A huge festival takes place at the Godawari temple once every 12 years in the autumn season when pilgrims from around Nepal arrive to bathe and gain merit.

Godawari TempleBishanku Narayan

Past Godavari village and partially hidden in a light forest up in the hillside is the Bishanku Narayan, one of the more important Vishnu temples of Kathmandu valley. The shrine lies in a natural cave set within the hillside. The walk is about an hour-long from the botanical gardens.

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