If you find Dhaka city’s most of the parks a bit too touristy and crowded for holidaying and merrymaking, National Botanical Garden is just the place where you need to be. Its vistas of sublime greenery and restorative silence, is sure to please toddlers, youth and the old alike.
Amidst the Dhaka city’s nauseating hustle and bustle, the Botanical Garden is a green sanctuary away from pollution and noise of the city, and an ideal destination for holiday outing.Once you step inside the largest garden of Dhaka city, you will see a maze of brick pathways snake into lush greenery, with Sal trees and Sundari trees along the length of walkways. After a brief walk, you will start to feel a serene vibes, as if you are in a deep forest. You can be forgiven for momentarily forgetting that you are actually in Dhaka city.
There are trees and there are trees, with around 56,125 species of trees, herbs, and shrubs, including a collection of aquatic plants. The garden, sprawling over 208 acres, is also a botanical laboratory and referred as Bangladesh National Herbarium. Hand-painted tin signboards hammered crookedly at their roots, identifying their local and Latin names. And to help you not to lose your track, there are signboards strategically placed to guide and inform you.
The garden is well planned and provides learning facilities apart from recreation. It is divided into 57 sections, and managed by the Forest Department under the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Wide arrays of plants are collected and preserved and their genome sequencing is carried out in the garden, which was established by the Forest Department in 1961.
With 84 hectares of well-designed space, the garden is an ideal place for families and tourists who love to spend some time amidst natural beauty. It’s a treasure in the city both for people seeking quiet green spaces and for all levels of botanists.
There’s also a beautiful rose garden with hundreds of varieties of rose. There are also 100 varieties of bamboo in the bamboo grove, cactus house, lily pond, Amazon lily pond, six lakes, tissue culture research centre, two nurseries, orchid house, two net houses, five shadow rooms, nine visitor’s sheds, three snake corners, two watchtowers, one artificial lake and a Padma pond.
Many visitors flock to the garden at the weekend to find a quiet corner for picnic, or just to stroll along the pathways and experience the sights and scents of the plants. Many young lovers can be found there — sitting close and still and silent.
The writer is a freelance contributor