Baldha Garden: A Century of Tradition
Baldha Garden is a renowned botanical garden, located at Wari area of the old part of Dhaka city. Narendra Narayan Roy Chowdhury, a landlord of Baldha, started construction of the park in 1909, on 3.38 acres of land. Construction took about 8 years to complete. The garden has about 15,000 trees of 672 species, according to Banglapedia, the national encyclopedia of Bangladesh.
There are many species of trees in Baldha garden which are not found anywhere else in Bangladesh. Landlord Narendra has built Baldha Garden, right in the middle of Wari, in two parts: Tikatuli and Narinda. One side of the Garden is named Psyche and the other side called Cybele. Although Cybele is open to the public, access to the Psyche portion of Baldha Garden is limited. Not everyone is allowed to visit the Psyche portion as there are some rare species of trees that are likely to be affected by human contact.
Poet Rabindranath Tagore visited Baldha Garden and wrote his famous poem ‘Camellia‘, fascinated by the beauty of the flower Camellia japonica collected from Japan. That was in February 1926, when the poet came to Dhaka for the last time. Then he traveled to different places of Dhaka including Baldha Garden. The world-poet stayed at the ‘Joy House’ here and spent a night at Baldha Garden.
The flower ‘Camellia’ of this garden attracted the poet so much that, on his return to Calcutta on 27 Shravan 1339 BS, the poem he wrote about this flower is a famous and long poem, which has included in his book ‘Punoshcho’. Later a film was also made based on this poem.
One of the attractions of the garden is the ‘Century Plant’, whose flower blooms once a hundred years later. The Bawbab (Adansonia digitata) tree is also of historical value. Aborigines in the Central Africa used to mummify their deads by putting bodies in the hole of the tree long ago the pharaohs in Egypt.
Baldha Garden Ticket Price
There is usually a fee of 10 taka to enter Baldha Garden, the oldest and largest botanical garden in Dhaka. However, minors can visit the garden for 4 taka only, and students and researchers have to pay 5 taka to entrance fee to visit the garden.
Baldha Garden Visiting Hours
Baldha Garden has no close day, it is open to tourists seven days a week from 08:00 am to 05:00 pm. However, it takes a lunch break every day from 12:00 pm to 02:00 pm.
How to reach the Garden
You are advised to get off at Rajdhani Super Market by taking a Jatrabari-bound bus of 8 No. Gabtali Parihan, Balaka Seating Service or 36 No. Ark Paribahan from anywhere in Dhaka city. From here you can reach Baldha Garden by walking for five minutes along Hatkhola Road. You can also go directly from Gulistan by a rickshaw, the fare may be 30-40 taka.
Where to eat
Old Dhaka has a special reputation for food. You can choose the food items of your choice from Al-Razzak, Hajir Biryani, Kashmiri Kachchi, Beauty Boarding or Sultan’s Tea.
Nearby places of Interest
If you’re lucky having some free time, you can spend an afternoon at Rose Garden, Ahsan Manzil, Shaheed Minar, Medical College, Curzon Hall of Dhaka University, Doel Chattar, Sarwardi Udyan, Institute of Fine Arts, National Museum or TSC.