Tranquil Beauty of Baldha Garden
Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, is known as a destination that boasts a unique culture, a place where history can be explored by visiting many noteworthy sites and attractions. Over the years, thousands of tourists have come to Dhaka to visit the mosques and museums that hold the secrets to the city’s past. But amongst the bustling traffic, the hurried steps of pedestrians and the fast growing city with high-rise buildings shooting up from the city’s pavements, there are attractions such as the Baldha Garden where Bangladesh can be discovered in beauty and tranquility.
The Baldha Garden was established in 1904 by a well known property owner named Narendra Narayan Roy. He decided to begin a small botanical garden on the estate, which is more than three acres in size. After his death in 1943, the garden was left to fend for itself, until the forestry department took over the deteriorating garden in 1962. Over the years the botanical garden had grown into a collection of rare plants, some of which have been imported from fifty countries, under the care of Narendra Narayan Roy. Today, his vision can still be relived on the pathways within the gardens that take visitors onto a magical journey of peace and beauty.
The garden is home to approximately eighteen thousand plants that are made up of more than eight hundred different species of exotic and indigenous plants. There are two sections to the garden, namely the Cybele and Psyche parts of the Baldha Garden. In the Psyche section, visitors will find the lily pond, the massive sundial and Sankandidhi amongst the varied selection of plants such as blue nympheas, climbing ivy, papyrus, aloes and amajan lotus. Five hundred different trees can be seen in the garden, with four hundred creepers, over two thousand orchids, aquatic plants, cacti and beautiful ornamental trees. The plants that have been imported come from countries such as Sri Lanka, Japan, tropical islands, African countries, Australia and Java.
Unfortunately, due to the rapid expansion of the city, the survival of some of the rare and endangered plants hang in the balance. The ever increasing numbers of high buildings are beginning to block the sun and the threat of pollution from the encroaching city is smothering the water supply to the Baldha Garden. Authorities and caretakers of the garden are trying to find a solution to the problems, in aid of conserving the garden and the treasures it holds. It is not only an attraction for visitors and a vital research tool for botany students, but it is a part of the history of Bangladesh and a protector of its rare vegetation.