Thanks to haphazard urbanisation, Kathmandu valley has become a jungle of concrete for the past few decades. Public parks having spacious areas full of greenery, play areas, benches, swings, slides, see-saws, beautiful sculptures and structures are an oasis in this jungle of concrete. In addition, public parks have also become a necessity for the well-being of the urban societies of the Kathmandu valley.
Public parks are probably the best places to pass leisure, roam around, wait for someone, do exercise, take children to play, sunbath, spend quality time with friends and families and a lot more. So, where can the Kathmandu valley dwellers go to escape the hustle and bustle of urban life and enjoy the fabulous outdoors?
Here is a list of 10 best public parks in the Kathmandu valley:
1. Ratna Park
Ratna Park, recently renamed as Sankadhar Udyan, lies in the heart of Kathmandu, between Ranipokhari and Tundikhel. This park was established by the late King Mahendra in 1964 and is named after his second wife, Queen Ratna.
One needs to pay certain fees to take an entry to this park as of now. The fees vary for students, Nepalis and foreigners. One can also enjoy free wifi in this park along with greenery, swings and gardens.
2. Bhugol Park
Bhugol Park is situated just opposite to the oldest shopping mall in Kathmandu, Bishal Bazaar in New Road, one of the busiest market hubs of the country. Bhugol Park, the first public park in Kathmandu, was established as a monument to the severe 1934 earthquake. There is an earthquake monument pillar in this park.
One can enter and enjoy in the park for free. During the morning times, most of the people are seen either doing exercise or yoga in groups in this park.
3. United Nations Park
United Nations Park, popularly known as the UN Park, is situated on the bank of Bagmati river in Jwagal, Lalitpur. This park is stretched from the Shankhamul Ghat to the Teku Dobhan in the area of 1,576 ropanis.
One can get the entry inside the park for free and indulge in the greenery of this spacious park.
4. Amideva Buddha Park
Many know this park as Swoyambhu Park with three giant golden statues of the Buddha. This park is situated at the foothill of the Swoyambhunath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Kathmandu.
This park also has many beautiful gardens, great stupas, and big prayer wheels. There is no entrance fee to get into this park and sit and pray.
5. Tribhuvan Park
This park is perhaps the most famous picnic spot in the Kathmandu valley. This park was established in 1972 by the King Birendra in the name of his grandfather King Tribhuvan. The park is situated at Thankot by the side of the highway at the foot of the Chandragiri Hill.
This park is enriched with diversified trees and flowers and playing grounds in the sloppy landscape. The entrance fees vary as per activities and people (students and general people).
6. Narayan Chaur
This park is officially known as Nandikeshwor Bagaicha and is situated at Naxal. This park is spread over an area of about a hector. The once garbage dumping site has now been renovated into the beautiful park surrounded by the roads and buildings on all sides.
There is a circular pavement where one can walk or jog around the park, and huge grassy ground to sit on and enjoy. There are also slides, see-saws and swings for the children. There is no entrance fee.
7. Shankhamul Park
This park was built by the Non-Resident Nepali Association in the Shankhamul Ghat area at the bank of Bagmati River. There is a statue of a conch shell (Shankha) in the park. Along with this, there are lovely gardens and many benches to sit on and chitchat with friends or families.
One can also just walk around or do jogging and exercise there. One can enter the park without having to pay any entrance fees.
8. Switzerland Park
Switzerland Park is situated in Nagarjun municipality-7, near Kalanki of Kathmandu, on a hilltop. Switzerland Park has recently turned into one of the famous picnic destinations for the Kathmandu dwellers. This park has a steep slope surrounded by a dense forest of pines, rhododendrons and many berries.
From the hilltop, one can enjoy the scenic beauty of the Chandragiri and Kirtipur areas. One need not pay any entrance fee to enter the park.
9. Shankha Park
Shankha Park is situated at Dhumbarahi near Chappal Karkhana beside the Ring Road. There are two temples of Shiva and Ganesh. Likewise, there is also the facility of public toilet in this park.
One can enter the park for free and enjoy. one mainly visit the park for picnicking, meeting with friends and families, doing exercise and yoga. There is also a lovely garden with trees and flowers and many squirrels.
10. Balaju Park
Balaju Park is also known as Baisdhara Park. Located at Bypass, Balaju at the foot of dense Raniban, this park is home to many monkeys, fish, and turtles. There are 22 waterspouts, from which this park got its name Baisdhara.
The beautiful gardens, trees, ponds, temples, huge reclining Lord Vishnu statues on the water are major attractions of this park. Before the 2015 earthquake, there was a swimming pool in the park as well, considered the oldest swimming pool in Kathmandu. One has to pay a certain amount to enter the park. And, the fees vary between students and others.