Garden of Dreams - Pt 2
The Garden of Dreams, Kathmandu – Part Two
Upstairs, we sat to enjoy the peace and the sunshine. Over the wall evidence of the original palace.
One last look around, it was time to go back down the steps and continue bimbling.
We headed for the pavilion, back left.
More flowers and it was time for an ice cream.
The pavilion, a splendid place to buy our ice creams.
Bear with Laxmi and an odd looking Sphinx.
Laxmi the Goddess of Wealth and Abundance: Restored and reworked in 2005 by Sukhi Barber with funding from the British Embassy.
Originally conceived as Nike, the Greek goddess of victory, and inspired by her famous marble image in the Louvre in Paris, the statue was later remodelled and devoted to Laxmi. This explains the somewhat unusual styling, dress and triumphant posture for the generally benign Hindu goddess.
The re-dedication as Laxmi by Kaiser Shumsher is said to have been in gratitude to the goddess of fortune for having provided the means to create his Garden of Dreams in the early 1920’s: she had let him win one lakh rupees (just over a thousand pounds, at that time a lot of wonga) in a game of cowries against his father Chandre Shumsher, the then Prime Minister of Nepal.
The complete restoration of the statue, having lost its head and both hands during years of neglect, retains the physical power of Nike, while the lotus she carries, and the corns spilling from her other hand, are symbols of Laxmi’s purity and divine kindness.
Sphinx: In Egyptian myth, a sphinx has the body of a lion and either a human face, or the head of a ram or a hawk. She is noted for strangling anyone who cannot answer her unspoken riddle: what am I? Who are you? What truth do you see in my face?
The garden’s original sphinx, made of plaster and brick, lost her head and tail during years of neglect and vandalism. The restoration has left the question of her unknown face and head unresolved, although an old piece of plaster decoration found in the garden was added on top of the void to suggest a mystical mask or headgear.
Remodelled by “Guruji” Asta Raj Bajracharya in 2007, five thousand years after the first known Egyptian sphinx at the pyramids of Giza.
A water feature behind the main wall, we nearly missed it.
We see another chipmunk, this chap ran down a tree at super-quick speed, he stood on tip-toe and found something he fancied.
We watched him enjoy his morsel.
An Object of Transformation: Originally, this industrial cast-iron piece was the casing for the transformer of the garden’s electrical power supply. As an objet trauve, it now contains the photosynthesis transformation of solar energy air, water and seeds into plant life.
We were back where we started and enjoyed watching the children at the water fountain.
We loved the quote on the plaque as we left, ready to take on some shops.
ALL IN ALL A QUIET, PRETTY REFUGE IN THE CITY
A BEAUTIFUL, CHARMING AND CENTRAL CORNER OF PEACE