Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka is a lively, fast-paced concrete jungle that’s rapidly on the rise. But tucked between the towering skyscrapers and jam-packed urban developments are a number of tranquil parks, gardens and green spaces to retreat to for a moment of quiet. Here are five green spaces in Dhaka where you can escape from the hustle and bustle.
This botanical garden was founded in the old part of the city in 1909 and is one of the oldest of its kind in the country. You’ll find plenty of lush foliage and rare plants, as well as a beautiful pond at the garden’s centre. Fun fact: Nobel Prize-winning poet Rabindranath Tagore composed his poem “Camellia” during a visit to Baldha Garden, after chancing upon the eponymous flower in bloom.
Right next to the National Parliament of Bangladesh, Chandrima Uddan – which means “Moonlight Park” – is a centrally located public park with broad walkways and plenty of space for you to stretch your legs. Be sure to stop by Crescent Lake, a large, bridged body of water, as well as the mausoleum of the former Bangladesh president Ziaur Rahman.
This near 30-hectare (70-acre) park and recreation area in the heart of the city is one of the largest green spaces in Dhaka. Towering banyan trees offer plenty of shade, making it a popular destination for exercise-loving locals, as well as for those wanting to catch a breather on their lunch break. Its garden also contains an expansive lake and is home to a wide array of vegetation – including flowers, shrubs and medicinal plants.
Gulshan Lake Park
In the wealthy residential neighbourhood of Gulshan, this green lung offers great sunset views and is an ideal oasis for a wind-down stroll or jog at the end of the day. The park consists of a large paved walkway (spanning just over 1km) surrounding a lake shaded by plenty of trees. There’s even a children’s corner with a small playground to keep the kids entertained as you take it all in.
National Botanical Garden
One of Dhaka’s most impressive green spaces is the National Botanical Garden in Mirpur. Here you’ll find the stunning National Herbarium, home to roughly 56,000 individual plants, including aquatic species, and rare and exotic varieties such as the African tulip tree and the little Mussaenda. There’s also a gorgeous rose garden, several ponds and an orchid house to enjoy. What’s more, the adjacent Bangladesh National Zoo is home to 165 different animal species, including Bengal tigers and barking deer.