It is one of the oldest botanical gardens established in the country by an individual. Naturalist, philanthropist and poet Narendra Narayan Roy Chaudhury, landlord of the Baldah Estate, established the garden in 1909. It is divided into two units. The larger unit is named Cybele after the Greek nature goddess of fertility.
The garden is roughly rectangular and measures about 136 metres in length and 76 metres in width. The smaller unit, Psyche meaning 'soul', is approximately 100 metres long and 45 metres wide.
Narendra Chaudhury passionately enriched the garden with rare species of plants collected from different parts of the world until his death in 1943. Further expansion of the garden came to a halt after his death. This situation continued until 1962, when the garden was handed over to the government of that time and the Forestry Department took charge of it.
After Independence in 1971, the Department of Forestry began to work with renewed vigour for its improvement. Now most of its past glory has been restored with the addition of two new greenhouses and more civic amenities inside the garden. The Department of Forestry now manages the Baldah Garden as a satellite unit of the National Botanical Garden.
The collection of plants of the garden is classified into seven categories - orchids, cacti, conservatory plants, aquatic plants, roses, rockery and wall plants, arboretum, and miscellaneous flora. The garden has about 15,000 plants representing 672 species. Many of these are exotic and rare plants.
It is said that perhaps the richest collection of exotic plants in the country is found in the Baldah Garden. The flora of the garden is collected from over 50 countries. The garden has among its attractions the 'century plant,' which is believed to flower only once in a hundred years, and was seen in bloom a few years back. The Adansonia digitata tree, which adorns the garden, is historical. Central African aborigines used to seal their deads in holes dug into the cavity of the tree in order to mummify the body long before the days of the Pharaohs.
There is a big sundial in the Cybele unit of the garden, which shows the time of the day with precision on sunny days. It is still a surprise to the visitors, particularly children. A rest house-cum amphitheatre, called the Joy House, was built in the garden to enjoy the floristic beauty of the garden. Many celebrities have visited it. The Psyche unit of the garden houses several varieties of the aquatic plant Nymphea pubescens.
The national flower of the country which is called 'shapla' in Bangla, is in a section of the garden known as the 'Shapla House'. The rose garden in Cybele is famous throughout the subcontinent for its rich collection of roses.
One of the two greenhouses has a rich collection of orchids, aroids and conservatory plants. The garden is an exciting place for naturalists and tourists to visit and feast their eyes on the beauty of Nature. Many other people visit it to pass their leisure time.