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Hanging Garden

Monday, March 26, 2012

Recently I had a pleasant time at Hanging Gardens, also known as Pherozeshah Mehta Garden, and Kamala Nehru Garden, perched on the top of Malabar Hill. From here one can get a view of the Girgaum Chowpatty Beach, the Arabian Sea and Marine Drive, that shimmering stretch that is so well-known as the Queen’s Necklace. The closest railway station is Grant Road on the Western railway line.

Starting off from home, I bought a train ticket to Grant Road. As always, the trains were crowded. I had a tough time getting into the train. It was certainly very difficult. I alighted at Grant Road station. Since the last time I got off at Grant Road station, there have been a number of changes here. One major change that directly helped me was the construction of a skywalk, which connected directly to the overhead bridge connecting the east to the west. The bridge saved me a lot of legwork, I can tell you that.

Entrance to Hanging Garden

Skywalks have been built outside many stations in Mumbai, but I haven’t seen many people using them. They are mostly filled with couples, drug addicts and, you won’t believe this, even cows. I once saw a cow on the skywalk outside Andheri station on the east which connects to Gokhale Bridge.
Anyway, I certainly made use of the skywalk and reached Grant Road Bridge. I crossed over and walked on the right hand side. I came across two bus stops there. One of them caters to buses going to Kamala Nehru Park. Bus numbers 41, 42 and 105 ply to Kamala Nehru Park. Alternatively there are taxis and private vehicles that can take you there.
When I travel, I always prefer to use public modes of transport like trains, buses etc as I get an opportunity to interact with people. Plus you get to really experience a place.

View of Hanging Garden

I bought a ticket to Kamala Nehru Park at a cost of Rs.7. As the bus rumbled along the narrow roads, I saw many old buildings there had been built in the British era. I saw Wilson College, Girgaum Chowpatty. Now we were going up the hill and on my right-hand side, I could see a hillock behind the buildings. “Is that Malabar Hill?” I asked the bus conductor. He replied, “Yes.”
I noticed that the bus was going to Walkeshwar. I had been to Walkeshwar before when I visited Ban Ganga. So I inquired again with the bus conductor and he told me that the bus goes via Walkeshwar as there is no direct turn for buses and heavy vehicles on the way to Malabar Hill as the road is very narrow.


Hanging Gardens and Kamala Nehru Park are directly opposite each other. I entered Hanging Gardens. There was no guard positioned at the entry point nor was there an entry fee to view the Garden.
I started my photography session with a bed of flowers there. The flowers were in white, light and dark pink shades and looked lovely amid the bed of green leaves surrounding them.
The park was really well maintained. A round of applause for the keepers of this garden.

Me amongst the Flowers

A memorial stone in the garden stated that the reservoir was laid in 1880 and was extended to hold 30 million gallons of water in 1921. The park is open from 5 am to 9 pm every day.
It was around 3 pm, and the garden was not so crowded. I saw a few couples who had come to spend some time in the park. Also a few families seemed to be out on a picnic. Most of them seemed to be out-of-towners who had come to see Mumbai. They were having lunch. It was certainly the most perfect ambience to enjoy lunch, sitting on the green grass below with the blue sky above and having your lunch surrounded by greenery. A few people were having a short nap.

Animals pruned out of the creepers
There were various types of flowers growing there. I immediately got busy with my photo session. There were flowers everywhere all around. For a moment I felt as if I was in a valley of flowers, somewhere outside Mumbai. The feeling of being one with nature was truly beautiful and I was making the most of it.

There was a watch tower in the garden which gave the time — the correct time. The garden was beautifully cut and pruned, and the green grass, the flowers and the bushes were a nice sight to see.

Old Woman's Shoe vs Me and my shoe

Bushes were trimmed in the form of animals. Creepers were made to grow at the entrances of mini gardens. These creeper doors looked quite nice as the creepers had been neatly trimmed.
The benches were vacant as it was afternoon. Some portions of the park were being redone, and I am assuming that the next time I am back; they too will be as beautiful as the ones that are currently on display.

Chowpatty Beach from Kamla Nehru Park

After shooting plenty of flowers, I decided to head to Kamala Nehru Park on the other side of the road.
Kamala Nehru Park is similar to Hanging Gardens in terms of the maintenance of the park. It is smaller than Hanging Gardens. Occupying an area of 4000 square feet, the park is named Kamala Nehru after the wife of the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru.

View of Kamla Nehru Park

There is an Ashoka Chakra placed on a narrow cylindrical stand in the garden. A little ahead is a huge shoe, a storey tall, looking exactly like the boots I was wearing? This place is very popular for school picnics.
The shoe is known as the Old Woman’s Shoe. I had a tough time climbing up the spiral ladder. It was very narrow and I am huge, and of course the shoe is designed for small children to play in. Somehow I managed to climb up the ladder and then back down. The view from up was not that amazing. All you get to see is the garden in front. The shoe from the inside is subject to the graffiti of some losers who had been here, who have sketched their names all over the inside. Children of course aren’t bothered with such things, and they were having a grand time in the shoe.

Children in the Park

I then headed off to the stretch from where I got the best view of the day. I could see Girgaum Chowpatty beach with the water lashing out on the shore, a few fishing boats in the water, and the beautiful Marine Drive.
I then moved on to see the kids section of the Park. A board states, “Only for children below 12 years of age,” but I saw grownup boys playing on the rides here. In fact they broke it as they were playing.
After seeing these gardens in their entirety, I admired the way they had been maintained. Again a round of applause for the keepers of these parks. The walk in the park was nice and refreshing for me and I enjoyed myself here. I recommend this park to everyone in Mumbai.


Laxman said...

Nicely written & well described. Good.. Keep it up !!!

Laxman said...

Good. Nicely described.... !!!


Nicely detailed out.
You gave us an opportunity to explore a nice place in our vicinity..

Anonymous said...

Good one…

Unknown said...

Thanks Guys

Anonymous said...

Hey...Nice post...Thanks!

seema said...

Nicely written & well described.
Thanks for detailed information..

Unknown said...

Thanks Seema

Suvarna said...

I have come across many blogs about the places outside Mumbai. Bcoz most of the people tend to ignore the places around themselves. Even myself but now I have also started exploring places worth seeing in Mumbai and your blog is a great piece of information. Good Job Merwyn. Do keep exploring and writing!


Suvarna said...

I have come across many blogs about the places outside Mumbai. Bcoz most of the people tend to ignore the places around themselves. Even myself but now I have also started exploring places worth seeing in Mumbai and your blog is a great piece of information. Good Job Merwyn. Do keep exploring and writing!


Anonymous said...

Great article.

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