January 23, 2022 12:15:50 pm
Located on Gulmohar Road in Juhu, the Kishore Kumar Park greets visitors with a range of lush green hues right at its two entrances. With its highly organised and well-maintained areas, the park shelters a rich variety of flora.
Designed by civic activist and architect P K Das, the space is a horticultural treat, with roughly 20 types of indigenous plants, 15 species of floral plants and 10 commonly used medicinal herbs. Butterflies can be observed flitting around throughout the afternoon, flirting with the flowers. Stretched across an area of 8,989 sq m, the park is also home to magnificent trees which gently filter the sun’s rays, providing a mellow shade and cool breeze.
Listed under recreational ground reservation, the park fulfils the purpose to the fullest. Besides the inviting hues of green – which is no doubt a hallmark feature of the space – and the usual bevy of brisk walkers and joggers, the park is frequented by people of all age groups for various purposes.
At its heart, stands an expansive and elegant amphitheatre, enclosed by green lawn slopes, which offer a range of activities in the evenings. Skaters and skateboarders whiz past, leaping about and executing moves on the circular platform’s edges, while youngsters play ball or badminton in the centre. About once or twice a month, the park is visited by a group of senior citizens from the Juhu area who host karaoke sessions and belt out Kishore Kumar songs.
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Multiple open dome-like structures around the park, connected by pebble walkways, make space for more such activities. A group of friends uses one such spot to practise hip-hop dancing on a daily basis. “This space has been a big help to me,” says Sohan Munda, a regular of the group. “I’ve been coming here every morning and evening for the past four years. The garden staff is extremely helpful, and our friends and I come here to practise every day.”
As cherished as the park is, the land on which it stands was earlier meant to be used for a clubhouse, a substantial portion of which had even been erected. It was a decade of relentless efforts by citizen groups and activists, spearheaded by filmmaker and social activist Ashoke Pandit, that managed to get the plan for the clubhouse scrapped. The designer of the park was also instrumental in making this happen. A performance by table maestro Zakir Hussain at the park’s inauguration in 2017 marked the end of the successful agitation.
Today, the space serves as a great early morning start for joggers in Juhu, and is now commonly known as “the park” by everyone in the vicinity.
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