The City of Temples, Bhubaneswar is also home to many beautiful recreational parks that are immensly popular amongst the city dwellers and tourists alike. As the winter is upon us, it’s worth taking a look at some of these parks that offer an opportunity to connect with the nature and culture.
Jaydev Vatika at Khandagiri is rather unassuming even if it’s located closely to two of the most popular tourist destinations i.e., Khandagiri and Udayagiri. But, with better care and strategic promotion, it has immense potential to attract visitors and tourists alike. Ever since its inception in 1992, the government has spent crores on development activities including plantation programmes of the park. The park has been named after the legendary poet Jayadev and the project was on the lines of the descriptions of different groves in Jayadev’s literary work Gitagovinda. More than Rs 35 lakh was spent for plantation programmes in the park between 1991-92 and 1995-96. Also, the OFDC and the Orissa Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC) have spent more than Rs 2 crore for the development of the park as per the description in the scriptures on Ekamra Vana (old Bhubaneswar) and Vrindavana as described in Gitagovinda.
The wonderful vegetation has 128 varieties of plants from Ekamra Vana and 40 from Vrindavana. Also, medicinal plants numbering over 10 lakh have been planted there. The park, which has the statues of poet Jayadev and Radha-Krishna, has become a tourist hub for travellers visiting Khandagiri and Udayagiri caves. The patch of forest inside the Jayadev Vatika is of historical value, as it has existed since the time of Kharavela.
How to Get There: The park is located near Khandagiri and Udaygiri Caves.
Indira Gandhi Park
A favourite spot of early morning joggers and people who wish to sit down and chitchat at a quiet place away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this park is well known as the place where former Prime Minister Mrs. Indira Gandhi gave her last speech. Full of lush green grass bed and rich flora, you will find a statue of the Late Prime Minister in the park decorated with fountains and flowers. Earlier the park used to be the parade ground of the city. The park is a favourite among the denizens for strolling, relaxation and recreation with friends and family. Conveniently located in the heart of the city and near the Market Building shopping centre, it is an ideal place to unwind after a hectic day of shopping with some mouth-watering of snacks and drinks.
How to Get There: The park is located on the Sachibalaya Marg (Unit-II), In front of State Secretariat and can be easily located.
Among the largest parks in the city, Ekamra Kanan is full of greenery with a lot of trees, flower gardens and shrubs filled across its length and breadth of this beautiful park. It is famous for its cactus garden with a huge collection of Cactii that attracts a healthy crowd throughout the year. With an entry fee of Rs 10 per person, the park is an ideal destination for belonging to all age groups. A delight for family-men, couples, kids; it surely is a popular place of interest among the denizens as well as visiting tourists. Spread across a vast area of 512 acres of land and a calming view of a lake besides it, the place is one of the most cost-effective locales where you can spend some quality time with your loved ones. The park also offers boating facilities, stores a pyramidal greenhouse and has playground and swings for children who come here with their parents.
How to Get There: The Park is located in IRC Village, Nayapalli and can be approached either from CRP Square or from Jayadev Vihar side via IRC Village.
Biju Patnaik Park
The Park that was formerly called Forest Park can be easily located in front of Capital Hospital. It is a wonderful stretch full of green right in the heart of the city. Developed by NALCO and maintained by BMC, this park is a favourite destination of older citizens as well as younger mass, who with their children frequently visit the place for morning walks as well as for some amusement and chitchats during the evening. A common ground for different age groups where you can find kids enjoying their outdoor games, senior people can be found engaged in thoughtful conversations. A life-size statue of Late Sri Biju Patnaik stands tall right at the centre of this beautiful park. Entry is free of cost and that is the reason for its huge popularity among the masses.
How to Get There: The park is located near Capital Hospital and can be reached easily from Bapuji Nagar and Unit VI area.
Regional Science Centre (Science Park)
Built in late 1989, the Park is a collection of scientific instruments and models for children to learn Science in a fun way. It has a games corner for children and a prehistoric theme park. The Park refreshes your basics and takes you back to your school days. The park has galleries on motion, mathematics, popular Science, a 3D film theatre, taramandal, non-fall bicycle, mobile science exhibition, , prehistoric life park with light & sound system, life science corner. Kids love this parkland museum with its giant dinosaurs and a 30-minute movie screened hourly. Other treats are the hands-on demonstrations of the laws of physics and displays on astronomy and insects. One can enjoy the whole place to himself if not in a group. Its hundreds of working models demonstrate scientific principles, gadgets of everyday use, factories, and natural phenomena. There is a park-cum-play area sprawling over 8 acres of lush green landscape. The park is closed on Mondays.
How to Get There: The Park is located in Acharya Vihar on Pt. Jawaharlal Marg and can be reached easily from Acharya Vihar side or from the Secretariat side.
Spread over five acres of land located in the heart of the city of Bhubaneswar, Ekamra Haat is one of the most sought-after places among the city dwellers but tourists alike. Offering a gateway to craft and textiles, Ekamra Haat is a hub for National Handicraft & Handloom with 42 shops and eight open display corners, which was conceived as direct marketing of artisan products to the consumers. Ekamra Haat showcase handicraft & handloom products at one place in all week-days from 10AM to 10PM. One can really discover the craft & textile products perfected by artisans and weavers from different parts of the State as well as from outside on display at Ekamra Haat. Stone carving, wood carving, appliqué, pattachitra, cane & bamboo, dhokra, bell metal, terracotta, palm leaf engraving, paper machie, art textiles such as bandha sarees from Sambalpur & Nuapatana are very often on display at Ekamra Haat.
How to Get There: Ekamra Haat is closely located near Ram Mandira at Janpath, about two kms away from Bhubaneswar Railways Station.
Would you recommend any other parks to be included in this list? Please, let us know your views on the comment section or email us your thoughts. We will update the post right away.
Dr. Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Park
Ideally located near the Satsang Mandir, this place is thronged by people from different walks of life who take out time to catch some fresh air between their hectic work schedules. Now take a break from the heat, to indulge in your daily gossips- ‘khattis’ with your family and friends or date someone or take out your kids for some fun time, this is a place where you can recharge yourself. A well maintained park with lush green surroundings, flower gardens, the park is better known after the Satsang Vihar temple belonging to the Anukul sect. which towers behind it. A careful maintenance has made the park sustain the dust and pollution that it has to bear due to its proximity to NH 5.
How to Get There: The park is located at Satsang Vihar, near Vani Vihar besides the NH5 and you can locate it very easily.
BDA Nicco Park
BDA Nicco Park has attracted scores of visitors over the years mainly due to its reputation as an amusement park and due to the boating facilities inside the park. While the park is a place of fun and frolic for young mass, it also attracts couples and older people as it provides an enchanting atmosphere. This amusement park has many joy rides to be enjoyed and remains crowded with enthusiasts in the evenings. You can fill-in with some salivating fast food served within the park limits. Off late the park has been a hot favourite for wedding receptions as it offers open air dinning facilities and has other attractions like musical fountains etc.
How to There: This park is located at Madhusudan Nagar, Near Regional College and can be reached very easily from Vani Vihar, Master Canteen and Acharya Vihar areas.