New Town Eco Park
|New Town Eco Park|
Lush green grass along the lake at Eco Park
|Location||New Town, Kolkata|
|Area||480 acres (190 ha)|
|Opened||29 December 2012|
|Designer||Pradeep Sachdeva Associates|
|Operated by||West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation|
|Parking||2 lots, 350 total vehicles|
New Town Eco Park (officially Prakriti Tirtha) is an urban park in Rajarhat, Kolkata. The park is situated on a 480 acres (190 ha) plot and is surrounded by a 104 acres (42 ha) waterbody with an island in the middle. The park was conceptualised by Chief Minister of West Bengal, Mamata Banerjee in July 2011. West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) is the overarching body coordinating the construction of the park, along with different other government bodies responsible for implementation of different works inside the park. The park has been divided into three broad parts; 1) ecological zones like wetlands, grasslands, and urban forest, 2)theme gardens and open spaces, 3)and urban recreational spaces. The Eco Park is further divided into different sub-parts according to the different types of fauna planted. According to the plan, the park will have different areas like wild flower meadows, a bamboo garden, grasslands, tropical tree garden, bonsai garden*, tea garden, Cactus Walk*, a heliconia garden*, a butterfly garden, a play area and an amphitheatre(*-yet to be added). Further, there is plan to develop an eco-resort in public-private partnership, and will also include an area where handicrafts from different part of the state will be exhibited. The park was inaugurated on 29 December 2012 by Mamata Banerjee.
The Eco park is located along the Major Arterial Road in Action Area - II of New Town, Kolkata at . The park is surrounded by the Kolkata International Convention Center and the Kolkata Museum of Modern Art on the North, the upcoming Central Business District and International Financial Hub on the east, and existing human settlement of Jatragachi/Hatiara on the South and West.
According to the masterplan made by Bengal Urban Infrastructure Development Limited, the park has been divided into the following areas:
- Active Zone - Consisting of Visitor center, Restaurants, Food courts, Urban Museum, Crafts Haat
- Theme Area (North) - Consisting of Maidan (open field), Amphitheatre, children's play area, Chinese garden, formal garden, Bonsai garden, Cactus walk, Butterfly garden, heliconia garden and mist house and bamboo garden
- Theme Area (South) - Play area, tea plantation, Water garden and utility area
- Lake Zone - A bridge connecting the island, Bengali restaurant, Sculpture court, Lakefront Promenade, Wildflower meadows
- 3 different Eco-zones consisting of wetlands, grasslands, tropical and mixed-moist deciduous forests.
The Eco Tourism Park is opened on :
- Tuesday to Saturday = 12:00PM TO 08:30PM
- Sunday & Holidays = 12:00PM to 08:30PM
The park is closed on Monday for maintenance.
Park entry and Ticket counter closes at 07:30PM.
Entry charge is Rs 20/-.
‡== SETTING ==
|Glass House on Sabuj Sathi||“Sabuj Sathi” is the name of an Island. This island is in centre of the huge lake of Eco Park. Its area is 7 acres. It can be accessed only by boat. This is an uninhabited island. On this Sabuj Sathi Island an amazing glass house has been built. All four sides of this 2,800 square feet building is made of glass. The 360° view of the Eco Park across the lake through the glass walls is simply spectacular and awe-inspiring. There are three open-air viewing galleries, green lawn and paved pathways in the island. More than 100 persons can assemble in Sabuj Sathi Island and glass house and its surroundings for official, corporate or family programmes. Wedding / Birthday parties, product launches and brand promotion can be done in a tranquil environment that is possible only on the zero populated island like Sabuj Sathi in Eco Park.|
|Amphitheatre||Artfully conceived, the semi-circular open gallery can hold up to 2,000 people. The stage-greenroom complex is, as if, 'floating' on water. The adjoining food gallery has interesting brick-twisted pillars that I have not seen elsewhere. The whole construction has been done by KMDA. The amphitheatre was inaugurated by Minister Firhad Hakim on 22 September 2014 at 5 pm.|
|Lake Front Promenade||Spine of the Eco Park, the Promenade is a paved, coconut-tree lined pathway designed for the visitors to Enjoy the beauty of the 112 Acre water body that defines the Park.|
|Rabi Aranya||With reference to the spirit and ambience of Santinikean Ashram, Rabi Aranyafeatures trees and plants mentioned by Tagore in his literary works. Other elements of the garden include, among others, a commemorative pavilion, walkways, seating area, lotus pond, etc.|
|Tropical Tree Garden||As the name suggests, this zone caters specifically to tropical trees. Even with the recently planted trees, one can get the aura of a tropical forest, especially a Bengal one, in the middle of New Town.|
|Wild Flower Meadow and Formal Garden||A flower lover’s zone, these two areas will have varieties of both garden and wild flowers to enjoy. Near to one of the food kiosks and overlooking the lakefront promenade, a walk among the meadow and the garden are highly solicited.|
|Rose Garden||This space is a long stretch of walk with varieties of roses planted along, colourful fountains sprinkling by, sculptures to feast the eye and occasional benches to rest a little.|
|Artist’s Cottage||Overlooking the flower lake and breathing fresh air from the rose garden behind, this cottage is poised to be a dream destination to any poet, singer or painters to instigate their creative urges|
|Eco Children’s Park||With fountains, play areas, sculptures and elevated platforms connected by causeways, this area is a dynamic space intended to stimulate play and learning experiences in a garden setting.|
|Formal Garden 2||Located between the upcoming Visitor Centre and Eco Children’s Park, Formal Garden 2 explores the concept of vertical gardening amidst a flat landscape.|
|Graffiti Walls||The wall along the South Parking has been rejuvenated by colourful paintings. The two sides of the wall had been taken up by two eminent artists of our era - JogenChowdhury and Subhaprasanna and transformed into beautiful canvases of artwork.|
|Butterfly Garden||The garden is poised to consist of a large dome to enclose a plant habitat consisting of with different species of flowering annuals and perennials that support a large range of butterflies organised around a circular body of water.|
|Play Area||Right next to the Butterfly Garden, the Play Area offer learner’s golf courses amidst a green landscape.|
|Bamboo Garden||The Bamboo Garden is a specialised garden showcasing multiple varieties of bamboo. The planting effects is designed to create a variety of experiences through imaginative bamboo plant mixes with species ranging from giant varieties to short grasses.|
|Fruits Garden||A thematic zone dedicated to the Bengal delicacy of fruits, to showcase the bountiful nature of this part of earth and to encourage nature learning through identification of fruit bearing trees.|
|Food Court||The Food Court will provide more affordable dining options to the visitors. Around 20 food stalls are being arranged in a cluster around a square courtyard that also has four dining pavilions.|
|Adda Zone||Placed opposite to the Artist’s Cottage, the Adda Zone consists of simple seating arrangements overlooking the spectacular view of the lake and the musical fountains.|
|Musical Fountain||As the name suggests, fountains, music and laser shows have been prepared on the Northern banks of the lake. The view is visible from all around the Park when the fountains start showering in the evenings and laser shows tell storeys on the water screen.|
|Tea Garden||A touch and feel of Darjeeling has come up near Gate No. 1. This zone includes winding pathways through a tea plantation area – complete with a composting plant.|
|Mask Garden||Near the Northern parking lot and adjacent to the tea garden, this new zone has masks from various districts of West Bengal, then various states of India and finally from various countries of the world.|
|Eco Island||A vast area of 480 acres of green terrain surrounding a water body is being developed in Eco Park which has been opened by the Hon’ble Chief Minister, West Bengal on 29 December 2012 for the public. Within Eco Park there is an island named ‘Sabujsathi’. The island is in centre of the huge lake of Eco Park comprising an area of 7 acres which is accessible only by boat. This is an uninhabited island. On this Sabujsathi Island an amazing glass house has been built. All four sides of this 2,800 square feet building is made of glass. The 360° view of the Eco Park across the lake through the glass walls is simply spectacular and awe-inspiring. There are three open-air viewing galleries, green lawn and paved pathways in the island. Apart from the magnificent Glass House, there are also 22 well-furnished double bedded cottages along with one Cafeteria in the island.
A great number of persons can be assembled in Sabujsathi Island having the facilities as mentioned above for official, corporate or family programmes. It is the ideal place for the purpose of organizing any family parties or for any corporate programs like conference, product launches and brand promotion can be done in a serene environment that is possible on the zero populated island like Sabujsathi in Eco Park.
|Paddle Boating||Paddle boats are available at a charge of Rs. 100/- for 4 persons for 30 minutes. The jetty is located near Gate No. 2.|
|Shikara Riding||From the same location as above, Shikara riding can be availed at a charge of Rs. 150/– for 4 persons for 30 minutes. Life vests are mandatory for all kinds of boating.|
|Duo Cycling||Charges Rs. 100/- for 2 persons for 30 minutes.|
|Speed Boat||Capacity 2/25 heads. Charges Rs. 50/- per person per round.|
|Bird Watching||Charges Rs. 10/- per person.|
|Gun Shooting||Charges Rs. 50/- for 10 shots.|
|Archery||Charges Rs. 50/- for 5 arrows.|
|Kayaking||Adventure lovers can go for Kayaking at a charge of Rs. 150/– for 30 minutes. The jetty is located near Rabi Aranya.|
|Land Zorbing and Water Zorbing||Eco Park offers the exciting activities of land and water zorbing near Rabi Aranya. The charges are Rs. 150/– per person, for 200 mtrs land zorbing & 15 mins water zorbing.|
|Cultural Events||The Open Air Theatre inside Rabi Aranya comes to life on Saturday evenings when cultural activities such as music, dance, drama, are held. Additionally, there are intermittent events updates of which may be found on HIDCO/Eco Park website.|
|Gaming Zone||gaming Zone has been developed in Bamboo Garden to attract game lover. The setup has 12 gaming pcs with best Games like Need for Speed, Call of Duty, Counter strike, Age of Empire, Angry Bird and many more games. Charges are Rs 50 per hour per head.|
|Parking Lots||Presently there are two parking lots for Eco Park. The old one near the Eco Children’s Park has capacity to park about 100 cars, while the newly developed place near the Southern entrance has over 250.
Parking charges are as below:
|Eco Carts||There are Eco Carts to ferry passengers between Gate No. 1 and 5 with sitting capacity of 5-9 passengers.
|Toilets||Toilet facilities are available for free in three locations. There are two toilet blocks near two parking lots and a bio-toilet set at the junction of Rabi Aranya and Wildflower Meadow.|
|Food Kiosks||Snack and water are available for purchase at intermittent locations inside the park – especially since outside food and beverages are not allowed inside.|
On 5 January 2013, Vokatta - a kite festival was organized by Benchmark Developers Pvt. Ltd, in association with HIDCO (West Bengal Housing Infrastructure Development CorporationLimited) in Eco Park ground. There was an open invitation for all to participate after 11 AM onwards.
On 5 January 2014, again Vokatta-2014 was organised by Benchmark NewTown Kolkata International Kite Festival Trust, In co operation with WBHIDCO. Kite fliers from the UK, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, the USA, Singapore and Malaysia participated in Vokatta 2014. National kite fliers from Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Kochi, Mumbai and Rajkot also joined the festivity, This year, the emphasis was on Fancy kites. Hot Air Balloon was another attraction.
- Chakraborti, Suman (17 January 2012). "Tourism hub at wetland". Times of India. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Development of Eco-Resort within Eco Park in New Town, Kolkata". WBHIDCO. Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- "Island of green". The Telegraph. 3 August 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Rajarhat eco park opens on Dec 29". Times of India. 26 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
- "CM inaugurates eco-tourism park". Asian Age. 30 December 2012. Retrieved 30 December 2012.
- , Eco Park Schedule, Guide Map & Rides Rate Chart.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to New Town Eco Park.|