Hardinge Park

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Coordinates: 25°36′05″N 85°07′45″E / 25.60135°N 85.12921°E / 25.60135; 85.12921

Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park
Hardinge Park
TypePublic Park
LocationPatna, Bihar, India
Area22 acres
Created31 January 1916; 103 years ago (1916-01-31)
StatusOpen year round

Hardinge Park[1][2] officially known as Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park[3] is a public park in the city of Patna built by British Raj in 1916.[3] The park was initially named after Viceroy Charles Hardinge and was built in his honour as he was instrumental in the creation of Bihar as a separate province.[3] The name was changed to Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park post independence. The park also hosted a garden party for then Prince of Wales - Edward VIII - in 1921 on his visit to Patna.[4] The park completed its centenary in 2016.[5]

History[edit]

On 28 September 1913 Hardinge Memorial Committee was constituted by state authorities to design and setup a park in Patna. A deed of grant was signed between Patna collector and Hardinge Memorial Committee on 8 September 1915 for development of a public park as Hardinge Park to be maintained by the committee.[6] The Park was officially opened to the public on 31 January 1916 by the then Lieutenant-Governor of Bihar and Orissa, Edward Albert Gait.[3] It was built in honour of Charles Hardinge, 1st Baron Hardinge of Penshurst and was named after him. At the opening of the Park Lt Governor had also unveiled a 5 tonne life-size bronze statue of Lord Hardinge.[3] The statue was created by renowned British sculptor Herbert Hampton in London.[3] After protests in late 1960s the statue was removed from the park and placed in Patna Museum. The park was also the location of Garden party for then Prince of Wales - Edward VIII - during his Patna visit in 1921. The party was hosted by Bihar Landholders' Association led by Maharaja of Darbhanga.[7]

The park is one of the oldest parks in the city of Patna. The name of the park was changed to Shaheed Veer Kunwar Singh Azadi Park after Kunwar Singh who was a notable leader during the Indian Rebellion of 1857. The park used to be the location of Flower Shows in Patna for many years.[3]

Design and Location[edit]

The park is located on north of Hardinge Road and Delhi-Howrah railway line in East-West direction.[6] It is spread over an area of 22 acres[3] and is somewhat triangular in shape. The park is dotted with ornamental fountains and perpendicular pathways are present across the area of the park. The pedestal of the bronze statue still stands in the park.[3]

Present Day[edit]

The park has not been well maintained by the government and is in a state of neglect.[6] It was recently being used as a land fill and garbage dump by the municipal corporation.[6] Bihar Government plans to redevelop the park as a model park. The plan includes recreational facilities like toy train, musical fountains and a small boating space. Sporting facilities in its adjoining open area is also on the plan.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hardinge Park to get a facelift - Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  2. ^ "Joggers' paradise opens gate". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i India, Press Trust of (31 January 2017). "Patna's historic Hardinge Park turns 101". Business Standard India. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  4. ^ "Breathing life into century-old park in Bihar capital". Deccan Herald. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  5. ^ a b "At 100, Hardinge Park gets new lease of life". The Economic Times. 2016. Archived from the original on 6 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Tripathi, Piyush Kumar (2 September 2013). "Garbage garb for key park". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 18 June 2018. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
  7. ^ Alam, Jawaid (1 January 2004). Government and Politics in Colonial Bihar, 1921-1937. Mittal Publications. ISBN 9788170999799.