Unless you are the kind who jets off to Disneyland and Universal studios for the weekend, there is no reason why you should give this park a miss. It seems that the Yashwantrao Park in Sahakarnagar has had these exhibits for over a year now and surprisingly, the first time i came to know about it was sometime last week when i saw a photo in the newspaper.
Most of the modern tourist cities have a mini-world exhibit as they always attract tourists who want to experience all the sights in one place. It’s good that Pune has joined this list too, albeit on a smaller scale. But, the effort which has gone into the exhibits is definitely not on a small scale. The miniature structures are not half-done paper mash one, but very realistic ones made of metal/fiber. According to reports, designer Nitin Desai and Pune based architect Mahesh Nampurkar were involved in its making.
Location of the park: The park is located in Sahakarnagar, close to swargate. The entry is free for the park. A landmark is the Rajiv Gandhi Academy of e-Learning which is bang-opposite the park. But few things to note: Every second park, even those just few square metres big, is named Yashwantrao Chavan Park. In the quest for this park, i was led to 2 other parks of the same name. Also, asking directions by mentioning Wonder of the world, Statue of liberty, Eiffel Tower doesn’t help much! Directions to the park from Magarpatta City are given below:
The park has the following exhibits: Eiffel Tower (a big one!), statue of liberty, the leaning tower of Pisa, the Colosseum, Stonehenge, Taj Mahal and the pyramids. The park closes for the afternoon and opens at 4pm. The evening light is awesome for photography.
Of course, the exhibits are such that you can quench your thirst for the typical family-in-front photo or the cliched Pisa tower photo.
But this is not all. There is a 4d show within the park. You have to buy a ticket of 20 Rupees (per person) for this show. The park is free to enter though. I have been to many 4d shows and this is as good as any of the good ones. Considering the price, it is awesome. The show is 5 mins long and there are three of them – Count Dracula, Aladdin and Alice in wonderland which are shown in rotation over the days. Anyone > 3 yrs can go inside the theatre. It has got all te 4d elements – the spray of water, real bubbles floating around and the moving platform. Note: if you decide to keep your kind on your lap, they don’t give the extra 3d glasses for your kid.
There are also a few cartoon exhibits, the kind where you put your face in the space and get a photo taken. Btw, does anyone know what the tree (shown below) is?
But, all is not well. The PMC has done a great effort in getting this all up, but it will all go to waste if not taken care properly. It is good that the entrance is free as it gives an opportunity to all, irrespective of their economic status, to have a look. But it leads to a problem, the problem of plenty. The crowd is too big to control and there is just one guard , constantly blowing on his whistle, in an effort to get the kids off the exhibits.
What needs to be done…
- Put a small barricade around each exhibit such that it doesn’t hinder the view, but prevents people from climbing onto the exhibits
- Put information boards for all exhibits in Marathi, Hindi and English. it doesn’t help anyone if they come and just see “some buildings”. In fact, i saw an adult explaining to the kids, pointing at the tower of Pisa: “Kids, this is the eiffel tower and it is in America”. You have done most of the hard work, just get some explanatory boards near the exhibits”
- Have a guided tour of the exhibits. There is LOT of info that can be shared with kids on these wonders
On the whole, a good place to spend an evening.