This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "Shivaji Park" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (September 2014) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Shivaji Park
Urban park
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park
Full View Of Shivaji Park
Nickname(s): 
SP
Shivaji Park
Shivaji Park
Map Showing Shivaji Park in Mumbai.
Coordinates: 19°01′36″N 72°50′17″E / 19.026724°N 72.838047°E / 19.026724; 72.838047Coordinates: 19°01′36″N 72°50′17″E / 19.026724°N 72.838047°E / 19.026724; 72.838047
CountryIndia
StateMaharashtra
DistrictMumbai City
CityMumbai
Government
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyBrihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (MCGM)
Languages
 • OfficialMarathi
Area code(s)022
Websitewww.shivajipark.com

Shivaji Park, is a public park situated in Dadar, Mumbai. It is the largest park in the island city. Similar to the Azad Maidan and August Kranti Maidan (formerly Gowalia Tank Grounds), it is of historical and cultural value because of the political and social gatherings it has witnessed, both in pre- and post-independence Mumbai. The 113,000 square metres (28 acres) of open space is renowned as having been a cradle of the game of cricket in India. The park has a variety of sports facilities including cricket nets, Tennis court, a Mallakhamba area and a football pitch amongst others.[citation needed]

The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation renamed the park from Shivaji Park to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Park on 12 March 2020.[1]

Geography

Udyan Ganesh Mandir at Shivaji Park
Udyan Ganesh Mandir at Shivaji Park

The open ground or maidan is flanked around its edge by a katta, a simple continuous low kerb edging that forms a makeshift seat - a popular hangout for the young and old alike.[2] The paved walkway around this perimeter is crowded with joggers and people taking walks. The inner circumference of the park is 1.17 kilometres (0.73 mi). The maidan area covers 112,937 square metres (27.907 acres), more than half of which is occupied by 31 tenants, the largest being clubs such as the Shivaji Park Gymkhana, and the Bengal Club. The remaining part of the ground and open spaces is available to the public for sports and other activities.[3] Other structures dotting the periphery of the grounds include the Samarth Vyayam Mandir (a gymnasium), Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh (established in 1947), a children's playground, a park for the elderly called Nana-Nani Park, or Grandparents Park, the Scout's Pavilion, a Hindu temple dedicated to Ganesh, and a community library. The walkway is lined with large rain trees.

The most prominent entrance to the park is the one on the east side, intended only for pedestrians. A bust of Meenatai Thackeray, late wife of Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray, has been placed at this entrance. Previously a bust of Ram Ganesh Gadkari was present at the same spot. Bal Thackeray himself was cremated here.[4][5][6]

History

Political rally at Shivaji Park, 3 May 2008
Political rally at Shivaji Park, 3 May 2008

The park was established in 1925 by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, during British Rule. It was known as the Mahim Park until 1927, when it was renamed after the 17th century king of the region, Shivaji, at the behest of a municipal councilor, Avantika Gohkale.[7] The Shivaji Park Gymkhana, then known as the Dadar Hindu Gymkhana, opened its first Tennis court on the grounds in 1927 and inaugurated its pavilion in November 1931.[8]

Besides being a venue for gatherings of freedom fighters in British India, after independence in 1947, Shivaji Park was the focal point of the Samyukta Maharashtra Chalval (the struggle for a consolidated Maharashtra) that led to the present Indian state of Maharashtra being formed in 1960. During this period, the legendary writer, journalist, playwright, poet and social leader Acharya Prahlad Keshav Atre led this movement, addressing crowds of hundreds of thousands at this ground, earning him the title of the 'Lord of Shivaji Park'.

Shivaji Park has been integral to the political gatherings of the local political party Shiv Sena, and has witnessed numerous other political rallies. In May 2010, the Bombay High Court declared the ground a silence zone after local residents filed a public interest litigation suit in September 2009, complaining about the noise pollution in the area on account of political rallies and gatherings.[9]

Statue

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue at Shivaji Park
Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj statue at Shivaji Park

The statue of Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, found on the western side of the park is one of the very few statues in which he is depicted without having drawn out his sword. Instead, Shivaji is shown simply leading the way with his arm outstretched. Sculpted in 1966 using donations from the local population, the statue is a rare example of the pacifist policies of the then state government of Maharashtra. It was considered a sensitive issue by the government to let this statue not depict the usual confrontational posture of Shivaji, who had fought many battles against the Mughal Empire.[citation needed]

Cricket

Cricket Nets at Shivaji Park
Cricket Nets at Shivaji Park

Shivaji Park is renowned as the cradle of Indian cricket. It is home to eight cricket clubs, such as those of Anna Vaidya and Ramakant Acharekar, which produced several international cricket players for India.

Renowned Players:-

Some famous players who have trained here are Sachin Tendulkar, Ajit Wadekar, Vijay Manjrekar, Eknath Solkar, Chandrakant Pandit, Lalchand Rajput, Sandeep Patil, Ajit Agarkar, Pravin Amre, Vinod Kambli, Ajinkya Rahane and now Prithvi Shaw.

Surroundings

Shivaji Park Residential Zone with Shivaji Park ground and the Arabian Sea in the background
Shivaji Park Residential Zone with Shivaji Park ground and the Arabian Sea in the background

The area surrounding the park has many buildings dating back to the mid-1900s, and the Shivaji Park Residential Zone is some of the more sought-after real estate in Mumbai.[citation needed] The predominantly Marathi neighbourhood is home to well-known personalities from literature, theatre, commerce and sports.

Some prominent residents include:

See also

References

  1. ^ "On Shivaji Jayanti, Mumbais Shivaji Park gets new name". Outlook. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 12 March 2020.
  2. ^ "Urbanism: What makes Shivaji Park more accessible than Oval Maidan". Firstpost. 21 November 2011. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  3. ^ "BMC: Clubs have taken over half of Shivaji Park". The Times of India. 17 September 2014. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Bal Thackeray cremated, Uddhav lights funeral pyre; Mumbai bids tearful adieu". Zee News. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  5. ^ Rajput, Rashmi; Abhinav, Bhatt (18 November 2012). "Bal Thackeray's funeral procession on way to Shivaji Park; lakhs of supporters follow". NDTV. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Cremation at Shivaji Park at 5-6pm today". The Times of India. 18 November 2012. Retrieved 1 February 2021.
  7. ^ "The futile row over renaming Shivaji Park". Rediff.com. 12 December 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  8. ^ "Overview". Shivaji Park Gymkhana. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015. Retrieved 24 September 2014.
  9. ^ "Mumbai's Shivaji Park declared silence zone". The New Indian Express. 6 May 2010. Retrieved 24 September 2014.