Saturday, May 21, 2011

FREEDOM PARK, BANGALORE





Prologue :   My earlier visits to freedom park met with disappointment with regard to timings, i got to know that this park has strange and odd timings for visit, but exceptions are made for rallies and protests i presume.  Once during the Bangalore Photowalk session the park was closed at 9.30 am on Sunday.  Another time i went in the noon @ 2pm and found it was closed.  So friends this time i wanted to unravel the public timings for this visiting this place :

Timings displayed on the notice board :   4.30pm to 7.30pm official. 


Nothing official about it, probably a concept derieved from Pepsi advt, i mean the timings unofficial for the morning joggers and walkers are 6.30 am to 9.00 am.  Probably meeting one of the official objectives of giving the citizens of  Blore with a breathing lung space.  So guys now we have both official and unofficial timing as guide to visit the Freedom park.  Plan your visit according and you will not be disappointed. The iconic Sachin bashing the ball is featured on the main wall at the enterance giving a fun concept.


The idea of designing Freedom park germinated with inspiration from Hyde Park which covers more than 625 acres including the Kensington park in London.  Basically these parks are designed to hold demonstration, rallies and protests with public speakers spread across the park.  Probably the Amphitheatre is designed as a stage for the purpose of speakers making their ideas known in an open air atmosphere. 
Freedom park is located in the earstwhile Central Jail on an area of  21 acres of land, out of which another 3 acres is getting redeveloped by BBMP after a wall collapse.  I hope this area has two or three tier of underground parking facility which can house 5000 vehicles for protestors, otherwise the purpose of this park will be defeated, and Palace grounds will still be used as rallying point.

Yesterday i had three options before me, either to see a movie beginning at 4.30 pm, for which i was late or get back to my house, or to another attend program.  But i chose to visit Freedom park as a long wish to be fulfilled. 




This place was orginally housing the prisoners, who were conspiring against the British rulers beginning from the first war of  Indian Independence in 1857.  There are three huge barracks for housing common prisoners, an a VIP enclosure to house high profile prisoners.  The original capacity of the jail during 1863 ( 1866 ) when it was constructed was to house 300 prisoners which was slowly expanded to accomodate 800 prisoners.  Finally when the headcount exceeded 2000 nos the govt decided to move the prison to a new premise. details of prison admin :
http://dspace.vidyanidhi.org.in:8080/dspace/bitstream/2009/3531/7/KUV-2001-001-6.pdf

The central watch tower was used to keep a round the clock vigil over the activities over the innmates.  This monument gives a 360 degree circular axis to secure the place from prisoners creating a rukus.  Earlier the boundary wall was scaling more than 16 feet.  During the emergency L.K.Advani was one among the VIP prisoners who was housed in Central jail, naturally he was the ideal person to inaugrate this premise as a symbol of  FREEDOM along with the Chief minister and Home Minister of  Karnataka.



This premise consists of  Asoka Pillar, Amphitheatre, Jail Museum, Sculpture court, Barracks, Watch Tower, Children playing area, People Courtyard, Water Fountain, Book Museum, Cafeteria which was not operational during visit, Art and Craft Bazaar, Toilets, and Parking space.  There are supposedly two entries into freedom park, one is from Shesadri Road, opp Maharani college premise leading to Gandhi Bazaar, which is main, and the other one is supposed to be from Ramachandra Rao road.


Dummies of the prisoners housed is featured in the VIP barrack is displayed.  Maybe some of them were reading and writing too in this premise.







When i visited a classical program was in progress, particularly weekend there are some cultural activities, today a drama is supposed to be enacted in the open amphitheatre.
The best part of the Freedom park is that it is currently free, but how long it is going to be free is the issue, because ticket counters are already in place.  Even the parking is currently free, so guys if you have some spare time to kill, nothing like visiting the old bangalore central jail and checking out the concept of  Freedom.  I experienced that the concept of  Architect couple Soumitra Ghosh & Nisha Mathew Ghosh with a budget 17.35 crores has really yielded an aura of  Freedom amongst the concrete jungle of Gandhinagar.


5 comments:

  1. Thats an interesting piece, Never visited this park, u have given me something for my next visit to the city. Thanks.

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  2. @ Viyoma, of course freedom is located in the heart of the city, you will enjoy the visit hopefully

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  3. Interesting.This is probably the 2nd jail to be showcased for tourists. The first being the cellular jail in Andamans. But it is sure an interesting concept to call former jail turned garden " freedom park". Nice pics!

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  4. even i had the same problem - weird timings. so freedom park is still on my list of to see places in Blore. but your post has done a wonderful job describing the place & the lovely pics too

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