One of the largest public parks in the city of Mumbai, Shivaji Park is a serene space located quite close to the sea. It is one of those few places in Mumbai where one can escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. An oasis of peace amidst chaos in Central Mumbai, it is a good place for early morning exercise or even walks for leisure in the evening.
Created in 1925 by the Bombay Municipal Corporation, the park is located in Dadar in Central Mumbai. It is a cultural and political hub that has witnessed both the pre and post-independence eras in the city. In fact, this is the exact place where many of our freedom fighters gathered to discuss and plan methods to fight against the British Raj.
The park is spread across 27.91 acres of land, more than half of which is occupied by 31 tenants, while the remaining part of the ground and open spaces are available to the public for sports and other activities. The park consists of clubs like the Shivaji Park Gymkhana and the Bengal Club. Other equally important structures in its periphery include the Samarth Vyayam Mandir (gymnasium), the Shivaji Park Nagarik Sangh, a children's park, a Nana-Nani Park (a park for senior citizens), Scout's Pavilion, a Ganesh temple, and a library. The entire park has well-laid pathways lined with towering trees on either side, which are ideal for leisure walks.
Until 1927 though, the park was known as Mahim Park. Consequently, it was renamed after Chhatrapati Shivaji, a renowned freedom fighter and warrior. Shivaji Park was the focal point of the struggle for a consolidated state of Maharashtra that led to the creation of the present day Maharashtra in 1960. It has also been the gathering point for many meetings of the political party Shiv Sena. However, the park was later declared a silence zone by the Bombay High Court, after residents of the area filed a litigation against sound pollution.
Shivaji park is also famous among cricket lovers and has been the training ground for famous international cricketers like Sachin Tendulkar and Vinod Kambli.
‘Shivaji’ Park would be incomplete without the presence of the great man himself and the park has a huge statue of Shivaji leading the way with his one arm outstretched. Speaking of statues, the entrance has a life-size idol of Meenatai Thackeray, late wife of Bal Thackeray, who was also cremated here.