In the Lap of Nature at Eco Park
December 1, 2019
Imagine peaceful serenity and pure bliss in mother nature’s lap and then imagine this in Kolkata, one of the busiest major metropolitan cities in India. Yes, it’s a reality now, thanks to Eco Park in New Town.
This huge sprawling urban park is the biggest in India and one of the biggest in Asia. Eco Park, as the name already suggests can be described as an ecological park where there is so much of lush greenery, pristine blue lakes, waterfalls, a wide variety of trees and different types of fauna as well.
However it can also described as an urban theme park where you will find Japanese garden i.e. a slice of Japan in Kolkata, Butterfly garden, Mist garden where the ambiance is like what you get in hill stations, Mask garden, Heliconia garden and many more. There are cycling trails for cycling / biking enthusiasts, joggers and runners will have an amazing time around the park, then there is boating, fishing and other activities for the visitors.
A day at the Ekante Cottages –
Recently, we decided to spend a night at the beautiful Cafe Ekante Cottages in Eco Park. Oh yes, there is an option of staying there too..Isn’t it amazing? A day in the welcoming enchanting lap of Nature, with relatively no pollution or any stress of any kind. I would say it’s absolutely blissful.
We booked a cottage through the HIDCO website and went there on a bright and sunny yet cool Saturday afternoon. The road to the Ekante Cottages goes through Gate 1 of the Eco Park from beside the gorgeous replica of the renowned Eiffel Tower. From the entry point, the wooden bridge and the pretty water body is visible. What a sight it was, greeting us… The water glistening in the afternoon sun and the far-away coconut trees adding the freshness and greenery, we were impressed at the first glance. But the day was just beginning!!
Checking in & having Lunch –
We checked in to our pretty little cottage which obviously had all the amenities of any good hotel but offered an incentive. The balcony door opened into a small open air seating area, beyond which was the cool blue lake in all its glory. It was such a gorgeous sight and we were totally bowled over. It was already 2 PM and we were starving, so we headed out to the restaurants. There are two restaurants in this island – one serves Bengali cuisine which we ordered for lunch and it was delicious. Whereas the second one is a Chinese cuisine restaurant on a beautiful house boat.
After the sumptuous lunch, we waited at the jetty for some time, admiring the beauty of the place till the boat came to take us into the park.
Since this is an island, the Eco Park is accessible via boats very easily, else one would have to take a long road from outside the park to enter again. The boat ride is a beautiful experience in itself, swaying and gliding across the lake seamlessly. One can get a 360° view of the place from the boat, the Japanese pagoda, the Eiffel Tower, the trees and the occasional fish jumping out and again splashing down into the water.
In the Park –
The jetty at the park end is near Gate 2, the Eco Park is spread across 480 acres and hence it obviously has 6 or more gates. So after a little deliberation on which way to go, we started towards Gate 3. The first place we encountered was a gorgeous fountain followed by the pretty Rose Garden. There are so many varieties of roses and it looks so breath taking when they are in full bloom. There was the Artist’s Cottage which was like small hut which looked even more beautiful at night with all the tiny lights adorning it.
Moving ahead we entered the Mist Garden, where we got a little wet in the drizzle from the mist sprinklers. But it looked amazing, trees lining both sides of the path, the sprinklers creating a misty atmosphere and the sun playing hide and seek with the tallest branches of the trees. We were so awestruck here.
From here we started walking through a trail with lots of trees which gives you a feeling that you are walking in a forest, it was so refreshing. Then we came to a wonderful Hibiscus Garden where the multi coloured hibiscus flowers were adding to the charm of the place.
A little more into the Park –
Then there was a Sculpture Museum depicting the history of Bengal. Even though we did not enter this museum, I’m sure it will be a great experience for history buffs.
We walked along the path just outside this place and reached the Heliconia Garden. It had small tree house like seating areas which looked so cool. Tree houses are something that pique the interest of most people and I’m no different!! Though Eco Park has a surreal tree house these little things were as pretty. This place has a picturesque small island within its premises and a gorgeous gurgling waterfall. The water body seemed to have boating options also. The adjoining huge sprawling area was the golf course, the first of its kind in this side of Kolkata.
From here we headed towards Gate 4 where the Seven Wonders of the World is located. On the way we passed the Ghum Station, which is a replica of its very famous namesake situated in the pretty hills of Darjeeling. From here the toy train ride starts which takes you through all the amazing parts of the park.
Just near it, is the interesting Mask Garden. Here we saw hundreds of masks, some scary, some sad, some just weird in some way or the other. I must say this was a very unique experience.
Conclusion for the day –
There is a lot more to explore in Eco Park and also in Eco island where we were staying. We will continue exploring the beautiful and serene park and also show you all the highlights in the next blog post. Stay tuned and see you soon!!