Iconic replicas of 21 celebrated Indian monuments, including century-old Victoria Memorial Hall and historic Mysore Palace, were on Saturday unveiled in the ‘Bharat Darshan Park’ in south Delhi, which is being billed as a ‘mini India’ in the national capital.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah inaugurate the 8.5-acre park which showcases attractive replicas of various heritage sites and a banyan tree, built with scrap and waste material, at a cost of nearly Rs 20 crore, officials said. The recreational garden, built by the South Delhi Municipal Corporation on ‘waste-to-wealth’ model, was opened after some delay and ahead of the civic polls in Delhi due early next year.
Located in Punjabi Bagh area, replicas of several monuments, including Qutab Minar, Taj Mahal, Charminar, Gateway of India, Konark Temple, Nalanda ruins, Mysore Palace, Meenakshi Temple, Hampi, Victoria Memorial Hall, Sanchi Stupa, Gol Gumbaz, Ajanta and Ellora Caves, Hawa Mahal, Rameswaram, Dwarkadhish temple, have been installed at the park.
Victoria Memorial Hall, made of marble, is hailed as one of the finest specimens of modern European architecture in India, and was inaugurated on December 28, 1921.
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The illumination of the structures add another aura to the recreational site, which is based on ‘waste-to-wealth’ model.
Shah in his address praised the craftsmen who worked on theses replicas, and said the park in a ‘mini India’ form, will not only give a glimpse of the culture diversity of the country to visitors, including children, but will also let them learn about ‘waste-to-wealth’ concept, and foster caring attitude towards environment.
Nearly 350 tonne of scrap was used for construction of these replicas, and eight artists, 22 assistants, and 150 workers were engaged during the construction work, the SDMC officials said.
Adequate arrangement for illumination has been made inside the park, with 755 facade lights, three LED screens, 600 bollard lights, 102 compound light, as also 51 CCTV cameras have been installed in the park premises, the SDMC said.
”The theme of the park is ‘Unity and Diversity’ and these art works show utmost respect to our monuments and cultural heritage,” South Delhi Mayor Mukesh Suryan said. These replicas have been built with scrap and waste material like dumped old vehicles, fans, iron rods, nuts and bolts, lying unused or abandoned at SDMC stores, officials said.
”To enhance the beauty of the park, 12,000 graceful trees like champa, ticoma, lagerstroemia, ficus benjamina, kachnar have been planted. Nearly 60,000 shrubs and palms like farkeria, erica palm, singgonium, ficus panda, ficus blackie, foxtail palm and bismarckia palm have also been planted,” a senior official said.
Electricity will be produced from solar and wind energy, at the park to meet the power demand, he said, adding, ”despite the ongoing Covid pandemic and its cascading effect, entire park was developed in a period of 22 months”. Suryan said, diverse culture and rich heritage of India have been reflected through smaller versions of the monuments. Like ‘Waste to Wonder Park’, ‘Bharat Darshan Park’ will also become a popular tourist spot of Delhi, where people will be able to see ‘mini India’ in one place, he said ‘Waste-to-Wonder Park’ in Sarai Kale Khan area was opened in February 2019. It has replicas of seven world famous monuments, including Taj Mahal and Eiffel Tower, fashioned out of mechanical waste.
Delhi Lt Governor Anil Baijal, who was present during the Saturday’s function, in a February 2020 event had said that the ‘Waste to Wonder Park’ was a shining example of ”waste-to-wealth” concept and the SDMC should develop such more parks which are self-sustained and based on this concept.
The sprawling park, which was earlier expected to be opened by October end, was originally planned to include a replica of the Golden Temple in Amritsar too.
A controversy had erupted in June over the construction of the planned replica of the revered Sikh shrine in the park, following which it was removed.