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Home > Sunday Mid Day News > Go Grand to go home

Go Grand to go home

Updated on: 25 February,2024 08:50 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Gautam S Mengle |

SMD spends a fun-filled hour at the newly inaugurated Grand Central Park in Thane

Go Grand to go home

The oldest Banyan tree on the land where Thane’s Grand Central Park now stands has been made into a tree house, which is one of the many attractions at the sprawling space that mid-day visited earlier this week. Pics/Sameer Markande

The hardest step is always the last. Except when it isn’t. We push forth, one step at a time, refusing to give up, till we finally reach the summit.

In case you’re wondering, we’re climbing the rope tower at the Grand Central Park in Thane. It is just one of the many attractions at the 20.5 acre spread in Kolshet, which was thrown open to the public on February 8. It was developed, and is now maintained, by the Kalpataru Group and is managed by the Thane Municipal Corporation.

“The idea was to have something for everyone,” says Deputy Municipal Commissioner Sandeep Malvi, Thane Municipal Corporation. “After endless planning and relentless efforts, the Park now has large green lawns, several varieties of trees, a park for children, and a physical activity area for adults.”

Apart from the rope tower, which is harder to scale than it looks, the park is also dotted with a zip lining rig, two walls with artificial rocks to climb and small open-air gymnasiums in various corners. Our photojournalist jokingly tells us we shouldn’t have worked out this morning, because we have ample opportunity here. 

The pinnacle of a long, curved bridge offers a splendid view of the many lakes and fountains. We’re told boat rides will soon commence, and an open-air auditorium is all set to host live music performances as well.

The Grand Central Park in Kalyan will soon have dedicated cycling tracks, fountains and a light shows
The Grand Central Park in Kalyan will soon have dedicated cycling tracks, fountains and a light shows

We come to a halt at a collection of gardens in the centre, and curiosity pins us there. Clustered before us are four miniature gardens adjacent to each other, each with a different theme—Japanese, Chinese, Moroccan and Mughal. The Japanese one has a hut with a wooden roof in the centre, the Chinese a stone structure. The Mughal and Moroccan ones have doors with intricate lattice work.

“We studied many parks around the world, like Millennium Park in Chicago and Hyde Park in London before designing the attractions here,” a Kalpataru spokesperson tells us. “The research and designs were planned in collaboration with expert landscape teams and consultants. The execution had a few challenges, like getting material such as Moroccan tiles or Chinese lava stone or roof tiles. Also, perfecting the execution details of each garden—like the flooring pattern in Chinese garden or stone and woodwork in Japanese garden.”

Next on the cards, he adds, is collection of miniature seven wonders of the world in a four-and-a-half-acre space. Right opposite the themed gardens stands the Tree House—the oldest Banyan tree on this land, which, like other trees here, was preserved instead of being cut down. Each tree has a QR code: Scan it and it leads to an animated video of the tree talking about itself in first person. 

The banyan tree has ropes, ladders and swings around it, turning it into a play space for children. Right next to it is a giant chess board too. For those living in the far-flung suburbs, there is a similar Central Park in Kalyan. Also spread over 25 acres with plush lawns and trees, the Park will soon have a dedicated bicycle track, fountains and light shows about the Maratha empire. We paid the Park a visit and were told the attractions will be operational soon.

WHAT: Grand Central Park 
WHERE: Kolshet, Thane West 
WHEN: 9 AM to 11 AM, 1 PM to 9 PM 
ENTRY: R20, tickets for individual activities separate

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