At first glance, it is difficult to grasp the grandeur of KL Walawalkar Udyan, located in the bustling Andheri West. Spread across 21,545 sq m, it is baffling to note that a park of this size has found a home in the concrete jungles of Mumbai.
Given its expanse, the park – planned in a concentric pattern – caters to everyone from leisurely walkers and running enthusiasts to children playing a myriad of games. The space boasts of several distinct features, including a ground for human activity and, most importantly, an abundance of fresh air.
Developed by the Walawalkar group in Oshiwara, the park was handed over to the Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai (MCGM) in 2016.
The outer ring is a 470-metre-long cement-tile paved walkway for the usual brisk walkers, followed by an inner 350-metre sand running track, one of its distinct and most loved features. In the mornings and evenings, the park teems with joggers – some sprinting, others leisurely strolling along the sand track, which is soothing on bare feet. The cemented track gives a full view of the garden and showcases all of its features.
As you make your way to the inner circle, huge fig trees stand tall in the park’s centre, their roots protruding above the earth, serving as an amusement park for squirrels and a selfie point for teenagers. The core ring also has two mini ponds, an arched wooden bridge and a terrain that’s much like an oasis. “The sand track in the park is its best feature. I discovered it during the pandemic and haven’t stopped coming here since. No other place I know of has it,” says Rashi Agarwal, as she strolls along the track barefoot.
Beyond it lies a small patch of open green space, covered by bamboo trees which provide a naturally enclosed space at the park’s heart. The shade offered by the tall trees makes for a cool and tranquil space throughout the day.
In one corner, busier than the fig tree spot, is a green gym and children’s play area with rubber mats. Surrounded by residential complexes, the park is frequented by families who bring their children to enjoy its many amenities.
Another corner of the park holds a water feature. Water flows from three separate points into a little waterfall area crafted out of stone. The park also has an open, dome-like structure frequented by yoga and meditation enthusiasts in the morning and by those who gather for a chat in the evening.
The level of freshness provided by this park is a rare find in the metropolis. With the abundance of trees and the openness of the space, it is an ideal space to start mornings, take a walk, lay down and read a book or set a date.