Rustic Heart of Newtown
The term ‘urban village’ does sound paradoxical yet the new Eco Urban Village at Newtown Rajarhat, the latest initiative from HIDCO, is exactly that – an idyllic village in the middle of a concrete township. Dominated by a huge waterbody spread over 80 acres and with another 4 acres of surrounding land, Eco Uban Village is an ideal picnic spot. A single pathway, running through the open field before finally vanishing into the horizon, tugs your heartstrings with its perfect rustic charm. Since the wild growth and natural vegetation serve as a natural habitat to a number of species of birds, it is an amateur birdwatchers’ delight. And one can even rent a pair of binoculars and follow into the footsteps of Salim Ali.
Eco Urban Village with it’s huge water body is fast turning to be an alternative to the more crowded Eco Park.
The ambience is strictly rural with hay, clay and bamboo used for setting up various structures, save the rest rooms. However, the colourful paddle boats do look a little jarring in the wild setting but does not affect the fun quotient in anyway. One can bring their bicycles to make rounds of the huge open area. In a bid to save the park from plastic littering, a menace that greets you at every public space, the authorities have introduced fines. There is also a ban on playing loud music to prevent any disturbances to the feathered friends.
There are two arenas reserved for picnics with separate washroom, cooking and eating areas. The playground has swings and see-saws for children.
There is a track that cuts through the greenery by the lake which can be used by walkers and joggers.
A beautiful ‘Akhra’ or meeting place with thatched roof is right in the middle of the park. It can be a venue for delightful music and ‘adda’. The decorative wood-work is actually hand carved and when ‘Team WHEELS’ visited they saw the artisans at work.
The artisans come from different parts of Bengal to sell their handicrafts. There are stalls in the mud haats selling souvenir. The paddle boats can be rented for Rs 50 for 30 minutes per person. There are mud hut stalls that make it easy to buy a souvenir. The charge for a picnic party of 50 heads is Rs 1500 and then an additional charge of Rs 20 per head is levied in case the number of heads crosses 50. During the peak season, it is advised to book as early as four months ahead of the D-day. Booking can be done on the spot or over phone.
No wonder, Newtown Rajarhat is fast turning out to be the green lungs of the city, albeit with all the modern amenities.
Location: Eco Urban Village is situated 2 km inside the lane which lies opposite Gate no. 1 of Eco Park in New Town. Marked with two owls, you can easily spot the crossing, ‘Pecha Morh’. Follow the sign boards there in to reach the spot
Contact: 9903625272 / 033-23246071
Timing: 7:00 am to 6.00 pm. Closed on Mondays
Entry Fee: Rs 20 per head above the age of three
Fees and rentals
Boating: Rs 50 for half an hour
Selfie stick: Rs 10 an hour
Binoculars: Rs 10 an hour
Jogging: Rs 1200 per head for a year with free car parking
Parking Fee: Two wheeler- Rs 20 / Buses or four wheelers- Rs 50