A growing population and an ever increasing concrete jungle are gradually eating away the green spaces in this city. In the name of development most of our open spaces have disappeared over the years and so did the large waterbodies. But finally, there is some good news as Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority has come up with a new park Bana-Benu-Chaya on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass which has boating facilities, a kid’s play area and even an eatery. But, more importantly, the greenery promises to soothe both your eyes and mind
A huge pond dominates the setting; located in the middle it has a pathway paved with stone going around it, offering you the chance to explore the park. You can simply sit on the grass, watch the rippling waters and enjoy the serenity of the place occasionally broken by the loud quacks of swans at the edge of the pond. One can even choose to swing their feet while sitting on the small wooden pier constructed on the edge of the waterbody and watch the sun going down the city’s skyline as cars zip past on EM Bypass.
The flower beds are well-maintained and the seasonal blossoms brighten up the place as well as your day. At one corner there is a designated kid’s play area and the children can ride slides, swings and see-saws.
The primary attraction of the visitors is definitely the paddle-boating facility. There are about 10 paddle-boats up for hire and you can travel up to the middle of the pond. The emerald green water has a soothing effect on your eyes. Apart from boating, there are also facilities to go fishing though it would require prior permission.
And if the cool breeze and the greenery work on your appetite you can actually have the option of going for a sumptuous meal or snack. And there is a surprise waiting for you. At Bana-Benu-Chaya you can actually dine inside a tram. There are four tram cars put next to each other which serve as a restaurant. The wood panels and the wrought iron castings that we are so familiar with during scores of tram rides leave you nostalgic while creating a heritage ambience for an enjoyable meal.
The restaurant offers only Chinese cuisine in its menu. The food is tasty though a little pricey. However, the beautiful ambience matters.
Entry fee to the park is Rs 10. Adjoining the main entrance, there is a parking lot where you can leave your car for Rs 10 per hour and that’s all you need to spend to experience this getaway in the city.
How To Reach
‘Bana-Benu-Chaya’ is located on Eastern Metropolitan Bypass, near Baishnabghata Patuli Township, just beside the Austin Hyundai showroom. As you pass by Hiland Park on your right, get on the Bagha Jatin flyover and the park will be on your left.
In all, ‘Bana-Benu-Chaya’ offers an opportunity to experience the rather mundane things of life that we often forget about due to our hectic schedule. Watching the sunset, floating on a paddle-boat or re-living the memories of a tram-ride while dining inside, rejuvenates your tired soul. One can visit ‘Bana-Benu-Chaya’ with family or friends and have a good time doing the simple things in life including a relaxing outdoor adda session
Entry Fee: Rs 10
Parking space: Available along the premises of the park
Parking Fee: Rs 10 per hour
Fishing: Prior permission needed