Replete with various anecdotes that has helped shape the history of Bengal; the newly opened sculpture garden at Eco Tourism Park in New Town is a one-of-a-kind attraction of not only Kolkata, but that of the country as well. Showcasing the bravado and the gallant heroics of some of Bengal’s most noble luminaries, the sculpture garden is a humble reminder of the valour and integrity of these icons. Their stories, presented in the form of a scintillating light and sound show in the sculpture garden has been getting many visitors since its inception and is another crown jewel in the already embellished Eco Tourism Park
From the medieval Renaissance led by Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Rabindranath Tagore and Swami Vivekananda of 19th and 20th Century Bengal – the sculpture garden upholds the history of twelve prominent and exceptional Bengali personalities. A walk through the mazy and labyrinth-like garden will take one back to the stories from a few hundred years ago of events of mighty cultural importance. The events and the stories of these twelve individuals are represented via murals that highlight the happenings. The design has been conceived by Suvaprasanna and the principal architect of the project is Partha Ranjan Das while HIDCO provided the engineering supervision.
The murals start with the tale of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, his ideals and teachings, his incarnation as Vishnu and how one incident enraged him to adorn the Vishnu avatar wielding the Sudarshan Chakra. Next comes the mural of the Battle of Plassey and it describes how the last independent Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah was betrayed by Mir Jafar and was ultimately defeated by the British. Anandamath and the awakening of Bengal by Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay comes next and it narrates the story of the sanyasi rebellion, which is followed by the tale of ‘Father of modern India’ – Raja Ram Mohan Roy and how he convinced the then British Governor General Lord William Bentinck to abolish the Sati practice amongst Hindu widows and mark it as a criminal offence. After the tale of Bengal Renaissance, comes the tale of the Santhal rebellion followed by a narration on how Lalan Fakir encouraged and influenced Kazi Nazrul Islam.
Progressing towards the 1900s, the first mention is of Satyajit Ray and his world of films followed by the heroic tale of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the formation of Azad Hind Fauz and his revolution. Thereafter, the story of Rabindranath Tagore and how he founded Visva Bharati University is depicted followed by the daunting tale of the indigo rebellion led by the indigo farmers. The last two murals depict the stories of Shri Aurobindo and how he converted himself from a revolutionary to Rishi and that of Swami Vivekananda.
The light and sound show, directed by Beenu Pasricha, runs from 5pm to 7:30pm every day in the evening, except Monday. Narrated with exhilarating brilliance by the deep baritone voice of late Satinath Mukherjee and the emotional vocal tone of Madhumanti Maitra, the light and sound show will take you back to the glorious era of Doordarshan documentaries. Complemented by musical interludes and effects and by dark hued colours, the light and sound show is the only one in the country where visitors have to move around from one sculpture to the other to catch the well-documented narration. The sheer auditory impact of the narration and the sound effects coupled with the sight of the sculptures will definitely trigger the deep thinker in you, propelling you to visualise the scenarios in real life and thus leaving a longer imprint in your memory.
Breaking the monotony of light and sound shows wherein audiences are expected to be seated, the light and sound show of the sculpture garden at Eco Tourism Park provides a refreshingly new take on the concept. The idea of moving in troops from one sculpture to the other while enjoying the brilliant acts is a more engaging experience. Along with the sculptures and the light and sound show, the sculpture garden also has 52 portraits starting from Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu to Begum Rokeya and it maintains the tradition of Eco Tourism Park in serving one nouveau concept after the other.
Sculpture Garden Light & Sound Show
Eco Tourism Park, New Town
Gate No. 4
Entry Fee: Rs 30
Show Duration: 40 minutes
Timings: 5 pm | 6 pm | 7 pm
Closed on: Monday