Spending our time untethering the mind, getting the fidgets out, exploring the in-between ideas, and learning kintsugi.

Coronation Park, a story of indifference

with 3 comments

Coronation Park

Coronation Park

When the decision to shift the nation’s capital from Kolkata to Delhi took place, this spot was proclaimed to be the site for viceroy’s residence. George V’s coronation as the emperor of India was commemorated here. Then the story of neglect began. The site was deemed unsuitable and the residence of Viceroy was eventually built at the site of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

The park reminds me of my school park – large, open, not very shaded, spottily grassy. But that is where the similarity ends. At dawn, no groups of people gather about for a yoga class or a laughing club session. At dusk, young lovers don’t come here in search of intimacy.  Grandpas don’t come here for their evening constitutionals. There is no chaiwala or any one else selling snacks. Really, nothing is happening here. There appears to be a single caretaker who lives with his family, he may very well be self proclaimed one. He doesn’t seem to be doing anything either.

Caretakers family

Caretaker's family

It has been described by some as a junkyard of Raj-era statues—of King George V and other eminent Britishers—most of them we have forgotten and sure don’t care much about. To an amateur, they looks as if built after roman fashion. There is nothing human about these statues. It is possible they would have looked grand in a different place. But not here. They don’t look neglected either, just utterly out of place. Maybe a Bollywood movie maker will shoot a murder scene here someday and awaken us from our forgetfulness.

Travel Note: Coronation Park is located at Burari road near Nirankari Sarovar. Any autorickshaw from Kingsway Camp should be able to bring you here. There is no fee to get in. Don’t come expecting an adventure. You are likelier to find a sense of bizarre.

Written by Som

January 13, 2009 at 1:53 am

3 Responses

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  1. Coronation is a historical event and the park a historical site. It did take place. How can historians like Mushirul Hasan, Narayani Gupta and Shahid Amin deny it? Don’t they want the younger generation to know about it. The coronation park is one of the few remains of our colonial past. It’s a painful reminder of our imperial history. By naming the park we are erasing our complex colonial past, which was unfortunate. The task of the historian is to preserve the past and its remnants, whether good or bad. Historians should not succumb to political and ministerial/administrative pressures. Nidhi Verma

    nidhi verma

    May 7, 2012 at 11:05 pm

  2. […] Coronation Park, a dump yard of British era statues (more) […]

    • I agree with nidhi. Who are Mushirul Hasan, Narayani Gupta and Shahid Amin to decide what is inappropriate or relevant? Coronation park is part of our colonial history. These sarkari historians have no shame. They want to surrender themselves to the Ministry of culture. So, they want to rename the remenants of colonial past just because it disturbs the state and its sarkari nationalism. So wait for our historical parks, roads and monuments being renamed. These historians are probably being paid by the Ministry of Culture. Mushirul Hasan once renamed a Jamia lane after Arjun Singh. So perhaps he wants to rename Coronation Park as Arjun Singh Park. Thank you Professor Hasan for your project of renaming. All three of you will go down in history as official/ sarkari historians! You all are destroying the complexity of history. Shipra Mukherji

      Shipra Mukherki

      May 7, 2012 at 11:21 pm

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