After getting ready, we decided to go for a typical local breakfast which comprised of Poha and Jalebi. There was a stall across the road from our guest house. A plate of Poha (a local dish made of rice flakes) was available for Rs.10/-. As we ordered for our plates, I noticed that the hawker accepted payments through PayTm (money transfer application through mobile in India) as well. It was a pleasant surprise to see the digitization level and I asked the vendor if he really accepted the payments through PayTm mode. Smilingly, he told me that साहब पढ़े-लिखे लोगों का शहर है (Sir... this is a city of educated people).
We had a good laugh hearing the reply. This indeed reflected the demographic profile of the city majority of which comprised the students from across the country who want to pursue engineering or medical sciences as a career option. Over the last decade or so, Kota has emerged as the coaching capital of the country and a favorite destination of students.
After having a sumptuous breakfast, we headed towards the Seven Wonders Park which happened to be located at a distance of just a five minutes’ walk. The park comprises the miniature versions of seven wonders i.e.:
- Colosseum of Italy
- Great Pyramid of Egypt
- Taj Mahal of India
- Eiffel Tower of Paris
- Leaning Tower of Pisa
- Statue of Liberty of USA
- Christ the Redeemer of Brazil
Every monument has a plaque in front which gives a brief history of each of the monument albeit a very short one but good enough to provide necessary details of the monuments to the uninitiated ones. Due to this, a visit to the Park has also become an educational experience for young kids or little adults to get a window to the world and get connected with World history. The Park is a local government’s initiative and was inaugurated in 2013.
As we reached the park, we were told the park opens for the general public at 2.30 p.m. We decided to come back in the evening as we have been told by many when all the monuments get lighted up. Before returning, we went for a walk alongside the street adjoining the park. We realized that one gets a good view of the monuments as you walk on the street. The Park has been created on the banks of Kishore Sagar Lake and it runs for about 500-600 meters. As we walked on the street, we were able to get a good view of each of the monument as well as good pictures although just from one side only. As it was a sunny day, we were able to click good pictures. After taking a stroll for about half an hour we returned to the guest house to take a trip to other places.
We returned in the evening slightly before dusk so that we could take pictures before lighting came up. The park was crowded with tourists like us as well as localities who were visiting with families to have a family time-out. After a sunny hot day, the cool breeze from the lake had made the atmosphere very pleasant.
As we left the place, a couple of thoughts came to my mind:
- This indeed is a great initiative by local authorities which not only brings tourists to the city but also becomes an educational point for youngsters who get exposed to the World and the World History. From that perspective, I will say that this is a perfect park;
- This concept shall be replicated across other cities in the country as well as the World;
- While creating such parks, the respective Authorities shall also consider including other monuments like...
- Stonehenge of Britain
- Big Temple of Thanjavur
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- Angkor Wat Temple of Cambodia
- Lighthouse of Alexandria
- Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- The Parthenon of Athens, to name a few.
The Ticket shop at the Kota Seven Wonders Park can sell souvenirs like key chains, etc of the park which will create job opportunities for the local people. This apart a small booklet can be prepared by authorities about the thirty (just quoting a number) monuments of the world and can be included in the list of memorabilia to be sold at the Gift shop. This will act as a souvenir as well as an educating experience for young kids and students visiting the park from remote places.
Before I close, recently, I read news reports that a similar park has been inaugurated in the national capital of Delhi. It is on my bucket list now and I plan to visit there soon so that I can visit there and see the difference between both these parks.