Visited by many yet haunted by its dismal past, know about Juhu's once-iconic Aeroplane Garden
Hello, lovely readers! Having grown up in Mumbai, we know by now that one can never know this city fully. Just when you think you know it all, the city surprises you. It is this quality of Mumbai that makes it so charming - there is always a nook that adds delight to the wanderer's percipience. So this week, we came across the story of a popular Juhu landmark!
For a long time, we were unaware of the history of Juhu's iconic Aeroplane Garden, also known as Lion's Garden. Home to a unique Air India Boeing dummy, this well-known public park is often plodded by children and the elderly. Read on to learn more about its history and present conditions!
'Plane' and but not so simple!
Going back to the times when air travel was just a luxurious fantasy, this Juhu garden caught our attention. Upon walking into this garden, one is instantly greeted by a shoddy, full-size aeroplane, waiting to be boarded. However, when we dug in to the history of this garden, the joy was short-lived. Let's know why!
As per many publications, in the 1960s, Air India donated a reinforced concrete replica of its Boeing 707-436 to this Juhu garden, which was maintained by K Raheja Foundation. But in March 2009, the left wing of the plane fell on a local teen boy, resulting in a fatal accident. Since then the airplane was closed for public access and demolished in 2011.
Two years hence, in 2013, the BMC rebuilt a new, safer version, with lots of leg-room for its passengers. Children can go all the way up to the cockpit, take seats as pilots and have the time of their lives. However, this plane can now be seen in a dilapidated condition - with names of lovers and paan stains, adorning the inside walls.
Moreover, there are tons of flowers and several species of plants, on display too. If you consider yourself a morning person with lots of love for nature, then this garden in Juhu is just for you.
In conversation with Knocksense, Sangde, a regular visitor, mentioned “I am a retired government employee and I visit the garden regularly with my loved ones. I have seen the garden in all its glory, over the years and I find my peace here”.
This garden in Juhu also houses a couple of gym equipment, a dedicated pavement for jogging, benches and gazebos as well. For children, the park has swings, and a number of plant species to explore.
Athough the aeroplane replica is now in a shabby state, its charms are enough to draw in regular visitors, of all ages. So be it a couple who wants to escape the prying eyes of the public or a person looking to keep themself fit, Juhu's Aeroplane Garden offers something for everyone. So come over for a stroll, to experience a relaxing and refreshing evening.
Timings: Monday to Friday 05:00 AM to 01:00 PM and 03:00 PM to 10:00 PM | Saturday to Sunday (public holidays too) 05:00 AM to 10:00 PM
Address: 22, Juhu Tara Road, opposite Santacruz Police station, Santa Cruz West
-With inputs from Md. Sohail Khan