Kamala Nehru Park may look small by international standards, but in a city offering just 1.1 square metres of open space per person, this green space is something of a prized possession. To Mumbaikars, the park positively sprawls across the eastern slope of Malabar Hill, one of the city’s most exclusive neighbourhoods, and many come for the panoramic views. After a few days in this densely populated place, you’ll also appreciate the chance to reclaim your personal space and soak up the sights from a roomier vantage point.
Built in 1952, the park is named after the wife of Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Situated on a hillside, it’s a good spot to escape the humidity, and the well-maintained terraced gardens provide the ideal environment for a relaxing stroll. It’s especially popular at dusk, when locals and visitors head here to watch the lights come up along Marine Drive – transforming this seaside strip into its alter ego: the ‘Queen’s Necklace’. From here, you’ll also get good views of Chowpatty Beach and the city skyline.
With a diverse range of flowers, paved walkways, fountains and plenty of shady trees, Kamala Nehru Park is the perfect place for a picnic. If you have kids in your group who are itching for some fun, the two-storey children’s playhouse should keep them busy, too. Shaped like an old boot, it’s based on the famous nursery rhyme ‘There was an old woman who lived in a shoe’, and kids have free rein to clamber on it and explore inside.
While you’re here, it’s well worth popping across the road to the free Hanging Gardens (or Pherozeshah Mehta Gardens) for animal topiaries, shaded swings and coconut wallahs.
Kamala Nehru Park is open daily from 5am to 9pm, and you can get here by bus or taxi from Charni Road railway station (20 to 25 minutes). If you’re here during the monsoon season (June to September), look out for the rich array of birds that take up residence in the trees at this time of year.