Among the many tourist destinations in Hyderabad, the Necklace Road stretch is thronged by people all through the year. It is common to see Hyderabadis spending time during evenings. From friends and families taking selfies, sharing hot mirchi bajjis and regular walkers, parents playing with their little ones to tourists visiting it as part of their itinerary… this stretch accommodates people with different tastes. One such place popular on this stretch is NTR Gardens.
Mix of people
Built in memory of the legendary actor and former chief minister, (late) NT Rama Rao, the gardens that opened in 2002 receives a wide spectrum of people. Even on a relatively dull day, it is visited by people especially parents who bring their children. “Unlike Lumbini Park, which stinks when the Hussainsagar lake is filled to the brim, NTR gardens is at a distance and is spacious, so most parents prefer to come here,” shares Sampath, an employee of a private company who visits NTR Gardens at least once a month.
While the imposing entrance and the fountain attract several selfie enthusiasts, the toy train ride is popular with children and young adults. Mehzabeen who has brought her three daughters states her children love to buy the sugar candy and popcorn and enjoy it while they ride on the train. “We choose this place because it is quiet and away from the chattering crowd. We come to relax and have long conversations with our friends,” states Sirish, a B Tech student.
A couple from Guntur, M Hari and wife Mamata, on their first visit to the gardens, enthuse that they are big fans of actor NTR. “We spent some time at his memorial. We decided to come here when we saw the crowd,” says Hari, who runs a kirana store. One can explore the park or settle down at a spot to relax. The fruit park has huge structures shaped in the form of different fruits.
Foodies can satiate their hunger pangs at the car café. Although Suresh, a bank employee enjoys coming to NTR Gardens, he observes the authorities ought to look into maintaining the place well — especially the children’s play area. A good point since many schools pick NTR Gardens as their picnic spot. One witnesses a melee near the entrance due to heavy crowds, especially during holidays. The constant traffic and hawkers outside the gates only add to the confusion and noise.
COURTESY THE HINDU