Bharat Van Udyan in the western suburbs of Mumbai was transformed from an abandoned quarry to a public park by the local community. Located at Customs Colony in Marol under Andheri East, the park has earned rave reviews.
In 2000, the place was adopted by the Military Road Residents Welfare Association (MRRWA), which has played an enormous role in the overall development of Marol. With a little help from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the local association has successfully managed to get the garden on the map today. With its plantation drives, the MRRWA has groomed the less-than-an-acre barren land and the patch now hosts over 500 trees.
The garden has three levels – an amphitheatre, a garden gym and a play area for children. With benches at the first level and a mini gazebo, it is a convenient place for all age groups to take a walk in between breaks.
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It has particularly caught the eye of the public for its diverse graffiti artwork, which has been developed by Marol Art Village (MAV), an art community supported by the MRRWA and Wicked Broz, a graffiti and street art collective. Their aim is to make the park a place for community gathering by arranging activities ranging from slacklining and sketching, garden clean-up, and rap cypher to movie nights in the amphitheatre, and a light and fountain show.
The garden also has a rainwater harvesting unit that helps water to flow from the top level of the garden to a lily pond situated right at the entrance. Trash cans are placed in a well-planned manner all along the path.