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Japanese Garden in Pune, also known as Pu La Deshpande Park, contributes a lot in enhancing the city’s beauty. Its design and the variety of trees lure visitors to take a break from their hectic lives and enjoy the greenery and fresh air of the Garden. Spread over the area of 10 acres, Japanese Garden in Pune stands as a symbol of friendship between India and Japan.
The Japanese Garden Pune is known by various names:
Pu La Deshpande Japanese garden/park/udyan
P.L. Deshpande garden/park/udyan
Okayama Friendship park/garden
Japanese Garden Pune - History
Pu La Deshpande was one of most prolific writers in Marathi, literature and history. In 2000, after his death, Pune Municipal Corporation decided to name a garden after him. Meanwhile, during that time, a delegation from Japan under the Association of Friends of Japan was on its visit to Pune.
The Association of Friends of Japan was set up by Puneite Samir Khale to promote business and cultural relations between Japan and India. During their visit the Japanese delegation proposed that a garden similar to wonderful Korakuen garden in Okayama, Japan, be built in Pune too. Therefore, Japanese Garden came into existence. The Pune Municipal Corporation named the Japanese Garden after Pu La Deshpande. The symbol of friendship between India and Japan, Japanese Garden Pune, was opened to public in February 2006.
Japanese Garden – Design
The designers perfomed a great feat while designing the Japanese Garden in Pune. The Garden is spread over the area of 10 acres. Its design is based on Korakuen Garden of Okayama city in Japan. One can go around the Garden in 15 minutes at a brisk pace. The Garden’s designers created such a thick green belt that it’s almost sound proof. Fresh air permeates all over the place. Well-manicured lawns, streams of water flowing by, small bamboo bridges, bamboo seats with shades, a lake where one can find ducks and red-coloured fish, a tiny but well-designed waterfall, various trees which span all along periphery, mountain side behind the park and the highs and lows of landscape and sand dunes all add to magnificent design of the Garden.
Bamboo is used extensively for bridges, walkways and for fencing the lawns. One always goes crazy about design of bamboos in the Garden. Since Japan is surrounded by seas and oceans, water is the chief design element of the Japanese Garden in Pune.
Japanese Garden Pune - Plants and Trees
Evergreen plants like Bakul, Filicium and Khaya, which are easy to maintain and easy to prune into shapes, can be found in the Japanese Garden Pune. Pine trees - which express longevity and happiness - and bamboo trees - which help build railings, bridges and plantations - belong to the tree family of the Garden. Rice and coffee plantations are also found in the Garden.
Japanese Garden Pune - Stone lanterns
Stone lanterns in Japanese Garden Pune signify the culture of the foreign country. The Japanese stone lanterns served as votive lights in Shinto shrines. Also, the Japanese used the stone lanterns in their tea gardens during 16th century. Later, the stone lanterns were used for decorative purposes.
The stone lanterns in Japanese Garden Pune are of different shapes. The snow on stone lanterns, during winter season, is regarded as a flower (the flower of winter) or sekka (meaning snowflake in Japanese).
How to reach Japanese Garden in Pune
Japanese Garden Pune is located between MSEB quarters and Parvati Hill Water treatment plant on Sinhagad road, Dattawadi, Pune.
You can reach Pune either via Airways, Railways or Road Transport. After reaching Pune, take a taxi for Okayama Park - Okayama Park is the name that clicks here. Bargain well because Pune is an expensive place for taxi travellers.
Distance from Pune Airport to Japanese Garden is around 20 km. Estimated taxi travel is 35 minutes. Charge would be around Rs 201. Wings Radio Cabs would charge around Rs 322. Night fare would differ.
Distance from Pune Railway Station to Okayama Park/Japanese Garden is around 8.06 km. Estimated time for taxis is 17 minutes. A taxi in Pune would cost around Rs 82 from Pune Railway Sattaion to Japanese Garden. Wings Radio Cabs would charge around Rs 131. Night fare would differ.
Timings for the Garden are: 6.00 am to 10.30 am and 4.00 pm to 8.00 pm.
Entry fee is Rs 5 per head and Rs 50 for one month membership. (Charge may change)
It is advisable not to take a local bus to reach Japanese Garden Pune.