Imagine walking on a bridge, across a stream and relaxing your feet in a bathing stream. You are witnessing the natural elements such as water, fire, and wind. And what if we tell you this place is right in the city of Pune? Yes, you heard us right!
The Pune Okayama Friendship Garden is a much-needed escape from the hustle and bustle of Pune City. Sprawling across 10 acres of land, this garden is the largest Japanese garden outside of Japan. Also known as Pu La Deshpande Udyan, named after the famous Marathi author and humorist, this garden reflects Indo-Japanese friendship.
Located on the Sinhagad Road at Dattawadi, this garden is inspired by Japan’s 300-year-old Okayama Korakuen Garden. This garden is the perfect blend of nature and man-made, as it has a natural canal passing through it and man-made ponds and waterfalls adorning it.
Okayama Garden Pune - An Exquisite Blend of Cultures
The Pune Okayama Friendship Garden is based on the philosophy of Yin and Yang. The Japanese believe in the saying that to have something, there has to be nothing. This Yin and Yang philosophy can be seen in the garden where various natural elements such as world, water, fire, harmony, and spirit are used in beautiful compositions.
You are welcomed at the entrance with the statues of a lioness and a lion which represent the Yin and Yang philosophy. This garden also perfectly lines up with the ideology of meditation and spirituality, which the Japanese follow ardently. The lush greenery and the canal filled with fish and places such as the moon bridge give you that much-needed peace and tranquillity.
In India, many rulers built gardens as a place of recreation or relaxation and for aesthetic pleasure. But in the traditional Japanese culture, gardens were built to find spirituality and to symbolise peace.
These gardens in Japan are inspired by the Taoist, Buddhist and Shinto philosophies that promote the philosophy that considers gardens to be a place for meditation and spiritual practices.
The landscape of the garden is very diverse with elements such as a forest, ponds, waterfalls, lanterns, and artificial hillocks. Sounds such as that of the birds chirping and the streams flowing are certain to soothe your mind and soul.
There are emerald green lawns and a wide variety of trees that you would find in this garden. You can see brightly coloured fish called koi fish in the ponds and a bamboo forest here.
There is a coffee plantation and typical Japanese plants and flowers. The ducks and the red-coloured koi fish in the ponds were taken from the Zen Sect of South China. You can take a rest under the shade of the pergolas.
The park is very well-maintained and the visitors are not allowed to picnic stroll through the lawn. Littering is strictly frowned upon here.
Children can enjoy the playground which has playing equipment such as see-saws, climbing frames, swings, and slides. You can also rest for a moment and soak your feet in the bathing stream.
The entire garden is surrounded by greenery in various forms such as trees, plants and flowers and you can spend the day being in nature without actually having to travel away from the city.
So, if you have limited time in hand and want to find some serenity, the Pune Okayama Friendship Garden is a must-visit place for you!
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is the Pune Okayama Friendship Garden’s Timing?
The garden is open in the morning from 6.00 am to 10.30 am and in the evening from 4.00 pm to 8.30 pm.
2. What is the distance and how do I reach the garden?
This garden is located around 30 min from the city centre on Sinhagad Road. You can use your private vehicle or public transport such as buses or auto rickshaws to reach here.
3. What is the entry fee for the Pune Okayama Friendship Garden?
The entry fee for adults and children above the age of 3 is INR 5.
4. What is the contact number of the Pune Okayama Friendship Garden?
You can reach them on–020 2553 8553.