Shivaji Park has seen it all – the fight for independence, the quest for Sanyukta Maharashtra; to the big rallies of the day, meetings and demonstrations; the huge park park or rather ground is almost like a historical monument by itself.
Today, the ground/park boasts of a modern Gymkhana, a Ganpati Mandir, a mini children park Chhatrapati Shivaji’s idol.
The park is situated on the North-East part of Mumbai and since it is located in such a key position in the city, making it a hot spot for conducting huge rallies, public meetings, conferences, so on and so forth.
The park was opened for public use by the Bombay Municipal Corporation in the year 1925. And since then the park has continued to bask in its glory.
Since the place was initially termed as Shivaji Park, the idea that this park should contain an idol of the great Maratha King Shivaji came forward. And under the able leadership of “Lokneta”, people’s leader Late Mr. Balasaheb Desai, the idol was constructe by collecting funds from the people.
The huge statue was inagurated in 1966 by the then Defence Minister of India Mr.Yashwant Rao Chauhan. The place surrounding the park incidentally also became famous by the same name “Shivaji Park”; the region has gained fame, prosperity specially in the last 60-70 odd years. Prior to that the place was a part of the Mahim bay.
The original inhabitants of the place between Mahim and Prabhadevi area were Bhandaris, Sutars, Kolis(fishermen) and Christains.
Initially, the only routes between Parel and Mahim Island were few pedestrian routes; otherwise the whole area was covered with marshy grass as also few big-small creeks the local people filled this place up with big rocks; since this region formed a route between thew somewhat high Mahim Island to the down Parel area, the place became famous by the name “Dadar”(which in Marathi means ‘staircase’).