A small entrepreneur in Bhawanipatna, district headquarters town of Odisha’s Kalahandi, has converted his 12-acre farm into a park where the general public enjoy unhindered access. 50-year-old Pramod Khamari, a businessman running a small hotel chain in this western Odisha town, started off dirt poor and became rich. And, it’s his way of paying back to society. He named ‘Bhagirathi Park’ after his father.
On the outskirts of Bhawanipatna, with its meticulous landscape planning and features, Bhagirathi Park is on par with any in bigger urban centres. On any given holiday, the park is teeming with visitors not only from Kalahandi, but also from neighbouring districts such as Balangir, Nuapada and Rayagada. It’s also an integral part of the itinerary of tourists from Chhattisgarh coming to this region.
It was not an easy task to translate the fancy idea into reality. One, funding was difficult. Since the park was close to his heart, Mr. Khamari decided to pay for it from his other ventures. Even harder was to organise everything and make it run efficiently. He found a motivated friend in Rabindra Patnaik, a science teacher in the local government high school. After visiting a few parks in Odisha and elsewhere, both carefully prepared the park’s landscape without disturbing the orchard. Children’s corner, water fountain, variety of flowering plants, replica of different wildlife and statues of gods and goddesses were placed as per a detailed plan.
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