City Hangout – Water Fountain, Gole Park, Windsor Place
Our home-grown Niagara Falls.
[Text and photos by Mayank Austen Soofi]
Summertime in Delhi can be fearsome. Those who can afford it may simply dump the city for long stretches, fleeing to hillside resort towns such as Mussoorie. Others are likely to fly off to the US where they will be perhaps photographed strutting alongside the Niagara Falls.
But most of us remain in the capital during the torrid summer, and this time the heatstricken citizens can seek solace at sprawling Gole Park in central Delhi’s Windsor Place. It’s now outfitted with a giant fountain spewing huge sprays of cold water as high as 25 feet. This central jet complements six smaller fountains climaxing to half that altitude— resulting in instant relief while you’re sitting on a bench being gently sprayed. Summer exhaustion vanishes instantly at this traffic island park near Janpath.
The new fountain is so distracting that visitors (card-players, lovers, loners, selfie-seekers etc.) elsewhere in the park can’t help but wander over to inspect the attraction. Perhaps just to confirm that it’s real.
It’s real enough. The gardener says the new jet can spew as high as 50 feet, but it’s seldom programmed to do that. Otherwise just about everybody in the garden would get wet in the event of a slight breeze. Equally blissful is the sound of the water falling back into the pool. If you close your eyes, you might imagine yourself sitting by the famous Kempty Falls in Mussoorie, or some such hilly stream flowing down rocks and cliffs.
An eagle now lands by the fountain, intent on savouring the cool respite.
The installation functions daily from 9 to 12 noon, and then from 6 to 10 in the evening.