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Freedom Park in Bangalore

Freedom Park (Former Bangalore Central Jail) is situated in the main commercial district of Bangalore i.e. Central Business District and was opened to public viewing in the year 2008. This was the same jail where many of the opposition members like L.K. Advani & Atal Bihari Vajpayee were jailed in the period of emergency in 1975 to 1977. 

This jail has remained to be a mark of British rule in our country. As a matter of fact, L.K.Advani was the chief guest at the opening of the newly renovated Freedom Park.

The Parapanna Jail or the Central Jail covered 40 acres of land of Bangalore initially.  With time, this jail became the largest and the most crowded jail of the Karnataka. Because of this the prisoners were shifted to another location. This place is often compared to some of America’s correctional centers. 

In the new Jail, from the past few years, because of the crowding of the prisoners inside the jail, the jail authorities have now started to release the prisoners if they behaved well or if the evidences were not enough to prove the person as guilty.

The jail provided its prisoners with basic education in special classrooms which included moral education as well. This was done to keep them in good spirits. Wages in the form of coupons; for small works like making wooden furniture, steel furniture, pajamas & Kurtas; were given to the inmates so that they could exchange them for food items or the other necessary requirements which they were not given otherwise.

The Jail library was also kept open for the prisoners with over 40 thousand books & periodicals for them to explore.

A glimpse of the Freedom Park in Bangalore

The transformation of the old jail done is by the architects Mathew & Gosh. The jail is spread across acres of land and is inspired from the Belgaum Central Jail. With a jail museum and 6 different recreational spots, the jail has got a new look altogether. There is a recreational center which is proposed for the jail of about 16 acres. Even after so many changes, most of the jail structure is kept the way is originally was like the Cell Yard, the Chief Warden’s Office and the watch tower. Not only this Freedom Park or the Central Jail has also been acquainted with a book museum and a 300-seater amphitheater. A multimedia gallery and a musical fountain will soon be created on the land of the Freedom Park.

Recently, this Park has also supported the indefinite fast of Anna Hazare and has also hosted the IAC (India against Corruption) Campaign. The Freedom Park has a rally area specially constructed for protests to prevent traffic from hampering the smooth movement on the streets of Bangalore. This idea was taken from London’s Hyde Park. Apart from this, the Jail now has place for children to play, a jogger’s area and an information corridor for people’s convenience.

The Park is situated on Sheshadri Road in Gandhi Nagar and the timings of the Park are from 5 am to 8 am (same time in the evening). A nominal entry fees may be charged from the visitors.

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