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Changampuzha Park, the cultural hub of Kochi city

Read about Changampuzha Park, the cultural hub of Kochi city. Kochi is a fast developing city in Kerala, people from all walks of life converge here for some purpose. They need a place in the city to while off their leisure time, enjoying some cultural programme. Here is a typical place for it, which is nothing but Changampuzha Park at Edappally.

Changampuzha Samadhi
Changampuzha Park has now become a cultural hub of Kochi city attracting hundreds of people from all over the city and suburbs. Edappally, where this park is situated has already become one of the major residential area of the city. Hence a centre like this is providing lungs to the thick concrete jungle because of several high rise flats and colonies spread around this place. Residents of these flats and houses spend their evenings in this park since almost everyday some programme will be staged there, it can be music concerts, dance items, talks, discussions, dramas, Kathakali, children's programme, literary programmes, short films, traditional arts or any other items attracting almost all categories of people.

The park occupies almost two acres of land with a canopy of trees providing shade around the open space in the centre. Two stages, one open stage, are there facing almost each other, with open space in between. In front of the main stage, a shed with sufficient height has been constructed to accommodate about 200 to 250 chairs. The open space starts from where this hall ends, so that accommodation can be arranged continuously, to accommodate around thousand people.

Inside the park in one corner a children's park with different playing facilities are available. Two kiosks are on another side inside which interested people can play caroms or chess. Inside the park near the compound wall a walk way is made which serve several people for their morning or evening walks.

The programmes conducted in the park are being managed and scheduled by Changampuzha Samskarika Kendram (Changampuzha cultural centre), a registered society functioning from 1997. The name of the park and Centre are there as memorial for the great poet Changampuzha Krishna Pillai, who was born and brought up at Edappally. His tomb (popularly known as 'Changampuzha Samadhi') is just about four hundred meters north of the park.
Inside the Changampuzha park
Samskarika Kendram organises different art- cultural -literary programmes and also provide the space for others to organize. Around 270 days a year get engaged like this. Under the Kendram several independent organizations have been registered and are conducting their own programmes. This include Senior Citizens Forum, Edappally Sangeetha Sabha, Kathakali Aswadaka Sadas, Aksharasloka sadas, Kavya moola, Mazhavillu (children's drama club), Pusthaka vicharam, Vicharolsavam and others.

Each of these conduct their own programmes in the Park. Senior Citizens' Forum hold a talk every Tuesday on different topics. Every first Sunday they organize a reception to those who had their birthdays in the previous month.

Edappally Sangeetha sabha organizes musical concerts on all nine days in Navarathri days. Also they organize such concerts occasionally and also support concerts based on film musics, dance programmes and such related items.

Kathakali aswadaka sadas arranges Kathakali regularly keeping an interval of about two months. For the annual two or three days Kathakali also will be staged. Also a three day programme are organized in memory of Godavarma, who worked for the propagation of Kathakali in this part of Kerala. Aksharasloka Sadas and Kavyamoola conduct their meets once in a month each.

Pusthaka vicharam is a discussion based on a chosen book. One interested person prepares after going through the selected book and makes a critical presentation. Two or three persons from among the audience also present their views. Vicharolsavam is a presentation by an expert on a topic of his choice, which are organized once in three months.

All the programmes are generally accepted by the public and a minimum of hundred plus audience is guaranteed. Many members belonging to senior citizen category spend their evening here inside the park sharing their experiences each other. They will be present irrespective of having any programme or not. All this have made the Park a typical cultural hub in Kochi city, perhaps, a unique one.

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Author: T.M.Sankaran08 Feb 2014 Member Level: Gold   Points : 2

Recently the lovers of dance programmes have joined together and has given shape to another group called 'Nrithaaswadaka sadas' (stage of dance lovers). They have already performed several programmes within a short span. Every month minimum one programmes is staged.

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