“ A popular park next to the Hussain Sagar Lake which offers boat tours on the lake, a musical fountain and other amusements. „
Lumbini Park was on our list of attractions included in our sightseeing package for Hyderabad and was one for which I'd not bothered to do any research. I knew there was a statue of the Buddha standing on a small island in the middle of Hussain Sagar Lake that I wanted to see, but I'd not given any thought to how to get there. Luckily my lack of research didn't matter because our driver took us straight from the Birla Science Museum down to the waterfront to visit the park.
He parked up outside and rushed off to get our tickets. Since every place we'd been to up to that point had refused to let us take cameras inside, I handed mine to the driver and we headed inside to see what the park had to offer. The answer, on first glance, was not a lot. It seemed to be a rather small place with few attractions other than a miniature railway and some children's play areas. There was a place you could practice your cricket batting against a bowling machine or bounce on one of those bungee-trampoline things but not at lunchtime on a Monday.
Apparently there's a musical fountain and a floral clock, neither of which are guaranteed to excite anyone over the age of ten. The main attraction was clearly the boat tours that go from the waterfront out to the Buddha Island. Just as we were deciding whether to buy ourselves a speedboat trip out to the island, Mohin the driver appeared. He'd realised that we could take cameras and had bought a ticket just so that he could bring my camera in for me. We told him that we wanted to go to the island, explained as best we could that we could have up to 4 people in the boat and we'd like him to come with us. I'm sure that we were supposed to pay for this treat and it shouldn't have been included in our package but he rushed off to get the tickets and wouldn't take our money. The trip was 200 Rp for up to four people (about £2.50)
The trip would only be 5 minutes long. We knew this because we'd timed the two groups who went out before us. To be honest, 5 minutes in a speedboat is more than enough for me and we didn't want to spend a lot longer taking one of the larger, slower boats to the island. Whilst the group before us were whizzing out to the island, the attendant was kitting us out with life-jackets. I have a photo of hubby and Mohin which he liked so much that he asked for a copy before we left. They both look very pleased with themselves, waiting for the boat.
The speedboat returned, we all hopped in and set off at breakneck speed. The Buddha faces away from Lumbini Park so you can't see his face unless you take a boat trip; a canny bit of planning by the people who put him there who must have had shares in the boat operators. You can't really see him unless you are willing to pay. We shot past him to the other side of the lake and then turned towards him, with the boat slowing down as we got close and the skipper somehow managing a picture of us with the Buddha behind whilst driving the boat one handed. We shot off a few pictures and were shooting back to land just a moment later.
With the Buddha suitably visited, there really wasn't much more to do in Lumbini so we took a short stroll around for a few photos and then headed off to our next attraction.
Note - in case anyone was wondering (I know I was) the name Lumbini comes from the place where the Buddha was born which I think is located in Nepal.
A popular park next to the Hussain Sagar Lake which offers boat tours on the lake, a musical fountain and other amusements.