Amusement parks: The Rise and Fall of Appu Ghar

India's oldest amusement park closes.

New Delhi’s renowned amusement park, Appu Ghar,   has closed this month after years of legal wrangling, bringing to a close 25 years of rides and thrills at the capital’s and indeed India’s oldest theme park. The killer was that the operators of the park did not own the land and the lease was up. Indian friends of mine are saddened as a national institution is no more, many of them having visited the park as children .

Opened back in 1984, and the brainchild of  Late Prime Minister Smt. Indira Gandhi , much loved Appu Ghar wasappughar.jpg spread over 15 acres and featured 22 rides, ranging from the obligatory roller coaster to dodgems, a giant wheel and a waterpark.

With the Indian economy in overdrive and the growth in the attractions industry reflecting this economic boom, I am wondering what the story is behind the demise of Appu Ghar.. can anyone shed any light?

This story of dramatic change in India’s economic fortunes is of course laden with caveats (eg. pushing 80% of the population still get by on less than $2 a day) but is nonetheless remarkable, with the country’s productivity tripling in the last 20 years, making it fourth in the world in terms of purchasing power.

Appu was an elephant apparently…