The Gardens came into being when the Governor General; Lord Auckland desired to create a circus and a garden. A pleasure ground with an oblong tank in center was laid out on this site generally resorted to for riding an recreation. The site was initially named ‘Auckland Circus Gardens’. The adjacent Eden Gardens Stadium is the largest cricket stadium in India and the second largest in the world by its seating capacity. The historic and iconic cricket stadium has a seating capacity of more than one lakh spectators. It was one of the first cricket stadiums in India where floodlights were installed and Day & Night cricket was played. The gigantic electronic scoreboard is also one of its kinds in the country. The stadium has had the privilege of hosting the most important cricket matches like World Cup Finals of 1987, World Cup Semi Finals of 1996, Hero Cup and many other tournaments both national and international.
It is the home of the Bengal Cricket Team and the Kolkata Knight Riders of the Indian Premier League, as well as being a venue for Test, One Day International and Twenty20 International matches. Nevertheless, it remains the third biggest cricket stadium in the world, trailing Melbourne Cricket Ground and ANZ Stadium in Australia. As the saying goes in the world of cricket that “a cricketer’s cricketing education is not complete till he has played in front of a packed Eden Gardens”.
Location of Eden Gardens Stadium, Kolkata
The Eden Gardens and the stadium adjacent to it is the largest cricket ground in Kolkata and is the largest stadium in Asia. It is situated in the heart of Kolkata near Maidan.
History of Eden Gardens Stadium, Kolkata
The name ‘Eden Gardens’ has been kept by its makers inspired from ‘The Bible’. In the chapter of Genesis from Bible, ‘God’s Garden’ was named ‘Eden’ which He made for his mortal children Adam and Eve. The garden was paradise on earth. Inspired by this biblical concept, the Eden Gardens was named after Emily and Fanny Eden, sisters of the erstwhile Governor-General, Lord Auckland in 1864.
The Eden Gardens complex sprawls over a lush green land of 50 acres including the cricket stadium, indoor stadium and many gardens, lakes and a Pagoda. The Burmese Pagoda, adjacent to the lake which was brought to Kolkata from Burma after the British victory in the Burmese war of 1884. This Burmese Pagoda has an interesting history – It as built in 1852 in Prome (presently in Bago, Myanmar) by Ma Kin, wife of Moung Honon (Governor of Prome). Within the Pagoda there was an image of Gautama Buddha with its forehead set with precious stones. This Pagoda belongs to the class of buildings called Tazoungs or Thein Tazoungs, used by Buddhist Priests for worship.
The gardens are along the banks of the nearby Hoogly River (Ganges). Short cruises by boats and steamers are available down the Hoogly River with the Vidyasagar Setu etched in the background. The Netaji Indoor Stadium, the huge indoor stadium of Kolkata is also a part of the Eden Gardens complex. Entry to the garden is free but entry to the stadium is only permitted during matches and restricted by tickets. Presently, the Eden Gardens Stadium is a popular venue not only for sports, but also for concerts and exhibitions.
- The Burmese Pagoda was shipped from Prome to Calcutta in 1854 on the order of Lord Dalhousie.
- The first recorded Test at the venue was held in 1934, and its first One Day International in 1987.
- The Hero Cup knockout matches were staged at Eden Gardens, the first matches played under floodlights at the ground.
- The Headquarters of the Cricket Association of Bengal is situated at the Eden Gardens.
- VVS Laxman scored 281 against Australia in 2000/01. This remains the highest score at the ground.
- The most runs in Test Matches Played here was scored by V.V.S. Laxman (1041 runs), followed by Mohammed Azharuddin (860 runs) and Rahul Dravid (843 runs). The most wickets taken here was by Harbhajan Singh (46 wickets) followed by Anil Kumble (40 wickets) and Bishen Singh Bedi (29 wickets).
- The most runs in ODIs scored here by a batsman was by Sachin Tendulkar (496 runs), followed by Mohammed Azharuddin (332 runs) and Aravinda de Silva (306 runs). The most wickets taken here was by Anil Kumble and Kapil Dev (14 wickets each), followed by Javagal Srinath (8 wickets) and Ajit Agarkar (7 wickets).