They had become a craze with their swanky looks and dazzling displays in air conditioned comfort. With their mushrooming growth, however, the malls have lost their charm as a favourite destination for families and the Gen X and parks have bounced back in favour.
"Footfalls have dropped by around 25-30 per cent" says Ravinder Taneja of Taneja Developers. One should understand that footfalls are not always connected to actual conversion rates," he says.
Large crowds of people, young and old at the Rajpath or the newly opened Central Park in Connaught place are an indication that the parks are back in favour, say experts. Before 2000, there wasn't a single mall in the country and today it boasts of over 300 and still rising.
This omnipresence is reversing the trend as people have had enough of malls and are now exloring new vistas. Delhi has 19 per cent of total urban land under parks.
The local community parks have a niche crowd and also the large City parks, are a hit with the people as spots of recreation, they say. Some gardens as the Garden of Eden are more famous. So are the Lodhi and Buddha gardens.
'The place is beautiful' is all that a modest couple gushes. The parks score a brownie point for such level of privacy to visitors whereas in a mall you can't escape the public eye, they say.
New Delhi's Millennium Park on the Ring Road too is testimonial to increasing crowds. "Earlier it used to be very barren, now every evening the parking lot is full, says a gardener. The trend of going back to parks is back. However some of the Gen X would never barter a garden for a mall.
"To enjoy with friends means to catch a movie and eat out together in a mall," says Shruti a school student. People adore malls for its services.