INTACH plans heritage walk in one of the city’s oldest areas

It is five years since INTACH (The Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) started Parichay, its heritage walk, to help people discover Bangalore’s neighbourhoods, buildings, monuments and history. In short, these walks help people get an idea of what makes this vibrant city tick.

On the eve of the next walk, in the old Gavipuram area on March 31, in its Heritage Walk.

In an interview to The Hindu, Meera Iyer, co-convenor, INTACH, spoke about the project. Excerpts:

What has the response been to the five-year Parichay - Heritage Walks?

We started the Parichay programme because we wanted people to get acquainted with Bangalore's heritage, and appreciate its composite and diverse culture. As a person I met in a village near Hessaraghatta once told me: “We all know about Belur and Halebid, but how many people know about the heritage in their own neighbourhoods?” And the response has been fantastic! We’ve had people from 8 to 80 join our walks.

Some people tell us that they can no longer just walk past an old building without “feeling something” for it! Others have thanked us for sensitising them about heritage.

What is good and bad about the changes in Bangalore?

The bad and sad things: we’re losing a lot of our natural and built heritage. The good thing is be that the city’s inclusive, diverse, vibrant nature has not changed.

How exactly do you go about these tours?

We have had visits to Begur, Basavanagudi, Fort area, Shivajinagar, Ulsoor, Gavipuram, Fraser Town, Devanahalli, Nandi village, Whitefield, Lalbagh, Cubbon Park/Cantonment and Malleswaram.

We also have nature or tree walks, which are usually in either Lalbagh or Cubbon Park. Currently we have two out-of-town Parichays to Srirangapatna and Melkote, and are still expanding our list. We have a group of experts — writers, architects, historians, conservation architects, naturalists and so on — who take you to these places and talk about the history of the area, its layout, people or settlement pattern, architectural styles you might see there, and of course, any stories associated with the area: myths, battles, events, anecdotes and the like.

Parichays are held once a month and last for about three hours. Each participant is charged Rs.120, which includes a snack. Most of the [commentary] is in English but some (including the upcoming one to Gavipuram) are conducted in Kannada.

The walk starts at 7.30 a.m. To participate, contact INTACH on intach.blr or 26794220, 26797854.

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