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Going back to the past on two feet

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BACK TO ANOTHER ERA: The heritage walkers braved the sun in return for an enriching experience.
BACK TO ANOTHER ERA: The heritage walkers braved the sun in return for an enriching experience.

Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: There are assorted efforts in the city to revisit and rediscover facts about its landmarks whether from the colonial period or otherwise.

Bangalore City Group and Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH), NGOs working in the field of urban heritage, organised a free walk on Saturday morning to underscore the importance of many colonial landmarks on the route between St. Marks Cathedral and Cubbon Park.

The iconic St. Marks Cathedral, located in the heart of the city, was built in 1812 to suffice the needs of British residents. The cathedral was expanded and rebuilt in 1927, said Poornima, the INTACH representative leading the walk.

The schools

A lesser known fact is that educational institutions such as Bishop Cotton Boys’ School, Bishop Cotton Girls’ School and St. John’s School were established for the children of British officials.

Chamrajendra Park, which you now know as Cubbon Park, was a buffer between the Cantonment and the Pettah settlement during the British rule and there was a toll gate separating the two, said Ms. Poornima.

Through the course of the brisk hike through Cubbon Park, the walkers were informed that this precious lung space was first named John Meade’s Park after the acting Commissioner of Mysore in 1884.

“Engineered by Richard Sankey in 1884, the park ensured that it met the recreational needs of the British,” Ms. Poornima said, pointing out that the two-storied, red building of the High Court was strongly influenced by Greek and Roman architecture. “It was called the Attara Kacheri or ‘18 rooms’ due to Mughal influence.”

The participants of the walk, which was enlivened by a quiz, a play and photographs of the landmarks, were told of many interesting facts about the High Court, Sheshadri Iyer Memorial Hall and other gracious buildings within the Cubbon Park.

The main objective of the Bangalore City Group and INTACH is to preserve what is left of our city’s heritage by engaging with the public.

These walks are conducted on the first and last Saturday of every month. Those interested may contact Ms. Poornima on 9880565446 or visit www.bcp.wiki.com.

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