French tourists to take ‘Heritage Walk’

R. Krishna Kumar

Concept to popularise Mysore monuments among local people and tourists

The guided walk of 1.5 km to conclude on October 18

Participants will take an exploratory trail around the city

MYSORE: A group of French tourists, on an Indian rendezvous of yoga and spirituality, will soak in a slice of Mysore heritage this Dasara.

Their discovery of Mysore will be through the “Heritage Walk” of the city, courtesy the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage, which has launched the concept.

Introduced a few years ago, the scope of the concept is likely to be broadened to popularise it even among the locals who know little about the monuments and structures of Mysore that are reflective of different schools of architecture, which blends the traditional and modern styles.

Learning yoga

The French all-doctor team is expected to stay in the city for a few days to learn about yoga for which Mysore is gaining popularity, particularly Ashtanga yoga of Pattabhi Jois and other gurus.

The group is on a visit to Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry and has plans to visit Mysore.

N.S. Rangaraju, Department of Ancient History and Archaeology, University of Mysore, took the initiative to devote a slot for the French tourists in the “Heritage Walk”, which is scheduled for Wednesday.

Encouraging hoteliers

There are a few Iranian students, too, who have evinced interest in exploring and familiarising themselves with the heritage of Mysore. Some of them are postgraduate students of history pursuing their doctorate studies, according to Prof. Rangaraju, who is also a member of the State Heritage Committee.

Also on the anvil, is showcasing the built heritage of Mysore to the stakeholders, including travel agents and hoteliers to encourage them to inform their clients of the concept. Meanwhile, students pursuing tourism studies embarked on a heritage trail that was inaugurated on Saturday in the presence of Heritage Commissioner Venkatesh Machakanur and Prof. K.S. Nagapati, head, Department of Tourism, at the Mahajana’s College.

The trail and the cluster of buildings to be covered during the walk has been conceived by Dr. Gayatri, Deputy Director, Heritage, who told The Hindu that a few more trails are in the pipeline and needs to be popularised in the future to give a comprehensive picture of the city’s heritage. This includes the Kukkarahalli trail to showcase the biodiversity of the water body and the Jayalakshmi Vilas Mansion on the Manasagangtori campus.

Another trail

The other trail includes an exploration of the cluster of buildings comprising the Gordon House, or the office of the Deputy Commissioner, Crawford Hall, which is the seat of the University of Mysore, Oriental Research Institute, the cluster of buildings comprising the Maharaja’s College, Yuvaraja’s College and the Maharani’s College among others.

But for the present, the tourists and locals will be taken on an exploratory trail in the heart of the city, starting from the Rangacharlu Memorial Hall (Town Hall), Silver Jubilee Clock Tower, Free Masons Club, Chamarajendra Circle, Amba Vilas Palace, K.R. Circle, Devaraja Market, K.R. Hospital, Mysore Medical College, Ayurvedic Hospital and the Chamarajendra Technical Institute.

The oldest of these structures are the K.R. Hospital and the Rangacharlu Memorial Hall, which were built in 1876 and 1881 respectively. Both of them reflect the Greco-Roman style of architecture. Each participant will be given a T-shirt and colourful brochures with details of the group of monuments, complete with pictures that have been aesthetically produced by the Department of Archaeology, Museums and Heritage.

The guided walk of 1.5 km, to conclude on October 18, will be an immersion into the living heritage of Mysore and is free for all.

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