Bengaluru, Feb 15: Aptly described as India’s Silicon Valley for being the hub of top tech companies and startups, Bengaluru is much more than meets the eye; it is a city that is wrapped in history, traditions of heritage, entrepreneurship, eclecticism and culinary delights.
All these facets of Bengaluru will be reintroduced to its residents through a series of curatedwalks and an interactive session (baithak) as part of the ongoing India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF).
Bengaluru ishosting three walks for its residents as part of the month-long, multi-city IHWF 2018, jointly organised by Sahapedia (sahapedia.org), the online encyclopedia of Indian arts and culture, and YES Culture, the cultural division of YES Global Institute, a practising think tank of YES BANK, to encourage citizens to explore the tangible and intangible heritage of their cities and towns.
The first walkon February 17 (Saturday) will take participants on an exploration of Basavanagudi, a unique amalgamation of the best of old and new Bengaluru. The story of Basavanagudi begins in the late 1800s, and features a variety of eclectic personalities—from literary geniuses to unrelenting entrepreneurs, who found in this neighbourhood a space for conversation, commerce and culture.
Led by Kavya Srinivasan, a writer, theatre practitioner and storyteller, the two-hour walk provides an introduction to the oral histories and built heritage of Basavanagudi. The participants will visit Subbamma Angadi, MN Krishna Rao Park, the Indian Institute of World Culture, the old Flower Market and the legendary Mahalakshmi Tiffin Room for a plate of hot masala dosa.
The second walk, titled Taste Your Way Through VV Puram Food Street, will also be held on February 17, taking participants on a gastronomical trip of some of the finest roadside eateries in Bengaluru. VV Puram Food Street is a lane filled with delectable vegetarian street food. Crisp and buttery masala dosa, soft and steaming hot paddu, raagi roti,chaats, spicy noodles, chilly and capsicum bajjis(fritters), dabeli, vada pav and hot carrot halwa are just some of the gastronomical temptations that are on offer here.
Shobha Raghavan, a Bengaluru-based freelance writer, traveller and theatre trainer, will lead this walk in an unhurried way, introducing the group to the best picks in this bustling street and then leaving people to explore at their own pace.
The third and final heritage walk on February 18 (Sunday), titled A Morning Walk Through Basavanagudi, will take participants to some of the best parks in the area – Lalbagh, Krishna Rao Park and Bugle Rock Park – where trees are alive with the chirping of birds, a stark reminder of fast-disappearing lung spaces in Bengaluru.
Led by Shobha Raghavan, the walk will end at a small eatery where the participants can choose to have a traditional South Indian breakfast, complete with a cup of strong filter coffee.
Besides the three walks, there will be a Baithak (interactive session) on February 19 (Monday)on building a meaningful digital presence. Titled Creating with Meaning: Valuing Ideas, Words & Visuals, this session shares industry insight and context drawing from Border & Fall's body of work and experience within the design community.
The partners for this Baithakare Border & Fall, Srishti,and UNESCO Chair in Culture, Habitat & Sustainable Development.
Details about the walks and other programmes of IHWF 2018, map routes and registration information are available on http://www.indiaheritagewalkfestival.com
Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, says, ‘The India Heritage Walk Festival 2018 is a celebration of all that Sahapedia stands for. In an attempt to create authentic, credible, and exhaustive content on our rich heritage and culture, we are developing a network of cultural practitioners across the country. This festival is a part of this pan-India movement, making heritage spaces more popular, more accessible, and more experiential.’
Rana Kapoor, MD & CEO, YES BANK and Chairman, YES Global Institute, says “India is blessed with a rich heritage and cultural history, which is abundantly manifested in monuments and architectural sites across our country. Civil society participation in our Nation’s heritage, aided by activities such as heritage walks, is integral to the preservation and conservation of these sites. Such heritage tourism initiatives, with the wholeheartedparticipation and involvement of local communities and citizens, have the potential to instill immense national pride and further the agenda of heritage development,”
Preeti Sinha, Global Convenor, YES Global Institute, says, “The understanding of heritage in 21st century India has expanded from the protection of historic buildings and monuments to focus on more general understanding of the wider context and preservation of tangible and intangible cultural forms. Through active engagement with built, natural and living heritage through the design of walks, talks, and digital media such as films and social forums, the festival is a touchstone for conscious thinking towards formulating historically-sensitive policy and decision making.”
IHWF 2018, covering 20 cities and towns around the country, features walks to historical monuments and shrines, well-known landscapes, places known for art, culture, cuisine and flourishing trade. There is also an online film festival of documentaries based on cultural themes and lecture series curated as 'baithaks' and Instameets as part of nearly 70 events scheduled throughout the month.
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