Built, cultural and natural heritage over a weekend

Two different heritage-related events took place last weekend. The first was an INTACH Parichay which took place on Saturday, 29 January, at Shivajinagar. About 20 of us gathered at St Mary’s Basilica and then gradually made our way towards Russel Market, where Mohammed Idrees Choudhury spoke to us about the market and what makes it unique. Then followed Adams square, the mews, Renuka theatre and finally the Jain temple and the fabulous Gani Building (“Shivajinagar ki shaan”, as one shopkeeper near the building called it) on OPH Road.

As walk leader Pankaj Modi pointed out, the charm of Shivajinagar lay not so much in its old buildings (which are, of course, charming) as in its diverse, composite culture and its way of life. The walk also saw some brief discussions on urban change and conflicting needs in our city, partly sparked off by Hasiru Usiru volunteer, Vinay Sreenivasa, who spoke to the group about the on-going eviction of vendors from Shivajinagar’s footpaths.

Tree-whiz Seshadri explains a point about a native tree species during the tree walk. Pic: Meera Iyer.

The second event on Sunday, 30th January celebrated natural heritage. Rock climbers in Bangalore have been organising a Celebrating Turahalli festival for the last few years now. This year’s festival to celebrate “one of south Bangalore’s last remaining lung spaces” was attended by about 150 people (more on the festival here.)

A youngster has a go at the so-called PhD rock in Turahalli. Pic: Meera Iyer.

Apart from rock-climbing, there was also a nature walk. For those of us who were new to Turahalli, it came as quite a revelation to learn that much of the greenery in the area was thanks to the efforts of rock climbers and naturalists who have been planting trees in the area since 1994.

Unlike the Forest Department, which has established plantations of two exotics, Acacia and Eucalyptus, in the hillock’s lower slopes, nature lovers have planted native and endemic species on the hillock itself. The nature/tree walk was led by the immensely knowledgeable Seshadri, a volunteer with Hasiru Usiru, who pointed out many of these native tree species, with factoids and anecdotes about their uses, history and names.

All in all, a fun-filled day.

Comments:

  1. Deepa Mohan says:

    Excellent post Meera. I missed both events, so enjoyed reading about them.

  2. Meera Iyer says:

    Thanks Deepa. I kept thinking I’d bump into you at Turahalli but then I realised you were out of town then.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Similar Story

Addressing pet dog attacks: A balance between regulation and compassion

Government intervention is necessary to prevent indiscriminate breeding and trade of pet dogs, and more shelters are needed for abandoned pets.

Recently, two pet Rottweiler dogs attacked a five-year-old child and her mother in a  Corporation park in Nungambakkam, Chennai. Based on a complaint following the incident, police arrested the owners of the dog for negligence and endangering the lives of others (IPC Section 289 and 336). As General Manager-Administration of the Blue Cross of India, I have seen several Rottweilers over the years. While there are laws to address such situations, there needs to be adequate awareness among pet owners that dogs like Rottweilers should be taken for a walk only on a leash. A major portion of the responsibility…

Similar Story

Bardhaman town’s tourism potential: Why it must be developed

West Bengal's Bardhaman town has immense tourism potential. Its development must prioritise sustainable tourism and civic development.

Bardhaman town, renowned for its Bengali sweets like mihidana and sitabhog, is also famous for its rich tapestry of folk culture and heritage sites. The town has immense potential for tourism. But the question arises, how much of it has been explored?   This article aims to shed light on Bardhaman's historical sites, the initiatives to promote tourism while addressing the civic issues hindering its progress, and highlight the need to balance tourism with sustainable development.  Heritage sites of Bardhaman Sher Afghan’s tomb  Located beside Pir Beharam, close to Rajbati, lies the  tomb of Sher Afghan, the resting place of the last…