A walk to remember

Interactive trails

A walk to remember

Activities like trekking, riding and camping under the stars are a few concepts that have been popular with adventure enthusiasts for a long time now. However, the buzzword these days in this arena is ‘walking trails’. Many in the city are seen embracing this trend with much vigour and enthusiasm.

It is a known fact that to get to know a place better, it is wise to walk around the area. Bengaluru being a vast city with varied experiences, there are still a lot of places here left to be explored — both by locals and outsiders. There are also some areas which cannot be accessed by car, a tour bus or even a bike; the next best option then is to explore them on foot.

Vouching for a great experience, many groups in the city are organising walking trails around Bengaluru for a variety of reasons. Walking has always proved to be one of the best exercises which can relax one’s mind and body. Hence, a lot of people (both young and old) are seen choosing these trails as a recreational option.

Siddharth Raja, the founder of ‘Nandi Valley Walks’ that organises heritage walking tours in and around Nandi Hills, says, “We organise walking tours all round the year, except for the months of March, April and May when it becomes extremely hot here. Our tours happen only during the weekends and people get in touch with us through our Facebook page and register their spots. We lead not more than 20 to 25 people for each walk and show them different historical sites on foot.”

Some of the popular attractions among people, he highlights, are the Bhoga Nandeeshwara Temple (a 1,200-year-old architectural site), Nandi Halt (the 100-year-old train station) and the site of the battle for Nandidurg at Sultanpet village.

With these walking trails becoming popular, there are new trends that are pouring in as well. Highlighting some of them, Priya Rao, who organises these heritage walks, says, “There is a renewed interest in history now, and people are keen to know what probably happened in a particular place 100 years ago, what were the interesting events that took place and more.

People have also started giving their passion for photography a chance while on these trails. The scenic beauty of these places gives them a lot of opportunities to practice good photography.”

Walking trails is a popular trend in the West and with many Indians abroad, they have experienced them as well, given an urge to know about their own culture, heritage and history.

The time factor is another aspect that is encouraging people to participate in these walks. Every walking trail that is organised doesn’t last for more than 3 hours which is equal to spending time at a movie theatre. That motivates many to rather spend a few hours in the lap of nature or visit a historic site.

Poornima Dasharathi, the founder of ‘Unhurried.in’, says, “We have open walks and private tours. The open walks are usually organised three to four times a month and announced during the first week of every month. They take around two to three hours.”

Avenue Road, Kalasipalya, Shivajinagar, Cleveland Town, Cubbon Park, Lalbagh, Malleswaram and Basavanagudi are some of the most frequented places in the city and the visits are mostly to the old temples, forgotten cities and rural trade areas.
 “We aim to showcase the culture, people, stories and lifestyles of these places.

The more professional in approach, better-marketed walks like those of the West are the new shifts that can be seen today. However, while we speak about the glorious history, I believe that the present civic situation needs much improvement,” says Poornima. 

She adds, “It’s an informative and fun way to know more about the city. It shows how diverse our city is and makes one more appreciative of the same.”

‘Bengaluru by Foot’, another group that organises walking trails around the city, has been to the fictional town of Malgudi and other heritage areas like Basavanagudi, Malleswaram, Johnson Market and Russell Market. Mansoor Ali, the founder, says, “Unlike some other places, our city has very few monuments to look forward to. So these walking trails serve as a good opportunity for people to spend their time knowing about the existing history and heritage of a place. Besides this, people are fed up of visiting malls, so they look forward to a different kind of activity and experience nowadays.”

He also points out that these trails help people expand their social circle and give good exercise.

“We have people from the IT background and expatriates participating in these walks, and it is good to see people from different corners of the city coming together for a novel experience,” he adds.

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