Treasures of yore

Heritage hunts

Treasures of yore

In today’s fast paced world, the focus is mostly on moving forward at breakneck speed with a thrust on being global citizens.
    
In such a scenario, it is not always easy or necessary to connect with the past and very often, one tends to forget their roots and where one comes from.     

However, with a hope to keep the history of the city intact and get more people interested in it, more and more heritage hunts are being conducted in Bengaluru and people are signing up for these with gusto.

A heritage hunt is a fun way to connect with the past of the city and learn about it. The participants are given clues about landmarks in a particular place with each clue leading to the next.

From shopkeepers and flower vendors to prominent statues and trees, everyone and everything is a clue.

While newbies are welcome, it is an added bonus if one already knows about the place as they can solve the puzzles easily.

One such group is ‘Masons Ink’. On World Heritage Day on April 23, the team conducted ‘Hands on Heritage Hunt’ at Malleswaram, an event inspired by the reality game show ‘The Amazing Race’.

Sridevi Changali, the principal architect at ‘Masons Ink’, says, “We often have heritage hunts with architect students but this was the first time we opened it to the public. After a brief introduction about Malleswaram’s rich history, the participants hurried to find the clues given to them.”

And how long did it take the team to put this together? 

“It took a couple of trial rounds to finalise the routes and the task points. We also used social media to connect with the younger audience,” she says.

“The main aim of heritage hunt is to bring about a change in one’s outlook towards heritage and ensure that it is engaging and fun for all. The onus of protecting one's heritage lies not in the hands of the government or a few intellectuals; it lies in each and every one of us. Community participation and awareness is the key to bringing about a change in the attitudes and mindsets of people,” explains Sridevi.

Old trees are an integral part of every city’s heritage and these walks also take that into account by drawing the participants attention to the rich flora of Bengaluru.

To discuss the old trees on 12th Main, Indiranagar, ‘Gathr’ conducted a ‘Mythological Tree Walk’ recently.

Badrinarayanan Seetharaman, the co-founder of ‘Gathr’ says, “We have all passed through 12th Main but haven’t really noticed the 60 species of trees available. This was a hunt to build curiosity amongst Bengalureans and learn about the biodiversity of the area.”

Ganeshram, a naturalist, took the participants and shared his knowledge of the trees, as biological species and as cultural artefacts in legendary tales.

He says, “With the number of buildings, roads and flyovers mushrooming in the city, the things that we grew up learning about are getting lost. I only hope to draw the attention of the passersby and encourage everyone to preserve what we build. There’s nothing new to explore but only recollect what once made this city a great one.”

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