In the backyard

In the backyard

Local jaunts

In the backyard
It is important to be rooted to the place one belongs to,” says Vinayak Hegde, a software consultant and an avid traveller.

At a time when travel is becoming nothing less than a way of life, backpackers are ready to journey across the world for a glimpse of exotic places. However, with a focus on going international, most of us have somewhere forgotten to look back at the rich heritage and history that we can find within our own shores. “India has a history that goes back more than 1,000 years and one can spot several reminders of this in Bengaluru alone. From age old temples and monuments to the vibrant flora and fauna, there are ample things to see within the city and around it,” says Vinayak.

Avalabetta, Lepakshi, Hogenakkal Falls, Nandi Hills, Halasuru and Malleswaram  are a few of the places that he points out. He says, “The best part is Bengaluru is very strategically placed where states like Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and the Western Ghats are easily accessible. The Western Ghats, in particular, is a biodiversity hotspot. Historically also, this place is important with the presence of erstwhile dynasties like Chola and Chalukya.”

The cuisine is another attraction. Each part of Karnataka has unique dishes to its credit — from biryanis to different types of rotis and curries. The demand for local travelling has improved a lot over the years with the presence of many groups who organise heritage walks, runs and treks.

Tejaswini Gopalaswamy, co-founder of ‘Unventured’, an experiential travel group, says that ‘Bengaluru by Tuk Tuk', ‘Bengaluru in Nutshell Walk’ and ‘Pete walk’ are some of the categories they have that encourage people to take a tour of the city. “I feel that localities are now becoming more curious to know about their own city. They want to see it from a different perspective and connect to the place they live in,”  details Tejaswini. Tipu’s Palace, Raja Market and KR Market are some of the places in the city that people can explore to their heart’s content. They often conduct walks to places like Halasuru Someshwara Temple, Vidhana Soudha, State Central Library and  Koshy’s.
“We often hear people say, ‘there is nothing in Bengaluru to look forward to except for the malls and pubs’. So my cousins and I chalked out a map to show the different places people can visit. From Cubbon Park and the public libraries to Indira Gandhi Musical Fountain and old eateries like MTR and Queens restaurant — we have covered many local delights,”  says Sezel Lalwani, a professional at LinkedIn.

She adds that whenever there is a long weekend or when her friends come down to the city, she heads out on a local tour to reconnect with the city.

On a similar path is Anisha, a professional at Deloitte India, who makes it a point to visit at least one or two places within the city every weekend. These can range from culinary hotspots to places of historical importance. “Local travel is picking up among youngsters and concepts like heritage walks are a great way to encourage this trait. It is great to explore a city like Bengaluru which is historically and culturally rich,” says Anisha.

These trips are a great way to educate oneself about the rich history found in the backyard. So the next time you pack your bags, remember the words of American novelist Herman Melville, “It is not down in any map; true places never are”.