Tourists will not get to hear Lucknow’s history in Om Puri’s voice | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Tourists will not get to hear Lucknow’s history in Om Puri’s voice

The celebrated actor’s demise has put an end to UP government’s plan to use his voice for its audio guides project, narrating the rich history of the state capital. . 

lucknow Updated: Jan 08, 2017 21:43 IST
HT Correspondent
Om Puri

Audio devices are being installed at Satkhanda.(Ashok Dutta/HT Photo)

Om Puri’s throaty voice will never be heard at Satkhanda — the nawabi-era red brick tower near Chhota Imambara. The celebrated actor’s demise has put an end to UP government’s plan to use his voice for its audio guides project, narrating the rich history of the state capital.

Expected to be rolled out in a matter of months, the project will have pre-recorded audio stories of Old City monuments available for being played by tourists.

Officials from the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA), the constructing agency for the ongoing beautification project, said that they were in the final stage of getting Puri’s consent for recording the voice-overs when the news of his demise came in. 

“Our people were in touch with Om Puri sahab for the project, a one-of-its-kind initiative aimed at facilitating tourists visiting the erstwhile capital of Oudh,” said a senior LDA official. “But now, our dream of having his much-loved voice in our audio tours will never become a reality.” 

Satkhanda, which historians say came into existence during the regime of nawab Mohammad Ali Shah (1837 to 1842 AD), has been shortlisted as the main operating centre of the audio tours project. 

It was in November 2016, that the LDA first conceptualised the idea. “The aim behind audio guides is to help tourists know about the city’s heritage without them having to search for monuments / places online and then go through lengthy texts,” said the official.

The LDA is still to decide on another personality for the project. “The installation (of audio devices) at Satkhanda is already in progress.However, we are in a fix about whose voice to use for these narratives now,” said the officer. 

HOW WILL AUDIO TOURS WORK?

Tourists can access stories on Old City structures by operating the audio devices being installed at Satkahnda. “They can plug in headphones too, to hear the stories,” said the LDA official. 

The clock tower, Chhota Imambara, Bara Immabara, Jama Masjid and Rumi Darwaza are some of the monuments visible from Satkhanda, and their stories will be made available through audio guides. 

“The audio tours will highlight Lucknow’s rich culture in such a way that the listener will be able to feel the city’s transformation from an old-world place to an advanced metro city,” said the officer.

Story telling

An LDA official said that the body was still to decide on whom to approach next for recording the voice-overs.

The audio tours are aimed at helping tourists know about the city’s heritage without them having to search for monuments and places online.

“The audio tours will highlight Lucknow’s rich culture in such a way that the listener will be able to feel the city’s transformation from an old-world place to an advanced metro city,” said the officer.

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