Pune without heritage walks for 3rd year as UNESCO’s World Heritage Week begins
We are in the process of finalising the tender details for the heritage walk, says PMC officialUpdated: Nov 21, 2019 16:24 IST
The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) has failed to revive its immensely popular ‘heritage walks’ in the city over the last three years, even as the World Heritage Week is being celebrated across the globe during November 19 to 25, 2019.
During UNESCO’s (United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organisation) World Heritage Week, special heritage-related events are organised in various cities across the country to promote awareness about heritage and stress on the preservation of cultural heritage and monuments.
While the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) offered free entry to its monuments to mark the day and the city bus service received a good response to its Pune darshan tour, the immensely popular ‘heritage walks’ through the lanes and bylanes of this city of the Peshwas, have been lying defunct for the last two years.
Janwani, a non-profit organisation floated by the Mahratta Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (MCCIA), wound up its heritage walks about three years ago at the end of its two-year agreement with the PMC.
Harshada Shinde, a member of the PMC’s Heritage Committee, regretted not having any planned event to mark the week. When asked about the defunct heritage walks, she said, “We are in the process of finalising the tender details for the heritage walk which will be on the lines of taking people in the old city and covering several wadas (characteristic residential structures) that we have renovated.”
She said the heritage cell had begun the process of floating a tender to restart the heritage walks that were very popular three years ago. This walking tour will cover Shaniwar Wada, Lal Mahal, Nana Wada, Belbaug and include all the important heritage structures in the city. Private heritage walks are quite popular in the city.
Supriya Goturkar Mahabaleshwarkar, Co-convenor, INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (Intach), Pune Chapter, said, “Heritage walks are a wonderful way to experience a city first hand. Pune core city never fails to surprise a tourist or even a resident Punekar with its various sights and sounds. Be it the marvel of architecture that represents different layers in history or the narrow bylanes with craftspeople’s workshops like Tambats, Buruds and the Kumbhars.”
“INTACH Pune has been conducting walks for over 25 years and we will be happy to join hands with, and support the PMC in conducting interesting heritage walks,” said Mahabaleshwarkar.
On Wednesday, the Pune Darshan bus tour run by PMPML saw good business from and saw many visitors on Heritage Day despite it being a weekday.
According to Nayana Gunde, chief managing director, PMPML, “We have two buses for Pune Darshan with a ticket of Rs 500. Tourists are taken to 15-16 places depending on the time.”
While the Pune tour has been receiving a good response, the same is the not the case with the three buses in Pimpri-Chinchwad, she said.