Delhi heritage tour: From Tughlaq to British era, cycle your way to historical monuments
In a move that is likely to give a push both to heritage tourism and cycling, the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) has decided to introduce ‘heritage cycle tours’ in the Capital.
The civic body is preparing routes to connect ancient structures dating back to Tughlaq reign in the 14th century with the 20th century British era. It will also include monuments that came up during the Lodi and Mughal rule.
NDMC has identified 10 heritage sites to begin the exercise.
The list includes Sikander Lodi’s Tomb, Shisha Gumbad, Muhammd Shah Sayyid’s Tomb in Lodi Garden, Talkatora Garden, Jantar Mantar, Argasen ki Baoli, India Gate, Rashtrapati Bhawan, Kushal Mahal, Malcha Mahal, and Safdarjung Tomb.
The tours will be conducted on weekends by the cycling group, under the patronage of the Palika Services Officers Institute (PSOI) club, which is located on Vinay Marg in Chanakyapuri area.
NDMC chairman Naresh Kumar said the move is an attempt to develop a system to acquire social and cultural knowledge and attract the youths to the country’s rich heritage.
“The agency is going to form a cycling club at PSOI club and the membership will be open for general public too. This heritage cycle tour will be one of the features of the club. Directions have been issued to chalk out modalities and formulate a policy in this regard,” he said.
The agency plans to buy 25 high-end bikes and other equipment to facilitate the tours.
The council is likely to develop a dedicated website a mobile application which will provide information on the route, monuments, and cost of the tour. The app will also provide options to book the tour.
A group of heritage enthusiasts opting for the tour may be accompanied by trained guides proficient in foreign languages or a potable audio-guide system may be used.
A senior official of the NDMC said all routes will have a combination of couple of popular and lesser known monuments and the visitors will also be provided refreshments or meals during the tour.
“Initially, there will be four or five routes available and a group will have 10-15 riders. As and when the demand grows, additions will be incorporated. It will require good GPS-enabled urban bicycles. We have seen a few modals. At present, we are planning to buy 25 cycles and an administration set-up will be developed for the project,” said a senior NDMC official.
The official added that if things move at the desired pace, the agency will be able to roll out the project before the winters. “If the experiment succeeds, we will build a separate cycle track connecting all the monuments in our jurisdiction,” he said.
The agency plans to build waiting shelters and cycle stands at the monuments on the route.