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Delhi heritage tour: From Tughlaq to British era, cycle your way to historical monuments

The New Delhi Municipal Council will soon introduce ‘heritage cycle tours’ which will connect 10 heritage sites in Lutyen’s zone.

delhi Updated: Jul 11, 2017 17:29 IST
Parvez Sultan
Parvez Sultan
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Delhi tour,Delhi heritage
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.(HT FILE)

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.

Heritage tour of Delhi
Monuments and structures that have a significant historical value will be covered under NDMC’s heritage tourism plan
TALKATORA GARDEN: The historic site owes its name to its taal (pond). This is where the Mughals and Marathas clashed during the ‘Raid of Delhi’ in 1737.
PARLIAMENT HOUSE: It was designed by British architects Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker. It was completed in 1927.
JANTAR MANTAR: The complex of 13 architectural astronomy instruments was built by Maharaja Jai Singh II.
INDIA GATE: Inaugurated in Feb 12, 1931, the war memorial stands astride on the central vista — Rajpath. It commemorates 70,000 Indian soldiers who died during the World War I.
05MALCHA MAHAL: This is a hunting lodge built by Firuz shah Tughlaq in the Chanakyapuri area. It is located in the ridge area next to the Delhi Earth Station of the Indian Space Research Organisation.
06RASHTRAPATI BHAWAN: The Rashtrapati Bhavan, formerly known as Viceroy’s House, is the official residence of the President. Spread over 130 hectares, the estate includes Mughal Gardens, large open spaces, among other structures.
07KUSHAK MAHAL: The shikargah (hunting lodge) built by Firuz Shah Tughlaq in the mid-14th century is located inside the Teen Murti Bhawan complex just opposite the Nehru Planetarium.
08AGRASEN KI BAOLI: Also known as Ugrasen ki Baoli, it’s a historical step well on Hailey Road. Though there is little information on its period of construction. But it is believed it was built by Maharaja Agrasen.
09SAFDARJUNG TOMB: The tomb of Mirza Muqim Abul-Mansur Khan, titled Safdarjung, was the viceroy of Oudh under Muhammad Shah and later under Ahmad Shah. The tomb was built in about 1754 by his Shuja-ud-Daula.
10LODI GARDEN: The park situated in the heart of Lutyens’ zone is a cluster of five big monuments — Mohd Shah’s Tomb, Tomb of Sikandar Lodi, Shisha Gumbad, Bara Gumbad, and a mosque built in 15th and 16th century.

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.

First Published: Jun 08, 2017 11:41 IST