Take a trip through history and tribal culture of Maharashtra at this Pune Heritage Walk
Interesting monuments in the vicinity of Pune are covered in the Samparc Heritage Walk which has been trying to bring some of these monuments under the UNESCO World Heritage ListUpdated: Nov 26, 2017 15:10 IST
Hindustan Times, Pune
For several years now, Amitkumar Banerjee, founder secretary of Samparc, has been working towards the betterment of orphan and needy children, youth and women. Through ‘Samparc’ (Social Action for Manpower Creation), the NGO that he founded in 1990, Banerjee has been organising various activities to bring harmony among these kids and the society. One such activity which will be entering its second year is the Heritage Walk.
An initiative that began last year, the Samparc Heritage Walk 2017 seeks to create awareness among citizens about the key historic areas in the city. “The focus of the walk is to heighten awareness about the historic value of settlements and encouraging local communities to conserve and preserve their own heritage. This will also help inculcate a sense of pride and appreciation among them,” says Banerjee.
Last year, about 3,000 people of different age groups and different social stature, including a handful of corporate employees, students and foreigners, participated in these heritage walks. “This year, we are expecting around 10,000 participants who will be led through 14 interesting cultural events and five types of traditional Maharashtrian foods during the 7.2-km walk. I want to make people feel like they are at a carnival. This way, people will remember our culture and become sensitive towards our heritage,” he says. The organisation is also looking forward to persuade authorities to enlist certain places as Historical Heritage Properties in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The walk will begin from the foothills of Bhaje caves, a cluster of 22 rock-cut caves dating back to the second century BC, located near Lonavala. “The walk will proceed to Lohagad Fort, which is 3,800 feet above sea level. Lohagad was one of the prominent hill forts of the Maratha Empire. For a short period, it was taken over by the Mughals. The hill extends to the northwest to a fortified spur, called Vinchukata (scorpion’s tail) because of its shape, which resembles a scorpion’s tail. The beauty of the fort comes alive during monsoon when it is covered with mist and clouds,” said Banerjee.
The stretch will cover 3.6 kms with Lohagad being the highest point of the heritage walk. With the fort to your right, you can see the gushing waters of Pavana Dam on the left. The enthralling view of archaeology tucked into natures abode will take you to another level of reality.
The participants will be treated to a warm reception by the tribal women and children while the volunteers will serve snacks, soft drinks and water. Physiotherapists, yoga personnel and medical staff will help everyone to de-stress and also attend to injuries, if any. At every point of the walk, the volunteers would be readily available to serve and help.
From Lohagad fort, the participant will take the same route downhill and the walk will conclude at the starting point.
Where: SAMPARC Balgram, Bhaje, Lonavala
When: December 10, 8am
Cost: Rs 750 / Rs 1000
(Students: Rs 600)
First Published: Nov 26, 2017 14:57 IST