Gujarat: Residents revisit Bharuch through heritage walks

Aishwarya Mohanty
Participants enjoy a heritage walk in Bharuch on Sunday. (Express Photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Around 15 people across all age group and walks of life took a tour of Bharuch as part of a heritage walk organised by the Heritage Trust of Vadodara on Sunday.

The walk was part of the 10-day-long People’s Heritage Festival being celebrated by the trust to celebrate the 508th anniversary of Vadodara.

Considered a major port city almost 2,000 years ago, Bharuch boasts of major Parsi, Dutch and Mughal architectural monuments which were revived only a year ago after the district administration formed the District Tourism Development Society in October 2018 that initiated weekly heritage walks thereafter.

“We have been organising such walks and this year we chose Bharuch which has been an important port and has its own historical importance. Besides, it is also close to Vadodara. We are developing these walks to help the residents connect with the history of the cities. If more people were to be exposed to such walks, it will be conservation in itself,” said Jaideep Verma, secretary, Heritage Trust Vadodara, who was also a part of the walk.

The four-hour walk which began at 7:30 am traversed through narrow lanes and alleys lined with traditional houses - some abandoned, some dilapidated, some up for sale, some more than centuries old and most of them still inhabited by the third or fourth generation, bearing exquisite wooden architectural features.

The walk started at the Dashwashamedh Ghat and covered around 20 heritage spots in the city, including Nathu Thobhan Dharmshala, Jumma Masjid, Parsi Agiyari, Sardar Manzil, Victoria Tower, Gandhi Sevashram, Kanhaiya Lal Munshi kadki, Dutch Cemetery, Bhrigu Rishi Temple, Library, amongst others.

“Every Sunday a batch of almost 20 people of all age groups participate in the heritage walk. It is free of cost,” Gyaneshwar Patil, a retired army personnel, who has been working as a guide with the district tourism development society for the last one year, said.

On Sunday, one of the new additions to the list of heritage sites was one of the participants, Helly Shah’s 110-year-old house.