For World Heritage Day, Yahoo! India caught up with software
professional turned Bangalore/Karnataka heritage specialist Poornima
Dasharathi, who runs a tidy little tourism initiative called Unhurried that
specializes in heritage tours in Karnataka and heritage walks around some of
the oldest parts of Bangalore city. Poornima self-confessedly stepped into the
world of heritage tourism when she realized she knew more about the by-lanes of
Boston than she did about the tree-lined avenues and old world charm of
Bangalore, the city she calls home. Combining her love of history with her
penchant for travel and passion for Indian culture, this young heritage
ambassadress conducts various heritage walks during weekends for the city's
laidback settlers as well as passersby and tourists who want to carry home with
them a piece of a city that is perennially stuck in an identity crisis -
bustling metropolis or pensioner's paradise? - Bangalore.
Poornima: I have always loved travelling to different places, be it the usual touristy-Lonely Planet-in-hand routes or trekking in the wilds. Thanks to the frequent travels my IT employers sent me on, I started to know a lot about the places I was posted to and this made me better appreciate the place I am from. I realized then that I knew more about Boston, London and Melbourne than I did about Bangalore, where I am from. That, and the passion for travel, led me to start conducting heritage walks as a volunteer for INTACH. I have since then conducted several heritage walks and a few tours, earlier through INTACH and later with Unhurried.
Unhurried is basically an extension of what I was anyway doing - exploring nooks and crannies of Bangalore and Karnataka, telling stories about it to people, and encouraging others to get out there, be more inquisitive and explore.
How did Unhurried come about?
I love history, culture, travel, and more than all three, I enjoy narrating stories. Hence, tours and walks are right up my alley! I realized there are not too many tour operators or organizers who offer that personalized and specialized experience to travellers who want to know more about the places they visit. That led me to set up Unhurried.
Unhurried is a perspective. It aims to make us look at a place from a different viewpoint - this can be history, culture or nature or any combination of these three. I hope to encourage more and more people to explore our diverse customs, traditions and enjoy the natural beauty and appreciate the rich and varied history that we are all privileged to have in our backyard, but may not be fully aware of.
Unhurried conducts specialized heritage tours, culture tours, nature walks and photography expeditions in Karnataka. These range from early morning walks to day tours, weekend trips to longer tours. We also offer customized tours and walks to institutions like schools, corporates, etc.
We like to keep it small, personalized, unhurried and unique - and we want everyone who has been on our tours or walks to go away with a new-found appreciation for the place they visited. We want that trip to linger in their memories for a while.
While we currently specialize in Karnataka, we hope to expand shortly, starting with other regions in South India, and eventually cover the whole of India. We live in such a fascinating country, and there are many stories yet to be told. We work in partnership with other like-minded organizations like Ecologin to offer the same experience in other regions.
Sometimes, people come for these tours due to peer pressure and are not so keen on this kind of travel. I enjoy their reactions when at the end of the tour, they become its staunchest fans.
Walks in April
- Malleswaram Walk: Experience the heritage and culture of one of Bangalore's oldest suburbs on April 21 (7 AM),
- Bengaluru Pete Walk - Know more about Kempegowda's Bangalore on April 28 (7 AM)
Walks in May
- Cantonment Walk - May 19 (7 AM), The Coffee Walk in Mudigere - May 26, 27 (details about the walk can be collected from Poornima directly)
- The Keladi tour, Monsoon photography tours (dates will be announced soon)
Poornima’s contact details as below:Email: Poornima@unhurried.in
Phone: +91 98805 65446
(Images courtesy: Poornima Dasharathi, Unhurried.in)