Chennai’s Biking Yogis joins fingers with TTDC to discover all the pieces from Madras’ historical historical past to its streets with the funniest names, in its newest set of heritage biking toursRamanujar Moulana, founding father of Biking Yogis, discusses the development of cycle tourism, neglected cultural spots in Madras and upcoming heritage biking excursions
Chennai’s Biking Yogis joins fingers with TTDC to discover all the pieces from Madras’ historical historical past to its streets with the funniest names, in its newest set of heritage biking excursions
Sitting roughly 700 metres away from Chennai’s Island Grounds, the place the place India’s first flight, a airplane commandeered by Giacomo D’Angelis, took off in 1910, historical past fanatic Ramanujar Moulana unveils many different not-so-secret tidbits about Chennai’s wealthy cultural historical past.
Following the set of 4 heritage excursions carried out in early 2022, the Tamil Nadu Tourism Improvement Company (TTDC), together with Ramanujar’s organisation Biking Yogis, is launching a second sequence of six themed tour trails, starting on June 26.
World Wars path
Distinguished amongst these is the not too long ago concluded World Wars path, that revisits Madras’ tryst with the wars. “Numerous individuals aren’t conscious of Chennai’s involvement in World Wars, so the World Wars path will cowl the Emden bombing plaque, air shelters used within the Second World Struggle in Kasimedu, the Madras Struggle Cemetery in Nandambakkam and the Victory Struggle Memorial,” says Ramanujar.
On the evening of September 22, 1914 through the First World Struggle, Emden bombed Madras. One shell fired from the highly effective weapons of the Emden hit a compound wall of the Excessive Court docket, demolishing it utterly. Later, a plaque was erected close to this spot.
| Picture Credit score: Okay V SRINIVASAN
Historic Madras path
The second tour, Historic Madras Path, focusses on Madras earlier than its British settlements. It will discover a shrine of Alvar, the Thiruvalluvar temple, the Parthasarathi temple and Tiruvottiyur.
Scottish and Irish Path
Then again, the Scottish and Irish Path will go to the Munro Statue, The Kirk aka St Andrew’s Church in Egmore, and different numerous Scottish contributions to Chennai structure. It additionally plans to cowl St Patrick’s faculty in Gandhinagar and St Thomas Mount, to watch the Irish stamp on our metropolis.
Stained glass window at St. Andrews The Kirk, Egmore, constructed to serve the Scottish neighborhood in Chennai. The church was consecrated in 1821, and is among the many oldest church buildings in Chennai.
| Picture Credit score: RAVINDRAN R
“When COVID was at its peak, I needed to cease my earlier analysis for security causes,” states Ramanujar, who has been highlighting Chennai’s heritage via his biking excursions for years. He provides, “It was throughout this time that I made a decision to create a path devoted to our docs and healthcare staff. These trails have been compiled and launched in my guide Madras By Cycle in 2021.”
Medical heritage path
The Medical Heritage Path will cowl locations already listed in his guide, like Dr Muthulakshmi Reddy memorial in Thiruvanmiyur, Dr. Edward Bulkley’s tomb proper subsequent to Madras Medical Faculty, and the oldest eye hospital in Asia, Egmore Eye Hospital.
Vada Chennai path
From healthcare, he shifts focus to journey. The Vada Chennai Path will take members to one of many oldest railway stations in South Asia, the Royapuram Railway Station, to study extra about this metropolis’s railway heritage. The path additionally covers different distinctive, well-known spots that showcase North Chennai in a very vibrant approach, proper in time for Madras Day.
| Picture Credit score: Aswini Rao
Avenue names and charity path
And but, not all the paths are seeped in heavy historical past. “The idea of the final tour is kind of easy however completely different. There are various streets in Madras with barely unusual and humorous names, so I wished to go go to all of those locations. We additionally wished to make clear numerous charitable societies in Chennai.” he explains. Therefore, the Avenue Names and Charity Path will span throughout Madras and cease at locations like Constable Street, Brewery Street and Kolaikaran Pettai. They will even concentrate on charitable locations like Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Vepery.
“Cycle tourism is a one-of-a-kind expertise as a result of one turns into accustomed to the contours and topography of the town. That is positively not one thing you’ll be able to expertise by simply sitting in a automobile,” he says, whereas explaining that though he has lived in Chennai all his life, it took him all the ten years he spent documenting it and curating trails to essentially get to understand it.
This data he has gathered over time has been revealed in several books, every particular to a specific space or theme. Ramanujar’s subsequent guide discusses international influences apart from the British that made their mark on Madras. Nations like Italy, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, the US, Scotland, Eire and Turkey all function right here. Titled The World Heritage of Madras, it’s set to launch on August 21.