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Heritage Walk Festival: The Making of Margao on February 17

In Nation
February 14, 2019

As part of the second edition of Sahapedia’s India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF), a guided tour of Margao, the cultural capital of Goa, will explore the bustling city’s local stories and lesser known trivia.

Popular for its rich cultural history and historic architectural landmarks that attract tourists in large numbers every year, the Margao heritage walk on February 17 will start with the noted 16th-century Holy Spirit Church, where the Margao Massacre of 1890 took place. All bookings for the festival are powered by Odigos, a product by the Bird Group, is an online marketplace that connects tourists to certified guides in India. Odigos app provides a seamless way for travellers and locals alike to understand and explore the iconic sites of our country.

The walk, led by tourism entrepreneur Varun Hegde, will then lead participants through the history of the city, from the Old Municipality (established in 1770) and Market to the new one, which was built in 1905.

“The walk will cover all the important structures of the city, including a structure that housed one of the greatest thinkers of the modern era.The tour also involves relishing an authentic local snack at a cafe dating back to 1935,”said Margao-born Hegde, who quit his job with Tata Consultancy Services in Frankfurt to setup Soul Travelling, a Goa-based start-up focused on offbeat tourism.The free guided tour will begin at 5 pm.

On February 09, Mapusa’s Ramchandra Prabhu Salgaonkar, a voracious traveller, led a walk rediscovering the historic city of Panaji, focusing on its magnificent structures. The tour began at the historic Tobacco Square, after which participants proceeded to the Latin Quarter, an 18th-century conservation area with heritage buildings. From the top of the Maruti Temple, accessible through a traditional pathway, participants got a magnificent view of the Mandovi river. The hillock houses several important buildings of the past.

The IHWF, which received the prestigious PATA Gold Award 2018 for its maiden edition organised last year, is a one-of-its-kind month-long festival covering 37 cities, with nearly 100 heritage walks and outreach events. The February 02-28 festival is being supported by NMDC, a state-run mineral producer and explorer. The events’ bookings are facilitated by Odigos, an app that makes travel and discovery easier in India.

Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, said: “We want to democratise access to local history and culture. One might be living in the same neighbourhood for years, but there is a big chance that an important landmark, tucked away in a back alley, has been missed and forgotten. The IHWF is that opportunity to discover the hidden gems linked to the history of a place, town or city.”

Junhi Han, Head and Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO New Delhi office, said, “The IHWF programme addresses knowledge of local architectural heritage, sustainable tourism, with a special focus on gender-related issues and accessibility in cultural heritage facilitating more inclusive and better outreach. The festival is expected to involve, engage and sensitize more people, in particular the youth, about their cultural heritage.”

Details about the walks, registration and other programmes of IHWF 2019 are available on https://www.odigosguides.com/India-heritage-walk-festival