Click to know how a techie turned tour entrepreneur is letting people explore Bengaluru’s history

Click to know how a techie turned tour entrepreneur is letting people explore Bengaluru's history

Click to know how a techie turned tour entrepreneur is letting people explore Bengaluru's history

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It’s a Saturday morning, and Cubbon Park is gradually coming to life with all its weekend fervour. Resident readers lay out on the grass, stand-up comedy finds its zone, and walkers, with and without pets, charge ahead on the tracks. For most Bengalureans, this is a typical scene at the city’s central business district park.

However, for techie-turned-tour entrepreneur Vinay Parameswarappa, Cubbon Park is a goldmine of biodiversity and a landmark steeped in history. Every time his tour operators take visitors around, Cubbon becomes a journey back in time and a lesson in natural history.

Living to Tell the Tale

Bengaluru, primarily known as a tech hub, attracts many domestic and international travellers. Parameswarappa took inspiration from global cities to start his tourism business. After witnessing the robust tourism infrastructure in Southeast Asia, he realized the untapped potential of India’s historical and cultural sites. He began building his tours from scratch, using his extensive knowledge of Bengaluru.

“Once we narrowed down the places, we pulled the archives and research data about the city to stitch the stories we tell our customers,” says Parameswarappa. His tours include oral interviews with experts and locals to gather accurate information.

One of his popular tours, the ‘Colonial Crawl,’ takes visitors through Cubbon Park, showcasing its diverse trees brought from different parts of the world. The tour also explores the Karnataka High Court, highlighting its historical significance and neoclassical architecture.

Engaging with the City’s Roots

Parameswarappa’s tours attract Bengaluru’s crème-de-la-crème, eager to learn about the city’s history. These weekend walks create a sense of belonging among participants. “Around 10-15 people join us for the walks daily, with more domestic travellers participating on weekends,” he says. Corporate groups, both domestic and international, also show keen interest in learning about Bengaluru’s tech growth and post-independence history.

Unique Tour Experiences

The tours offered by Parameswarappa’s company are diverse. ‘Death by Dosa’ explores dosa joints, old buildings, and power looms in Chickpete. ‘Malleswaram Hogana’ engages visitors with mural arts in Malleswaram. ‘The Tiffin Trail’ is an evening walk exploring iconic food spots in Basavanagudi. ‘Colonial Crawl’ covers statues in Cubbon Park and places on St Mark’s Road. ‘Coffee and Cantonment’ explores the old Cantonment area’s history and coffee. ‘Bangalore Biodiversity Trail’ is a trip to Cubbon Park.

A Walk to Remember

Parameswarappa initiated a night walk for International Women’s Day in 2023, promoting safety and accessibility for all genders. The ‘Pete by Night Walk,’ done in collaboration with an electric vehicle service provider, explores Chickpete at night, covering landmarks like Vidhana Soudha, Parsi Temple, MG Road, Church Street, and Cubbon Road on electric bikes.

Pedalling Away to Stunning Views

Couple Dheeraj Subrahmanian and Poojya Basavaraj founded a bicycle tour collective, offering a quick and meaningful break for Bengalureans. They crafted several routes on the outskirts of Bengaluru, like ‘Nandi Countryside,’ ‘Hennur Countryside,’ ‘Arkavathi Blues,’ and ‘Lake Hoppin’ for weekend rides.

Freelance HR consultants and others frequently join these rides. On the ‘Arkavathi Blues trail, she enjoyed stunning views of the countryside, roads, villages, fields, and lakes. “Our package included both lunch and breakfast. I opted for a 40km ride, which was safe as a supporting vehicle followed us,” says one.

Besides Bengaluru, the couple curates experiential bicycle rides and expeditions across India and the globe, allowing participants to explore and appreciate the natural and historical richness of their surroundings.