The citys heritage walk,one of the major tourist attractions,is all set for a facelift. With an estimated total cost of Rs 2 crore to be spent in phases,the heritage walk route will not only be upgraded but will also be extended by a few hundred metres.
In addition to a flexibility factor in the route plan depending upon tourists preferences and interests,another 500 metres of stretch (from Jami Masjid to Bhadra plaza) will be added by the heritage department of Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC),to the existing two-kilometre walk. The upgradation work that was started recently is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
There is a plan of adding a distance from Jami Masjid till Bhadra plaza.
At present,Bhadra plaza is being designed and developed to be an urban,vehicle-free zone by AMC and Archeological Survey of India (ASI). This stretch will include Teen Darwaza,a chabutra and a fountain along with Premabhai Hall, said Ashish Trambadia,conservation architect working on the heritage walk project.
Trambadia has worked on a number of conservation and restoration projects including Lonar group of temples in Maharashtra in collaboration of ASI,conservation plans for walled city,Rani ki vav in Patan,restoration of Jamalpur Darwaza and a few havelis in the walled city.
There is much more for the tourists. New features like multimedia presentation of Ahmedabads history and heritage,modern stone signage with information in English and Gujarati of important destinations of the walk,kota and kadappa stoned pavements and chowks along the entire route,special cast metal light poles,free-sides hand-crafted stone benches to replace the usual cemented ones will be added in order to give a heritage character to the walk.
To give an otla character to the route,councillor installed benches will be replaces with white sandstone hand-crafted side-free benches. Similarly,to bring a heritage look to the walk,special cast metal decorative lamp posts of a smaller height will also be installed. As many as 20 such benches and 30 lamp poles will be installed in the first phase of development, said one of the corporation officials at heritage department.
Another important aspect that has been taken care of is the sanitation. For better sanitation and to check waterlogging along the route,improvements in the drainage system have been carried out. After a survey of all the houses along the route,drainage levels have been kept away from the houses. A proposal of planters was also mooted but failed to materialise due to lack of residents cooperation and also lack of space, added Trambadia.
At present,a small pamphlet is distributed to the tourists on the heritage walk that includes information about the route only and not much about the history and heritage. For directions,small boards are installed at a few places that are not found to be adequate keeping in mind the visitors feedback who has wished for an elaborate information both on as well as off the site.
A walk through history
AMC in association with CRUTA foundation,an NGO,set up a heritage cell in 1996 to develop comprehensive strategies for conservation of the walled city
In order to generate public awareness,AMC in 1997 launched heritage walk of Ahmedabad to showcase the rich heritage of the city. The walk is conducted on daily basis and guided by the volunteers
The heritage walk starts daily at 7:45 am from Swaminarayan Temple,Kalupur and ends at Jami Masjid at 10:30 am and covers a distance of about two km
Heritage walk of Ahmedabad is being replicated in many other cities of the country including Amritsar