The tourism department has decided to launch cycle heritage trail with the help of Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) in Bhubaneswar.
The tourism department has planned two cycle trails in Old Town that houses several temples initially.
“Each trail will cover around 3.5 km. BMC will provide cycles to tourists who will move around different temples and monuments. Tourists can hire cycles from a particular place and return those after their journey,” tourism secretary Arti Ahuja said.
Urban Planning Experts said the government should first develop cycle tracks before promoting cycling.
“It is a novel idea to launch cycle heritage tour. But how will the tourists ride cycles without a dedicated cycle corridor? It is impossible to ride a cycle on busy roads. The government should first build cycle tracks around temples and heritage sites,” said Piyush Rout, an urban planner.
IPS officer Sanjeeb Panda, an avid cyclist, said cycle tourism is promoted in many foreign countries.
“I have seen foreign tourists in Puri and other places preferring the cycle to other modes of travel. People coming with their families might find it difficult to cycle, but for youths it will give a different experience,” said Panda, inspector general (state armed police).
Heritage Walk Program
In a related development, the tourism department is all set to start a heritage walk program in Bhubaneswar from Sunday.
Christened as Ekamra Walks, a batch of 30 tourists will be taken on a walk-through around several temples in Old Town.
“The journey will start at 6 am from Mukteswar temple. The heritage walk would start and end at Mukteswar temple covering 2 km via Pabaneswar, Parsurameswar, Taleswar, Bindusagar, kitchen complex of Ananta Basudev and nearby shrines, old Dharmshala, Lingaraj temple precinct, Chitrakarini, Papanasini, Bharati Matha and Baital temple and medicinal plant garden at Ekamra Van,” tourism director Nitin Bhanudas Jawale said.
Each tourist will pay Rs 250 to be part of the Ekamra Walks programme, Jawale said.
“Two trained guides will accompany the tourists during the walk of around 3 hours. We have planned to organise such walks every Sunday. A travel agency has been roped in to accept bookings by tourists. Soon, we will start online booking system,” Jawale said.
Courtesy: The Times of India