Bengalureans, both old and new, are not familiar with the history of the city and the many historical sites in its wide expanse. Tourists to the city are suggested places such as Lalbagh, Cubbon Park and Bangalore Palace, but the list usually ends there. “I didn’t know of the existence of Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace until a few months ago,” says Srishti Punja, an operations manager who has been living in the city for the past seven years.
When she eventually got there, she was disappointed to find that the place was poorly maintained. “I regretted going there. It was sad to see the palace in such a sorry state. There was not enough information at the place to learn about its history.” Sixty eight-year-old Usha Rao, who grew up in Basavanagudi, had this to say: “In spite of the influx of a large number of migrants, the city’s culture is still intact in a few pockets.” She is optimistic that the culture will continue to thrive but also stresses that it needs protection and nurturing. “The Tipu palace is in shambles. We should not leave everything to the government. Even citizens should get together and work to revive the heritage buildings of our city,” she points out.Nandita Nag has been in the city for the past 13 years but has not visited many heritage sites here. “I have been to the Palace and other historic sites in Mysuru but not in Bengaluru. I wouldn’t know where to go here,” she says. Nag suggests that cultural events be held on the premises of such historical sites. “That way people will come to the spot and in the process learn about the history too,” she explains.”Though I was born and brought up in the city and I even have Bangalore in my name, there is a lot about the history of the city that I do not know,” laments Shashidhar Bangalore, an IT consultant. “Every weekend people go out of the city, not realsing that there is so much to see right here. They look at it as a city to work in, not as a place to explore.” He has been to quite a few places in the city but feels that apart from Bangalore Palace, others are poorly maintained. “Kolkata has several old, beautiful buildings and the city is known for them. Here, these heritage buildings and old bungalows are something only old Bengalureans will know about,” says Harikrishnan H G. Having grown up in the city, he has a fascination for the Cantonment area of the city with its very English road names. “Bengaluru does have a rich past. Only thing is that it probably needs more digging than other cities.” Jonas Olsson is originally from Sweden but has been a Bengalurean for 10 years now. “I feel that the options in the city are limited. There are some lovely early morning organised walks. But these require more efforts to find than in other cities.” When he first moved here, one of the places he was suggested to visit was Lalbagh. “It is a nice park but not marketed well. The government should maintain and market tourist sites better,” he notes.

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