Tuesday 28 April 2015

Three Cheers to World Heritage Day Ride - 2015

Flag Off at Santhome Inn
Three years have gone past but the memories of the first ride or our founding day still lingers fresh in the mind. From Pedal Yatris the acronym which propelled the concept for starting a new theme based cycling group in Chennai or to the recently concluded Puducherry Heritage Ride its been a journey to relish and rejoice.  On 19th April another such occasion was created by the Providence this time for commemorating the World Heritage Day followed by our 3rd Anniversary Celebration.April mornings are always hot and humid in this part of the country, the Sun beats mercilessly through the day but fortunately the recent rains brought down the temperature to comfort levels. The destination for a change was not heritage building or  monument it was Dakshinachitra a place dedicated to heritage and culture, it is also an exciting Heritage Museum for lifestyles, crafts and performing arts of South India located near Muttukaddu on the ECR Road.

Stamp on Sundar Sir
The narrow stretch of road between Santhome Church and Marina Lighthouse is where our Starting Point was situated. The Ride was flaged off by the Dignitaries from Santhome Inn at 5.15 am and around 150 Cyclist ventured on a less than 30 km ride to destination Dakshinachitra. Pedaling across the narrow roads of the Santhome Highway via Foreshore Estate reach Thiru.Vi.Ka Bridge, the sight of Madhya Kailash brings a sigh of relief since OMR Road can accommodate higher volume of cycles, its no wonder that this road is an haven for riders. Breaking up into smaller groups according to their speed levels and in the days when average distance cycled is increasing most of them reached Dakshinachitra much early before the scheduled time. For a moment Dakishinachitra looked like a mela for Cyclist. Breakfast was served with much fun fare and display of camaraderie it was indeed joyful to be midst the cycling community. After a sumptuous brunch next on the agenda was the 3rd Anniversary Celebration at the Seminar Hall.  The program included presentation about Cycling Yogis in the last three years, future endeavors and thanking our sponsors, supporters and well wishers if not for whom we would not have existed. The highlight of the program being the release of Special Edition My Stamp on Sundar Rajan Sir. It was our way of felicitating him and showing our love and admiration to this Grand Super Randonneur, the first recipient of the stamp with envelope sealed from Post Office was Balasundaram Sir of Balaji Cycle Store. The program concluded with the video by Capt. Venkataraman taken during our previous edition of World Heritage Day Ride to Mahabalipuram Lighthouse.

Kokali Kattai Attam
Now on to the business end a group picture at the amphitheater coupled with a quick tour and the grand finale of the day was the folk performance, most of us eagerly looked forward to this show and what a memorable one it was to be, quite a few folk dances of Tamilnadu also find mention in the Tamil Sangam Literature. An ancient art form that still prevails in some pockets of Tamilnadu is Kokali Kattai Attam in which the artist perform on stilts that are custom made. This special show of Kokali Kattai Attam performed exclusively for us brought the curtains down to the event, most of the riders along with the cycles were transported back to the staring point by vehicles. Going by the idiom all's well that ends well the package of fun and frolic combined with a sense of awareness about our glorious tradition is what we hope many would have taken back as memories. If we did succeed or not these memories which the participants took back are the mute witness to our aspirations.

Participants of World Heritage Day Ride at Dakshinachitra

Click on the link to watch the video of the event by Capt. Venkatraman 

Newspaper Clippings

Deccan Chronicle

The Hindu