Wednesday 30 November 2016

Heritage Site Cleanup @ Fort St.George 2016

On the occasion of WORLD HERITAGE WEEK CELEBRATIONS (19th-25th November, 2016) an Heritage Site Cleanup was organised around surrounding areas of George Gate in Fort St. George coming under the Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai Circle on Sunday, 20th November between 7.00am -9.00am

The Fort came into existence with the arrival of Francis Day and Andrew Cogan on 20th February 1640, the fort was named after St.George, the patron saint of England. It took thirteen years to complete the first form of the fort and the oldest surviving British building is the St.Mary's Church added in 1680. The hectic construction activity between 1756-1783 saw the fort to its present shape. Spread over 42 acres significant buildings include The Secretariat, Exchange Building (Fort Museum), St. Mary's Church (Oldest Church East of Suez), Clive House, Grand Arsenal and Kings Barracks.

According to some heritage conservationist one of the reasons for the weakening of heritage structures in our region is growth of vegitation and trees on them due to various factors including seed dispersal etc, the bigger the heritage structure the lengthier the year round activities to clear the vegetation thus an activity of this sort (Heritage Site Cleanup) become much required to save the heritage structure on the long run, more the public participation and lengthier these activities brings awareness towards the cause and to keep our Heritage Monuments in safe condition for the future generations.

Focusing on this aspect our Cleanup included clearing of partially covered wild vegetation, collection of cleared wild vegetation around the demarcated cleanup area in Fort St.George, disposal of the waste in the designated dumping area.

Total Participants 190+ members from given groups and institutions joined us.
KRM Public School, Perambur (including NCC Cadets)
Ethiraj College (History & TTM Dept)
Anna Nagar Social History Group 
Avvai Middle School, Tambaram

On this Third Edition of Cleanup a short distance ride was organised by Cycling Yogis from Probikers OMR to Fort St.George.

All the participants gathering around George Gate in the environs of Fort St.George by 7.15 am the Cleanup was formally inaugurated by Mr. Krishnan, Deputy Superintendent, Fort Museum and under able guidance from Mr.Saravanan CA, Chennai Circle ASI, Govt of India

The Cleanup activity concluded with a SWACHH BHARAT PLEDGE and a group picture by 9.00 am after which refreshments were served. Safety being sacrosanct we had a team from ALERT First Aid at our disposal till the completion of the Cleanup.

Participants of the Heritage Site Cleanup @ Fort St.George 

Deccan Chronicle dated 22-11-2016

Monday 19 September 2016

Cycling in Madras - A booklet to celebrate 100 years of cycling in the city

Book Release by Shri.V. Kalyanam & Mr.S. Muthiah

Its more than a month since the booklet Cycling in Madras 1877-1977 a first ever attempt to trace 100 years of cycling in the city was released by V. Kalyanam, Personal Secretary to Mahatma Gandhi and S. Muthiah, Chronicler of Chennai at Ibis Chennai City Centre, Mount Road on Saturday, 6th August 2016. The 40 pages booklet traces cycling in Madras since the year 1877 to 1977 also contains a section on highlights from 2007 till the present day. As mentioned in the introduction part of the booklet it was an attempt to answer queries arising in Cycling Yogis fb page since 2012 and how this very act itself eventually became the concept for the booklet. The onus of bringing out a booklet when the city celebrates its Founding Day traces itself to Cooum River Heritage Ride in August 2015 when a mini booklet about the historic river was published, taking the momentum forward another venture on this occassion which revolves around cycling in the city and that too for 100 years came into focus. A task force to achieve this objective was set up in June 2016, all the posts available since 2012 on the fb was collected and segregated topic wise and after an hectic two months which consisted of team meetings, editing, marathon sittings with the designer the booklet finally saw the light of the day, not to mention the generous support generated through advertisements which was required for printing and publishing.  Within a month of publication, articles and stories about the booklet including reviews were carried by all the English Newspapers of Chennai. All for Madras !!!

Copies of the booklet are available free of cost.
Please contact us by writing to or
contact our fb page

Booklet Team


Articles & Reviews in English Newspapers of Chennai 

TOI Chennai 

TOI Chennai 

Continued TOI Chennai

The Hindu 

The Hindu 

The Hindu 

New Indian Express

New Indian Express 



Deccan Chronicle

Deccan Chronicle 

Saturday 27 August 2016

Madras Day Heritage Ride to Sadras Fort (Sunday, 21st August)

The 377th Founding Day of the city was celebrated with an Heritage Ride to Sadras Fort. Located at a stone throw distance from Kalpakkam Township area Sadras was a port with international contacts called as Rajanarayanan Pattinam during period of Sambuvarayars and later Sadiravasagan Pattinam under Vijayanagar Kingdom, the name could have altered and came to be known as Sadurangapattinam and Sadirai, the English eventually called it as Sadras. It was a flourishing weaver settlement between 10th-16th Century. When the Dutch took over it gained importance in view of large scale export of Muslin Cloth,  the Dutch established a factory here in 1648 AD and when it became necessary to protect it constructed a fort. The Battle of Sadras, the travel accounts of Dutch Traveller Jacob Haafner and Buckingham Canal which traverses through Chennai add glory to Sadras. ALONG WITH PULICAT, SADRAS PLAYED AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE FOUNDING OF MADRAS.

A group of 85 Cyclists excluding the support staff and volunteers descended upon this place on a calm Sunday morning and to many it was an new experience. The ride which started from Probikers OMR at 5.15 am gained momentum as the time passed. Upon arrival packed breakfast followed by a brief description on history of the fort along with Swatch Bharath Pledge were taken up and soon after which was the group photo session having the historic Bell Tower in the background. From here the next destination was Dakshinchitra Heritage Museum, as the Sun began to beat the ride posed some challenges which was eventually overcome by the cyclists. The settings at Dakshinchitra brought forward cheer to the participants. A specially created event was on the pipeline. After Medal Ceremony and the release of My Stamp on Muthiah Sir the Chronicler of Chennai all the members were treated to a high octane folk show which included performance with drums (Parai). The ride concluded with a vote of thanks to people who made it happen and tireless volunteers who contributed to its success. The 5th edition of Madras Day Heritage Ride thus came to and end with aspirations and expectations for another interesting rides in the upcoming years.

Group Picture at Sadras Fort 

Newspaper Clippings


TOI - Chennai 

Wednesday 27 April 2016

World Heritage Day Ride to Madras High Court & Fourth Anniversary Celebration

To commemorate the World Heritage Day and Cycling Yogis 4th Anniversary a ride was organised on Sunday, 17th April 2016. The ride started from Probikers located in OMR Road at 5.30 am and finished at Seafarers Club venue for the 4th Anniversary Celebration next to Madras Port Trust Administrative office in Rajaji Salai by 6.45 am. Around 80 Cyclists including men and women from different age groups participated in the ride. The highlight during the ride being another group of 20 school children from KRM Public School led by their Principal joined us at Seafarers Club incidentally their ride started from the school at Perambur.

The Seafarers Club operating at the present location since 1962 was constituted at an initial grant by the Joint War Charity Committee, first on a rented building it was opened by the then Governor of Madras on 20.04.1945. Later Indian government leased the land which was reclaimed from the sea and the present building which came up was inaugurated in 1962. Thus our 4th Anniversary Celebration at this 63 years old building became a preferred destination.

Special edition My Stamp

During the anniverasry celebration a special edition my stamp of veteran bicycle dealer Mr.Bala Sundaram of Balaji Cycles, Saidapet was released by the chief guest Mr.Enarasu Karunesan CEO Adani Ports India. The program included presentation of Cycling Yogis Annual Report for the year 2015-2016 and distribution of momentos to our sponsors and supporters. After a sumptuous breakfast and group photo session the celebration was followed by an heritage tour of the nearby Madras High Court Campus.

Group Picture @ Seafarers Club

The Madras High Court Heritage tour was conducted by Mr.N.L.Rajah  a senior advocate and member of the Madras High Court Heritage Committee. The heritage walk inside the court campus traced the history of  Madras High Court buildings an exuberant example of Indo Saracenic Architecture, visit to the magnificent court halls each unique from one another, the old Lighthouse erected between 1838-44, significance on the statues of eminent men located in the court premises, brief history of the court systems and about sensational cases. After completion of the heritage tour at the High Court a Swatch Bharath pledge was taken by the participants at the ASI property Tomb of David Yale and Joseph Hymners at Law College located in the same compound and one of its kind heritage ride came to an end.

Group Picture @ Madras High Court

Newspaper Clippings

Deccan Chronicle


Saturday 30 January 2016

Republic Day Heritage Ride to Vellore - 24th January 2016

A crown is mearly an hat that let's the rain in quoted Frederick the Great of Prussia probably he never knew that the hat could also let in jitters to the crown to be specific the British Crown aftermath of the Vellore Mutiny. Provoked by the ill advised orders of British Officers at Madras on wearing of new hat (existing one already an eyesore), the dress code, prohibition of beard and caste marks most importantly the influence of Tipu's sons held as hostages the earliest revolt against the British in India took place at Vellore on 10th July 1806, the theatre of action being the Vellore Fort. The Fort which stood as a mute spectator to the revolt was built in 16th Century by Sinna Bommi Nayak a subordinate chief under Vijayanagar Kings. The earliest revolt just lasted for a single day and many Europeans at various places like the gateway, sallyport, magazine, garrison were massacred. The leader of the garrison was killed and Mysore Flag  was hoisted by the mutineers, but victory was short lived  Col.Gillespie of 19th Dragoons arrived on time from Arcot and suppressed the insurgents, recaptured the Fort killing large number of Sepoys. The revolt sent ripples across the British Empire and consequently the order was withdrawn ironically to see a similar drama to be enacted again after 50 years during the First War of Independence in 1857.

Having this in the agenda, the 67th Republic Day of India was commorated with an heritage ride to Vellore and importantly to the Fort where all the action took place. Never minding a 5.00 am start which requires one to wake up by 3.30 am around 100 members including the riders, volunteers and guests decended to the starting point Santhome Inn located in Santhome High Road. Completing the formalities a peloton of 80 Riders began their 142 KM ride to the historic city of Vellore. Navigating past the city roads on a cold January morning riders and the support crew reached the breakfast point Decathlon Poonamalle by 7.00 am just after the breakfast a groupie was clicked which also included some cheering friends a few of them who rode along till this point for a warm send off to all the participants.

 Breakfast Point - Decathlon Poonamalle

Now on to the National Highway it was nothing but pedalling all the way before the hot midday sun drains ones energy, between 11.00 am -12 noon majority of the riders crossed the pit stop at the town named Damal, just as Wallajah Toll approched all the riders looked cheerful and energetic never keeping in their thoughts that toughest part of the ride had arrived, luckily the Sun god was merciful and the final stretch with 8 flyovers en route to our destination Vellore was done and dusted. By 2.00 pm most of riders including the first 100 km finishers had reached the finish point Fort Vellore.

100+ Cyclist with Vellore Mayor

A sumptuous lunch with the scenic backdrop at the St.John's Church welcomed the gathering. After a brief break the arrival of guests the Vellore Corporation Commissioner followed by Mayor of Vellore,  Pro Vice Chancellor of VIT along with their NCC Unit enlightened the business end of our program. The Medal Distribution was followed by a ride around the historic Fort which included the chief guest Vellore Mayor, students from Katpadi Government Boys High School, NCC Unit of VIT and all our partucipant riders, the highlight of the day being this ride around the Fort Vellore with 100+ Riders. The last in schedule was a grand group picture with the Fort in the background and the regular chorus of uploading the bicycles in the transport vehicles and getting set for return to Chennai being a Sunday the roads looked devoid of traffic thus making our return as planned between 8.30pm -9.00pm to the starting point and as we all bid farewell to each other after a long day one of the remarks from the participant that the ride brought me the memories of my joyous school days had a deep impact as the night went by ... knowing one's heritage on a bicycle is by far the best one can contribute to its glorious future.
Group Picture @ Fort Vellore

Newspaper Clippings

TOI -Chennai

Daily Thanthi