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Vadodara People’s Heritage Festival
November 19-25, 2020
509th anniversary year of Vadodara

This year all of us hope to celebrate our city’s 509th ‘birthday’ and applaud its heritage during National Heritage Week celebrated across India between November 19 and 25 every year with only those activities that are safe and possible under restrictions imposed by the COVID 19 pandemic. Obviously, it will be a much quieter festival than what we have been having every year since 2015. There will be no indoor programmes at all nor heritage walks in congested parts of the city. The few events that are being organized will be held with strict following of all safety regulations; some online events can also be participated in from the safety of your own homes. Hopefully, we will make up for it in 2021…

Remember, this is a People’s Heritage Festival, and if you think you have an interesting nugget regarding the heritage of Vadodara to share with the rest of us, just get on board and get in touch with Chandrashekhar Patil on 9824372414! This Heritage Week is completely self-sponsored and self-financed. We are all in it together to celebrate our city and its heritage which is our pride.

If the pandemic situation in Vadodara city permits, the following events have been planned.
 
Events in the Heritage Festival 2020
 
I. Open Area Heritage and Nature Walks:

Walking through historical or old parts of the city is always a fun-filled exercise, especially when accompanied by a well-informed guide, who can open up layers of the city's past. This gives the 'walkers' a new perspective about the city they live in or are visiting, and understand why it is important to conserve certain buildings and monuments and green areas that have played a critical role in shaping the city and its inhabitants. In addition to 'walks', we also have enthusiasts offering the same or similar experience sitting in the comfort of a rickshaw! For all Walks, participants should wear comfortable footwear, carry a water-bottle and a dry snack, if needed. You might want to wear a cap or headgear for protection against the Sun. In these days of the pandemic, all participants must wear a mask properly and carry a sanitizer bottle as well. This year our Walks are organized in non-congested localities to make sure that everyone remains safe and are open to the air. To keep the required distance between Walkers, we are restricting groups to a specific number (mentioned in Walk details). Please register with Walk leader in advance. That is essential.
 

1. Kirti Mandir Heritage Walk with Chandrashekhar Patil (Baroda Historian and Art Conservator), organized by Heritage Trust.
Date: Saturday, 21 November, Walk starts at sharp 8:00 am. Entry limited to 25 persons ONLY on first-come-first-served basis. Meeting Point is Kirti Mandir main entrance.
The Walk will cover: Kirti Mandir complex with its several temples and samadhis, the Vishwamitri Bridge samadhis and the ghats with the fish and crocodile sculptures, the Diva-Dandi temple on Jail Road and the stepwell, Dufferin Hospital and Medical College building in the Sayaji Hospital complex, the Mahajan Samadhi near Aradhana talkies and back to Kirti Mandir. For booking your spot, contact Shivaniat Heritage Trust on 7600202422.

2. Kamnath Mahadev Complex Heritage Walk Walk with Chandrashekhar Patil (Baroda Historian and Art Conservator), organized by Heritage Trust.
Date: Sunday, November 22, Walk starts at sharp 3.30 pm. Entry limited to 25 persons ONLY on first-come-first-served basis. Meeting Point is Bal Bhavan Gate.
The Walk will cover: The vast 550-year old complex with lots of interesting old temples and monuments, including one with Portuguese architectural influence. This is a rarely visited area in Vadodara. For booking your spot, contact Shivaniat Heritage Trust on 7600202422.

3. Heritage Trees of Sayaji Baug Nature Walk with Dr. Jitendra Gavali, botanist, author, and Director, Community Science Centre, Vadodara.
Date: Sunday, November 22, Walk starts at sharp 7.30 am. Entry limited to 30 persons only on first-come-first-servedbasis. Meeting Point: The Band Stand in SayajiBaug, Book your spot over Whatsapp to Dr. Gavali on 9725891033.

4. Tours by Auto with Heritage Volunteer-Driver, Shri Jamadar, Available all days, from November 19 to 25. Please register with Shri Jamadar on 9898395989 and finalize the charges per person as well as pick up and drop off points. His rickshaw will seat 2 persons/1 person (given the pandemic situation) and with an average of 7-10 minute halt at each site, this tour will take about 2 hours.

   a. Baroda Heritage Buildings Tour: There are numerous historical buildings in the city that belong to different eras, reflecting the architecture styles introduced by different rulers. The tour will cover 15 buildings, and Shri Jamadar will explain the importance of each building.

   b. Ashta Ganesha Temple Tour: There are 8 ancient Ganesha temples in the city but they are at quite a distance from each other. Shri Jamadar will explain the importanceof each temple as well as he can.

   c. Navnath Temple Tour: There are 9 old Shiva temples in the city, each with an interesting history that Shri Jamadar knows well.

5. Baroda Museum's Picture Gallery Walk with art historian Sandip Joshi. The Picture Gallery of the Baroda Museum contains several fabulous pieces of 18th and 19th century European Art, a few even go back 500 years. So the Gallery is a real treasure and exploring it with a person trained in European art history would be an informative and exciting morning well-spent.
Date: Thursday, November 19. 10.30 am to 12 noon. Meeting point is at the ticket window of the Museum. Entry limited to 20 persons only on a first-come-first-served basis. Each person has to buy their own Museum entry ticket (Rs. 100).
For booking your spot please call Sandip Joshi on 9879688760. (This is an enclosed space but the Museum has high walls and large rooms. There is no air conditioning. Museums are officially declared open by the Govt. of Gujarat from November 1, with visitors maintaining adequate distance and wearing mask at all times.)

 
II. Exhibitions:

The Community Science Centre, Aarti Society, near Atmajyoti Ashram, Subhanpura, has received permission to host exhibitions in its open spaces and large halls. The following exhibitions will be held here from Saturday, November 21 to Monday, November 23.
 

1. Manuscripts as Documentation. An Exhibition of hand-written manuscripts (hasta likhitgranth) by Shri Harshad Kadiawho has been collecting these for a number of years now. In addition to the literary and informative value offered by manuscripts, these priceless historical documents also trace the evolution of written communication. Shri Kadia will be there to explain and interact with visitors.

2. Baroda, My City. An Exhibition of paintings, drawings, sketches and photographs of Baroda from the eyes of several artists of the city. Artists include Shubhangi Manohar, uchi Manohar, Krishna Padia, Atul Padia, Jitendra Gavali, Tushar Tere, Ashvini Joglekar, Jayanti Chavada, Sarang Fadnis, Prakhash Lokhande, Ashvinbhai among others.

 
III. Heritage Food Festival:

There is a large Sindhi community that has made Vadodara their home and karma-bhumi. Very few Barodians outside the community know that Sindhi cuisine offers a range of delights - both sweet and spicy - that are rarely found outside of Sindhi kitchens. The ubiquitous North Indian/Punjabi dishes regularly available in restaurants do not feature any Sindhi speciality - neither Dal Pakwan or Sai Bhaji, two of their more well-known dishes. So this year, Heritage Trust decided to focus on this community and its heritage. A special Food Festival featuring heritage Sindhi dishes is being planned for Tuesday, November 24. For registration and other details please contact
Shivani at Heritage Trust on 7600202422.
 
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