Yes, there’s a lockdown and you cannot step out of your house. But, you can now walk down the lanes of the British Residency, explore a few ruins of Golconda and tour the marvels of Hyderabad even from the comfort of your homes, thanks to Hyderabad Trails, which is giving people under lockdown a 360-degree virtual tour of different corners of the historic city on its Twitter handle.
With people physically distancing themselves from others due to the coronavirus pandemic, the travel and tourism bodies are bearing the brunt. But this walking group is not letting the virus douse its spirits to explore the city’s natural, built and cultural heritage. In lieu, it is taking the opportunity to offer virtual tours of the city’s most popular attractions.
The idea of walk on Twitter was put forward to Gopala Krishna AB, founder, Hyderabad Trails, by Andrew Fleming, the British Deputy High Commissioner to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and a regular heritage walker with Hyderabad Trails. Gopala Krishna, who was tentative about the idea of virtual walks on Twitter at first, says, “Initially, I was not sure how we can set things moving on Twitter. But, Mr Andrew had an idea.
Whenever he takes part in our walk, he makes sure to live-tweet the walk. He proposed a similar plan for virtual walks — to tweet as if the live-walk is happening.” The group, which includes a team of walk leaders from Hyderabad Trails, starts a conversation thread on the microblogging site by sharing pictures of a place or an attraction along with stories behind it.
For instance, if there are 20 stops on a heritage walk, on each of the stops, a sub-thread is created where the comments are shared and views are exchanged about that stop or attraction. Followers can tweet their questions and answers, exchange views and share their pictures if they have been on the walks with Hyderabad Trails earlier.
The first-ever virtual walk by Hyderabad Trails on Twitter happened on World Heritage Day at Charminar which received a tremendous response from history and travel enthusiasts. So far, the group initiated three virtual walks with a walk at British Residency in Koti being the most recent one. Apart from virtual walks on Twitter, Hyderabad Trails has come up with the initiative ‘webinars on heritage’ to keep its followers engaged during the lockdown.
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