I came across Vinay Nagaraju and his very interesting initiative through IndiBlogger. He is a part of the team behind Royal Mysore Walks, an organization which conducts walking tours through the city of Mysore. My hometown Ahmedabad has a heritage walk and I have been to Mysore many times but the same standard places, so my curiosity was piqued. He agreed to answer a few questions through mail. So here goes…
P: What is the primary inspiration behind Royal Mysore Walks?
VN: I think there is a lot that makes a city, more than its monuments and structures. There is so much of character in its story, its history, people, the way of life, culture, tradition, food and so much more. It is a normal practice that when most people visit a city, it is mostly about the popular places and a few monuments which provide only a part of the story.
Royal Mysore Walks is a venture which aims at offering a holistic view of the city. We believe tourism has evolved over a check list of places and it is more about getting under the skin of the city and taking back memories which you can cherish. For this, Royal Mysore Walks offers a range of tours depending on the interest of the person like history, heritage, textile, culture, market, food, etc. We also offer a variety of tours based on the mode of transport like – Walking Tours, Cycling Tours, Jeep and various other offbeat tours as well.
We are a team of passionate story tellers who love the city to the core and who love showing why we love the city so much. And we shall make sure that you have a great time when you are here. The venture has been more than 5 years now and we have clientele ranging from individual visitors to corporate groups, delegates up to the ranks of the two term former UN Secretary general Kofi Annan amongst many others. We customize tours based on a person’s interest as well and design a private tour upon request and organize accordingly. In short if you are in Mysore, we shall make sure that you will have a time to remember with us. 🙂
P: How does your average day look like?
VN: An average day ranges from doing the guided tours, to working on our design activities, meeting people of various interests, esp the ones who have interesting stories to share, hooked on to the computer to further the research on studies of Mysore or trying to design new tours like a treasure hunt or a contextual learning experience for children or a team building activity. One of the greatest joys with Royal Mysore walks has been the opportunity to meet people from different walks of life, some extremely interesting people.
P: What advice would you give to others on entrepreneurship or for people wanting to start out on their own?
VN: If you have an idea, go after it, don’t worry whether it is going to work or not, don’t spend too much time making a perfect plan, it doesn’t exist! Entrepreneurship is about your idea, it is about your WILL to make it work and you got to make it work cos you don’t have much of a choice :). It takes guts, it takes a few sacrifices, it takes a few risks as well but in the end it is all going to be worth it cos you know that it is your idea which you have given shape to, it is something you have made it work, something you have built from scratch. The satisfaction you derive from it is fulfilment in its complete essence. 🙂
P: Any funny incidents to share?
VN: There have been quite a few funny incidents, a lot of inspiring ones, and a lot more which make us look back and leave us with a lot of smiles. Some of our interesting guests include the ones who traveled the world with just a passport and a bag, a couple who travelled the world in their RV, a lady who was visiting us on her 50th country visit, some of the tours where we have went on in length talking about India, the culture, symbols, practices and the richness of the country. Humour has extended from us pulling their leg and vice versa. All in all it has been an amazing journey and loads of fun all through with more promising to come. 🙂
Check out their website and remember to get in touch with these guys next time you head to Mysore. 🙂