Our gully escapades actually started in the lanes of Singapore. Vinay, our founder, was fascinated by how a country smaller than Bangalore in size gets close to twice the number of travellers that India as a country gets. This inspired him to start Royal Mysore Walks back home in India in 2009
The early editions of tours were only in Mysore and were a big hit with locals and tourists alike. In 2016, we branched out to other cities in India, and thus Royal Mysore Walks became Gully Tours, we were more than just walking tours and in multiple cities.
A few milestones in our journey as we continue our exploration
The Mysore Dasara was made extra special with Gully’s Uber Ambari. Uber joined us as a mobility partner during Dasara festivities in Mysore. If you were the lucky one, then an uber would pick you, you experienced the walk, and then dropped you back.
When food travels with royal history, you get a melange of stories for generations to come. And Netflix made it cooler with their docu-series portrayal of cuisine inspired by royalty – Raja, Rasoi, aur Anya Kahaniyan. You’ll find us in episode 9, where we curated the Mysore episode with lesser-known tales about the legacy of food in the city.
Yulu came on board with sustainable, clean, and yet fun ways to explore Bangalore at night. We hosted our guests on a midnight e-bike tour in and around older parts of Bangalore replete with food, stories, and heritage. Yulu also launched their new edition bikes on this trail with Gully.
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Vinay loves being outdoors. He loves reading non fiction books and enjoys documentaries. His interest in travel, trivia, and people led him to start Gully Tours, and bring more people together who share similar interests. He also works with corporate leaders and start-up founders as a leadership coach. He is always out and about curating new walks through reccees, digging deeper into stories of buildings, people, and food, and getting more people excited about history. His guilty pleasure is buying more books than he can read and convincing people why Biryani is the best food invention of the world.
Aafreen loves Chinese and Italian cuisines and started as a home baker at 16. Her day is designed around food. Her interest in learning about food backstories led her to excavate stories from India’s glorious past and sign up as a tour guide. Aafreen also picked up the violin and vocals recently. She believes one life is too short and hence tries to soak it all in as a multipotentialite. She loves exploring different cultures and loves making friends with people from different walks of life. She personally feels at home in Mysore because there is so much to discover at every corner, whether it’s food, architecture, or history.
Aishwarya is the happiest researching and writing about history and culture. She is currently working on the archives of the Star of Mysore, Mysuru, and has previously worked for Eka Archiving Services, and DAG in New Delhi. Her day at work involves a lot of dusty spaces, some ridiculous memory games, and a whole bunch of rabbit holes. An ex journalist, RJ, and a translator, she has now found her place amongst the antiquated statues. You will often find her drowned in layers of books or papers, like Begum Nur Jehan, with her cat monitoring her.
A computer science student and a heritage lover, Anjali swears by her cuteness and pani puri love. She knows just the right spots in the city to relish some amazing street fare. She was born and raised in Mysore and assures you that you will fall in love with the city like she did for its calm temperament and way of life. Anjali believes that all kids need the right kind of love and care and volunteers at an NGO where she puts this belief into practice. Outside of tour leading, you will probably find her watching the latest Netflix series and enjoying a snooze.
Anju’s zen place is the kitchen. She loves experimenting as a chef and dishing out fusion foods while gulping down endless cups of coffee. As a resource coordinator for a tech company, her day job involves a lot of numbers. But that didn’t stop the heritage lover in her from pursuing walks. Anju believes that Chamundi betta in Mysore is the perfect spot for quality conversation, delicious food, and getting some peaceful me-time in nature. She vows to make you fall in love with Masala Dosa and Mysore when you will join her on a tour.
Mradula is a self-proclaimed Bollywood junkie. When not sipping cups of chai or consuming pop culture on the phone, she leads walks. A Bombay girl in Bengaluru, she loves to meet new people, try local street food, and learn more about spaces and cultures. A copywriter by profession and a biotech graduate by degree, her love for stories and spaces brought her to Gully tours. She will urge you to try solo travel at least once and encourages you to teach her a few key phrases in your mother tongue on walks with her. In return she will tell you the best vada pav and chai joints in the city.
Parvathi is an entrepreneur from Bangalore, who also loves leading tours and art walks, especially for children. She loves biohacking and her latest obsession is indoor bouldering. She loves to read, is obsessed with bookshelves, and prefers to arrange her collection by colour of book spines over genre. She has led museum tours in Canada and packs international trivia and local mysteries of the city in her walks at Gully Tours. In short, she is the perfect blend of an outdoorsy person who can be caught devouring books indoors.
Poonacha calls himself a freelancer – someone who is free most of the time. But when he is busy, you will find him doing bicycle tours, participating in extreme sports, and helping brands and people as a travel and tourism consultant. C. Rajagopalachari is his favourite character from history and city of joy is his favourite movie. He has a lot of stories to tell on his walks. All you have to do is ask. Poonacha hopes to build a library someday. He loves his chill life in Mysore, cycling around,reading books, and taking his friends around in his plantations in Coorg.
If you meet Prathyush at his day job, he is a corporate relations manager. In his own words, I start my day with a fruitful bowl of muesli and then a cup of coffee to wash it down before I sit to work with a passionate group of changemakers across the country. Prathyush loves books, ocean, and people — not necessarily in that order. Bangalore carries a special place in his heart. He loves narrating stories about urban spaces and growing mushrooms. With Gully Tours, he claims to have discovered unheard stories, visited unseen places, and made friends with strangers in under 3 hours. He urges you to join the trails so you can see the city in a new light together.
After an illustrious career in HR, facilitation, and corporate training, she founded a healthy-food startup, Nummy Foods, with a bunch of feisty, rural women from Karnataka. A die-hard Shahrukh fan, this pet mom also plays the veena and loves hosting her friends for a cocktail party. Architecture, nature, and local cuisines have always fascinated her. Having travelled the touristy way, she now enjoys walking and leading tours to explore new places. Join her on walks to learn about local folk art, regional souvenirs, and secret vegetarian delicacies.
Siya is a proud Mysorean who spends her day as a language pathologist and an audiologist. She comes from a long line of photographers and promises to capture stories in frames on tours with her. She loves the charm of the old buildings and neighbourhood echoes of a bygone era. She believes that these structures are immortal because of the sheer things they have witnessed and will continue to, long after she is gone. As someone who has spent her whole life in Mysore, she promises to take you through her city walks in a royal way.
Yamini asks a lot of questions, hence her friends nicknamed her Y (why). She is figuring out her way around the world through Yoga and travel and joined Gully Tours so she could meet new people and create new memories. She is an early bird thanks to all the yoga training she conducts for students both online and offline. Sometimes she doubles up as their alarm clock too, waking them at wee hours so they can flex later. Yamini lives up the slow life in her hometown Mysore, reading history books, practising asanas, and conducting walks.
Zeba is the backbone of tour operations at Gully. She brings tours, tour guides, and guests together in Mysore and Bangalore. Zeba is a big fan of breakfasts. She never skips one and believes a great, nutritious breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day and she pairs it with a cup of chai. Zeba loves Mysore for a lot of reasons but the most important one is the ease of reaching anywhere within 15 mins. Join her for walks in Mysore and revisit the times of a bygone era Favourite Tour: The Best of Mysore
Nazia is a self-proclaimed nature conservationist and a travel enthusiast. She’s often sighted in the streets of Mysore in her pajamas, walking her dog. She loves spending time outdoors in nature, gardening and contemplating on existentialism. She is currently passionate about slow traveling, the challenges faced in sustainable travel and wants to spread awareness on climate change. She loves to travel solo and explore off-beat locations. She believes slow traveling is the way to explore the essence of a place. Her passion towards sustainability led her to pursue a degree in Polymer Engineering. She aspires to become a permaculture architect. Born and raised in Mysore, she loves to take travelers around Mysore to get the local experience. She is a food enthusiast who claims to know what good food is. She is also passionate about local art and music.