Udaipur : Arthur and Celia, a couple from Strasbourg, France are in the City of Lakes on a romantic holiday. Walking through the heritage streets they come across a beautiful bridge at Chandpole and are surprised to see young couples clipping lock on the metal grate. This reminds them of the famous Love Bridge back in their motherland and the two are touched. They too get a lock, clip it to the railing, kiss the key which is flung into the waters of Lake Pichhola.
Chandpole pulia is a new destination discovered in recent times by love birds who throng here in good numbers specially around February which is the valentine month. ” It is just a cute romantic gesture by sweethearts to proclaim their love and intentions to remain together for the rest of their lives” says Himanshi, a college student who too scribbled her boy friend’s name and abandoned the key in the waters.
“It honestly felt like one of the most romantic things we have ever done. This bridge is a treasure for its serenity and one of the most romantic place in Udaipur. No wonder couples coming here find it irresistible to copy others clipping the love locks” say Priyamvada and Varun Raj a Bengaluru couple here on their honeymoon. A gang of college youths were seen clipping a big lock to commemorate their bond. ” Friendship is precious and we have clipped the padlock praying for an everlasting bond between us, there is nothing romantic in this gesture but it is really exciting” claim Ankit, Kartik, Saumya and Sushmita, pursuing MBA degree from a college in Ahmedabad.
However, historians and heritage activists are not so happy with the new trend. ” This display of love or romantic gesture can be harmful in long term and may cause heritage degradation. The city of Paris have removed padlocks from the famous Pont des Arts ending the tourist tradition of attaching “love locks” to the bridge. Here the trend is new and the locks are in countable numbers today but when they multiply, it may create problems and the railings would look ugly” Mahesh Sharma, a retired professor and activist claimed.