New Delhi, Feb 19 (IANS) Move over literary and cultural festivals, it’s time for Delhites to join a Walk Festival to explore the cultural and heritage aspects of the city on foot.
Beginning February 22, the week-long festival will offer over 80 walking tours offering experiences like paranormal activity to street life explorations to performative walks, food and much more.
In its first edition, the festival will bring together over 30 different walk specialists (organisations, academicians and seasoned walk leaders) to conduct tours through different city neighbourhoods.
Organised and curated by the cultural groups ‘Delhi, I Love You’ and ‘Delhi Dallying’, the participants can choose walks from categories like Nature, Heritage, Food, Alternative and Experimental, Art and Photography and Architecture and Design.
“The idea is to push people to explore the city on foot. We also intend to introduce the idea of walking and thus bringing awareness about pollution,” said ‘Delhi, I love you’ director Aastha Chauhan.
For the enthusiasts, here is a glimpse of the walks to choose from.
Off-the-beaten path ‘Salaam City Walk’ offers a guided tour around New Delhi Railway Station and Paharganj areas during which former street children will share their personal stories of survival with the participants.
In a spooky experience, ‘Paranormal activity in Mehrauli’ will teach you how to communicate with the other world. In this, walk specialist Ravi Shekhar has been touched by the spirits in his youth and since then has been helping people and families with their issues with ghosts.
“It is going to be a thrilling experience. I don’t want to divulge the details,” Chauhan said.
The ‘Masakkali and the Empress’ walk is dedicated to Razia Sultan, the only empress to have ruled Delhi inside Razia’s mazaar. The walk will explore Turkman Gate and the story behind gates, visit the dargah of one of the oldest Sufi aints who was the inspiration behind the gate’s name and the peer of Razia Sultan.
The food trail offers several gastronomical tours that showcase the culinary heritage of the city. In this, the participants are spoilt for choices from the wide range of chaats, badami pooris, kebabs, tikkas, halwas and kulfis.
Don’t miss the ‘Pub (Till You) Crawl’! which takes you on a traditional curated pub crawl to some spectacular pubs and bars around one of the best historical and tourist hot spots in the heart of the city, Connaught Place.
While ‘Twilight in Jungles of Delhi’ explores the historic and supernatural tales of Mehrauli, ‘Moonlit walk in Sanjay Van’ opens an experience through sound, smell and sight in a full moon night. The walk begins at Qutub Institutional Area, snaking through one corner of the forest as the trail takes you to the bird watching tower close to the JNU exit.
The event, supported by Delhi government, has already received tremendous response, Chauhan said. “The bookings for some of walks are already full,” she added.
Another interesting walk, ‘Saari, Kinaari, Bazaari: Festive saris and kinaris of Chandni Chowk’ will feature the shimmering spectacle in Chandni Chowk, a popular destination for bridal shopping in the city. On this trail, one can wander into Kinari bazaar, the wholesale market for fabric trimmings where any saree can be accessorised with the relevant trim.
The ‘Secret Old Delhi’ walk will take you through the bewildering maze of alleys and transport you to the times of the grandeur and subsequent ruin of the Mughal empire.
If ‘Mehrauli and You’ offers a beautiful night walk to explore the galis of Mehrauli, ‘Begum and Her Hookah’ will tell you the little known stories of the women who have enriched the city.
Brides and grooms-to-be, will cherish the ‘Shopping Walk (Wedding) in Lajpat Nagar’ as it will provide a few tips and tricks for the D-day. This walk will take one around the budget friendly shops in Lajpat Nagar’s Central Market for wedding outfits, trousseaus, jewellery, shoes, packaging and much more.
For tickets and more information, log on to the website www.delhiwalkfestival.com