Imagine walking the streets of Delhi blindfolded. Will you be able to absorb the history of Qutub Minar or get an update on the new things on display in Khan Market?
Three walks, curated as part of the ongoing Delhi Walk Festival — on till December 4 — will be lead by the visually-impaired. The participants will be blindfolded.
“We were thinking how to make the walks interesting for participants this year. It occurred that sensitising people would be a better idea since the International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3) falls in between,” says Aastha Chauhan, director of Delhi, I Love You – the festival organiser.
In its second edition, DWF has 200 walks led by 50 experts, to cover the length and breadth of the city. Themes vary from nature and heritage to culture, food and photography. This year, however, there’s more. “Not just Delhi, its neighbouring areas, too, have an interesting geography. For instance, Sonia Vihar has single units where garments such as T-shirts and bras are assembled.. Along with our walk leaders, we have six special guests who are experts in the field of research and guide us plan our walks,” adds Chauhan.
Historian Sohail Hashmi, who is an authority on Delhi’s history, will conduct three walks – in Tughlakabad area, in the ruins of Mehrauli Archaeological Park and in Qutub Complex. “I started conducted walks in early 2000, when I realised that most of the youngsters living in Delhi haven’t been inside the Red Fort or explored Qutub Minar, for instance. They are growing up in the city without knowing anything about it,” says Hashmi.
He adds that it’s important for Delhiites to know about their city’s history and heritage. “My objective is to show them the places in Delhi, which people don’t usually go to; and not repeat the information that is available.”
Take your pick from some of these walks. For registration, visit www.delhiwalkfestival.com.
1. A walk down the lane of consciousness
It is a paranormal walk through the famously haunted Jamali Kamali Mosque and tomb in Mehrauli. Attend to know if the place is really haunted. Lead by paranormal investigators Tathagata Marik and Anshul Sharma, this walk warns you to be responsible for your state of mind.
Where: Jamali Kamali, Mehrauli
When: December 4; 7pm-9pm
2. The Street Performer’s Tales
Ishamudin Khan, an Indian madari ranked among the world’s 20 top magicians, will lead this walk through Kathputli Colony. One can discover the realities and challenges in life of street performers of India, and the complex social dynamics that prevail in this nomadic community. The walk will end with a special magic performance on a roof top.
Where: Kathputli Colony, Shadipur Depot
When: December 4; 9am-11.30am
3. Khirkee Shaam
Khirkee17 are Hip Hop artists who have grown up in the lanes of the urban village Khirkee. They will lead the art, culture and heritage tour of Khirkee Village. The walk will commence from a 14th century dam and cover places such as the Khirkee Mosque, Khoj (an experimental art studio) and the lanes of Hauz Rani — the place to dig into some of the best Afghani, Malyali, African and Indian delicacies.
Where: Khirkee Village, near Saket
When: November 26; 4pm-6pm
4. Food Coma In Chandni Chowk!
This walk in Old Delhi is a gastronomical ride that claims to offer the best street food. You will find everything from Dahi Bhalla, Aloo Tikki, Matar Kachori and Japani Samosa to a variety of chaats, flavoured Lassi, twisty Jalebi, and mouth-watering Kulfi — recipes that have been passed down generations.
Where: Old Delhi
When: November 26; 6.30pm-9.30pm