There is one thing you must do now since the smog in Delhi has thinned a little and the weather is pleasantly cool: explore the national capital by foot.
A two-week Delhi Walk Festival, which started from November 19 and goes on till December 4, has a schedule packed with walks for nature enthusiasts, history lovers and hardcore foodies. From William Dalrymple to Sadia Dehalvi, Ravish Kumar to Pradip Krishen, the walks are led and curated by people who have explored, experienced and written about the city.
So wear your most comfortable shoes, grab a mask and a water bottle, and get ready to discover lesser known terrains in Delhi. Listed below are seven upcoming walks you should not miss:
Rewilding Delhi’s mines
This Sunday, start your day by learning something new: the mining sites in and around Delhi. The walk will take you through the sites, and expose you to the concept of landscape restoration, native flora and fauna of the area and conservation projects. For parents, this is a great outdoor ecological lesson you can give your kids.
When: November 27
Meeting Point: At the entrance to the Conservation Education Centre
Time: 7:30 -10 am
Dastaan-e-1857: A Tribute to the revolt of 1857
India’s first war of Independence is often relegated to a footnote in history textbooks. Take a trip back in time to know more about the people who rallied against the British in the summer of 1857. This walk is not going to be merely a repitition of history. You will get to hear the poetry and songs of rebellion and freedom as you revisit the battle grounds and memorials.
When: November 27
Meeting Point: Gate no. 7, Kashmere gate metro station, next to McDonald’s
Time: 7:30 am - 12 noon
The Bengali slice of life: Delhi’s ‘mini Bengal’ CR Park
Yes, you have probably been to the hub of Bengalis in Delhi –– Chittaranjan Park, better known as CR Park. But we will still encourage you to spend an evening indulged in Bangliana. Dig into Telay-Bhajas (vegetable fritters) and Mutton Chops while engaged in a round of gossip and discussions at the adda and buy some fresh fish while you’re at it.
When: November 30
Meeting Point: CR Park
Time: 6 - 9 pm
The feisty djinns of Firozabad
Legend says that Feroz Shah Tughlaq wanted to live “where he could feel the cool breezes from the mountains and the river and so he built Firoz Shah Kotla on the banks of the Yamuna. Around this fort grew a city, which once rivalled Cairo and Baghdad.
Relics and ruins of this city are now said to harbour djinns and mystics. Here’s a chance to delve into this little-known chapter of Delhi’s history.
When: December 1
Meeting Point: Feroz Shah Kotla fort
Time: 9:30 - 11:30 am
Qutub complex with Sohail Hashmi
Writer and documentary film maker Sohail Hashmi is leading a walk which starts from the Qutub Minar and goes around the various monuments and architectural marvels that dot the Qutub complex. From the Quwaat-ul-islam mosque to the Alai Darwaza built in 1311 to the 5th Century Iron Pillar that refuses to rust, it’s a trail of Delhi’s historical sites.
When: December 2
Meeting Point: Entrance to Qutub entrance
Time: 8 - 10am
Exploring webs in capital: A spider walk in Garden of Five Senses
Yes, you read that right. This is a walk dedicated to the spiders that lurk in the stony terrain of the Garden of Five Senses. If you are a creepy-crawly enthusiast, this is just the right pick for you. You can learn about ecology, habitat and life cycle of the eight-legged creatures, plus some cool facts about the different kinds of webs they weave.
When: December 3
Meeting Point: Garden of Five Senses, Saidulajab, New Delhi
Time: 8 - 10:30 am
Hunting lodges, Mother Goddess and ultimate kulfi
Chances are you must have passed by the tall Hanuman statue at Jhandewalan. This walk takes you through the recesses of Karol Bagh: the Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, a hunting lodge built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq, an old temple dedicated to a mother goddess and ends with some mouth-watering kulfi.
When: December 4
Meeting Point: Jhandewalan metro station
Time: 8 -10:30 am
Visit the Delhi Walk Festival site before you plan any walks for more information on what to carry, meet-up points and how to book slots. You can also call +91-92052 62418 or +91-83759 64717.
(Disclaimer: Hindustan Times is an official partner of the Delhi Walk Festival)