'Waking up' to the charm and beauty of Old Delhi | delhi | Hindustan Times
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'Waking up' to the charm and beauty of Old Delhi

Still high from an exhilarating qawwali session at the dargah of Qutb Sahib a.k.a. Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in congested Mehrauli, Sharad Srivastava's face showed a content feeling.

delhi Updated: May 07, 2011 23:19 IST
Nivedita Khandekar

Still high from an exhilarating qawwali session at the dargah of Qutb Sahib a.k.a. Qutbuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki in congested Mehrauli, Sharad Srivastava's face showed a content feeling.

"I have travelled the world over, (but) despite living in Delhi, I haven't seen Delhi. This was my first heritage walk and a very good experience," Srivastava (60), who coaches chief executives of companies, said.

The qawwali session, led by Idris Qawwal from the dargah, was part of the cultural experience that formed an integral part of the heritage walk that Srivastava and 70 other participated in on Saturday morning in one of Delhi's ancient villages, Mehrauli.

As part of its plans to spread awareness for heritage, ahead of Delhi government's bid for the World Heritage City status, Shahjahanabad Redevelopment Corporation (SRDC) arranged the inaugural walk in collaboration with other civic agencies.

Scores of people ranging from teachers, foreign nationals and even celebrities, including designer Ritu Kumar, joined the walk conducted by Dr Navina Jafa, a heritage consultant.

It started from Adham Khan's tomb (opposite Mehrauli bus stand) and Gandhak ki Baoli (metres away from the same bus stop) and concluded after seeking blessings at the dargah of Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki.

Dr Sheela Srinivasan from Sadhu Vaswani International School and Neeti Mathur from Arwachin Bhartiya School found the experience "inspiring".

Mathur said, "This walk has given me ample ideas as to how to conduct the walk. I would be doing it for children."

Delhi's chief secretary PK Tripathi, who is also the chairperson of the SRDC, inaugurated the walk at Adham Khan's tomb. Sharing what he called as chief minister Sheila Dikshit's vision about heritage, Tripathi said, "There can be no real development if heritage is ignored."

Tripathi also announced that Dikshit would inaugurate some time in July the launch of the heritage movement involving children, senior citizens and RWAs.

Observing that monuments can be centres of cultural activities, SRDC managing director Savitur Prasad said, "We cannot recreate historical buildings. So we should preserve them as best as we can. Concern about our heritage should become part of our city's culture."

SRDC plans to hold similar heritage walks regularly in all nine districts of Delhi involving school children, teachers, senior citizens and RWAs. Training of heritage walk leaders is already on and all walk related information would be available on the SRDC website and its Facebook page.