A window to city’s past, present: Delhi govt launches six heritage walks
Each walk costs ₹1,000 per person and will only commence once a group has six people. According to the tourism department, the walks aim to showcase the charm of Delhi’s historical hubs and recount the narrative of the evolution of the city’s monuments
In an effort to display the rich cultural heritage of the Capital to its people and promote the city as the “tourism capital”, the Delhi government on Saturday launched “heritage walks” across six circuits, including New and Old Delhi. The programme was launched by tourism minister Atishi at Hauz Khas Fort.
A combination of history, culture, storytelling, architecture, and long walks, these heritage walks will be conducted by certified guides from the ministry of art and culture on Saturdays and Sundays from 6.30am to 9.30am.
Each walk costs ₹1,000 per person and will only commence once a group has six people. According to the tourism department, the walks aim to showcase the charm of Delhi’s historical hubs and recount the narrative of the evolution of the city’s monuments.
To take part in a walk, people can register on the tourism department’s website, where they can check the availability of their preferred dates.
After launching the walk on Saturday, tourism minister Atishi said, “Delhi government is focused on developing the national capital as “tourism capital”. The heritage walks are one of the most popular ways to explore the richness of any city and Delhi being the oldest has a lot to offer to history enthusiasts and tourists. In order to provide a fully immersive experience, these walks across the city will be fully guided by the licensed guides appointed by the tourism department.”
Saturday’s walk at Hauz Khas Fort, called “Walk of Hauz Khas”, started from Deer Park, moved on to the lake, and then explored the surrounding monuments. The entire two-hour series covered an introduction to the city of Delhi, the history of Hauz Khas Fort, the introduction of the water system from the 13th to 15th century, Hauz Khas as a world-class university in the 1350s (Tughlaq dynasty), education during the reign of Feroz Shah Tughlaq, Feroz Shah’s tomb, present-day Hauz Khas and how it evolved as an urban village in the neighbourhood of south Delhi.
One of the most interesting circuits in the series is “Food Walk” around Old Delhi. Starting from Jama Masjid, the walk will take the group around renowned food joints like Karim’s, Chaina Ram Sindhi Halwai and Giani’s.
An official said the heritage walks are spread over approximately three hours to let people explore the circuits at ease and enjoy the ambiance.
“The ₹1,000 includes a guide and a bag containing a water bottle, juice, one seasonal fruit, muffins, a badge, and a brochure. The fee is for one circuit heritage walk only. The walk will not be organised unless there are six participants,” said the official.
The official added that currently there is no manual booking available and those interested can register on the tourism department’s website https://delhitourism.gov.in/delhitourism/booking/heritage_walk.jsp#a.
Cultural experts said that though the decision to organise heritage walks is commendable, the state government should consider opening up monuments in the evenings for cultural events.
“Delhi is known for its rich cultural heritage world over and attracts foreign tourists in large numbers who explore the Capital city round the year. This is indeed a great initiative by the government to have thought of reviving heritage walks around popular monuments. However, it will also do good if the government takes this initiative forward and is a bit more liberal with monuments. We hope they work towards opening up illuminated monuments in the evenings to host cultural events, especially on weekends,” said Sudhir Sobti, retired Delhi tourism official said.
Sobti added that sites like the Hauz Khas Fort are ideal to promote cultural exchanges without disturbing the ecology of the place. “These heritage walks can expose the younger generation to the rich heritage of the city,” he said.