Ever wondered about the significance of old monuments and buildings that you pass by, every once in a while? While Google can definitely help, it is equally important for us to become aware of the importance of the cultural and historical environment of our cities, and develop a harmonious relationship with it.
And what better way to discover hidden secrets and fascinating titbits, than to take guided walks with experts?
This month, Yes Culture—the cultural division of Yes Bank’s think tank, Yes Global Institute—and the digital Indian arts and culture platform Sahapedia, are coming together to host the India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) 2018.
IHWF 2018 began last week with events in Ahmedabad (India’s first World Heritage City), Delhi’s Mehrauli Archaeological Park and a nature walk in Hyderabad. Besides the four metros, IHWF will also cover cities such as Jaipur, Udaipur, Srinagar, Itanagar in Arunachal Pradesh and Tripunithura in Kerala.
This month-long festival aims to bring forth to people, diverse aspects such as architecture, food, heritage, crafts, nature, and art that make up the cultural fabric of our country. The festival will feature nearly 65 public engagement events, including heritage walks (themed, curated and guided tours conducted by experts), baithaks (talks) and workshops in 18 cities.
Most importantly, the festival promises to be inclusive. While walks will be tailored for students, travellers, residents, and photographers; children, differently-abled individuals, economically disadvantaged people are also welcome.
Here are the four main categories of events:-
1) Heritage Walks: Based on various themes, these will be tours rich on information, about the cities. Eminent personalities will be heading these walks, and one stands to gain a broad and rich insight into the culture of the region.
2) Baithak: A discussion or dialogue, this will open up new perspectives for people, as different opinions and perceptions on heritage and culture will be shared and discussed. Baithaks are typically open and informal in nature, and these are sure to touch upon important and pertinent matters.
3) Instameet: Instameets encourage participants to create an archive of their experiences, through visual media. These meets also hope to bring together like-minded individuals, who have similar visual interests. Discover fresh ways to perceive a space you have probably seen before!
4) Film Screenings: Films will be screened throughout February 2018 on Sahapedia’s Youtube channel with a fresh screening almost every day. Documentaries by emerging filmmakers and scholars, as well as some classics by eminent filmmakers will be featured, offering viewers an opportunity to understand the experiences of creative and cultural practitioners, and also introduce them to the spectrum of documentary practice in the country.
So those of you in the below-mentioned locations, make it a point to attend these events and have a unique experience. Besides these events, there are several others, and you can find the details here: that can be found here: ( insert hyperlink calendar from the official site)
Explore the Mehrauli Archaeological Park, led by respected historian Sohail Hashmi. Attend an event in Nizamuddin Basti, on Sufi Culture. There will be an exploration of New Delhi’s history, on 25th February, with other walks, exploring heritage sites like Hauz Khas, and seeing public art in Lodhi Colony.
History buffs, dive into the Indo-Saracenic architecture at MSU, Baroda, on the 17th of February, and indulge in fun, in a Holi Walk, in Bikaner on February 25th.
In Mumbai, India’s movie capital, go down memory lane, visiting single-screen theatres, and trace their history, during The Talkies Walk.
Participate in the walk on February 26th, around the river Jhelum. The legendary river has spawned many lakes, one of them being the picture-perfect Dal Lake.
On February 24th, explore Varanasi. India’s holiest city is full of unique sights and sounds, sure to surprise even the most seasoned and well-travelled. From intensely crowded ghats to quiet lanes, this place has it all.
Soak up information in the Museum of Kerala History, in Edappally, on the 17th of February. The museum has coveted works, by masters like Jamini Roy, MF Husain and Ram Kumar. Besides the walk, there will also be a baithak on the 23rd of February to discuss the history of the Jews in Kochi.
Visit the India Heritage Walks Festival website here, and click on any event from the calendar that interests you. Once you open the event page, you can check whether the registration for the event is still open. All event details, including necessary do’s and don’ts, are listed there.
Events like these are a great opportunity to delve deep into India’s vast cultural pool and discover interesting nuggets of information. Most importantly, they are a fantastic opportunity to interact with like-minded individuals, in a great environment!
(Edited by Gayatri Mishra)