Ever wondered what happened to Anarkali? Or what Delhi was like when the famed courtesan lived in the capital? Get your questions answered at the “Tawaifs of Chawri Bazar” trail, part of the Delhi Walk Festival that kicked off on Sat Nov 19. The 16-day fest has over 200 walks spanning subjects ranging from flora to Mughal feuds, led by guides including William Dalrymple, author of The Last Mughal. The festival continues until Sun Dec 4, 2016.
The schedule has some interesting offerings. Get an introduction to the city’s moths at Sanjay Van at dusk, take the Sufiyana and Shairana trail through the neighbourhood of Nizamuddin, or go on a blindfolded walk through the Qutub Minar complex, where a visually impaired guide will help participants experience the monument through sound, smell, and touch. Exercise your mind and satisfy your tummy with a food-history walk through the walled city of Shahjahanabad, where you can learn about Hindu, Islamic, and British architectural influences while tucking into tangy aloo chaat, biryani, and syrupy jalebis. Or sign up for the Bees Rupaya Sawari trail that explores the oral histories of the longstanding chai stalls around Delhi University.
The website lists walks by date, the organization conducting the trail, and by category, which includes “Nature”, “Heritage”, “Food”, “Design Architecture and Photography” and “Child Friendly”. The guides are often as interesting as the trails. Well-known figures like environmentalist Pradip Krishen, journalist Ravish Kumar, standup comedian Gursimran Khamba, and writer William Dalrymple will lead a handful of walks spread out over the two weeks.
In addition to walks, the festival schedule also includes music performances and storytelling sessions at the INTACH Delhi Chapter in New Delhi, Chunnamal Haveli in Old Delhi, and Cherie One Qutub at Mehrauli. Ticket holders have free access to these events, and timings can be found online.
What Delhi Walk Festival
When From Sat Nov 19 to Sun Dec 4, 2016. Walks are spread out through the day, starting at 7a.m. and going on until 11p.m.
Tickets ₹400 per walk; can be booked on the Delhi Walks website. Tickets for the celebrity walks go on sale three days before the scheduled walk, so check the event’s website for updates. Children under the age of 10 can participate for free, except for the kids-only walks. Online registration is required for free tickets as well.