Discover the best of Delhi on foot

Eighty five walks and 30 walk specialists are all set to help you discover the multiple layers of the city — nature, heritage, food, art, photography, Sufi music, architecture, design and much more, as part of the upcoming Delhi Walk Festival, a week-long celebration of exploring the national capital on foot.

Scheduled to be held between February 22 and 28, the festival is being organised by Delhi, I Love You (DILY), a 30-month cultural and social movement in Delhi, in partnership with Delhi Dallying, a group of young architects and designers who converse and engage with the city through writing, talking, conducting walks and workshops.

“For those who thought that it is impossible to walk in Delhi, this festival may come as a pleasant surprise. We have handpicked guided walking tours that reveal the incredible layers our city has to offer. There hasn’t been a more exciting time in the city; for disruption, for rethinking, for conversation,” says Aastha Chauhan, director, DILY.

Sharing the idea, Chauhan says the impetus behind the movement is to create collaboration between government bodies, cultural practitioners and citizens who make the city special. “The walk festival is our way of acknowledging, celebrating and bringing together all the walk organisations of Delhi on one platform and to present possibilities for exploring it on foot,” she tells Metrolife. She adds that DILY began discussing the possibilities of such a festival with Rohan Patankar (from Delhi Dallying) and then contacted various individuals and organisations to discuss the same and “the response was overwhelmingly positive”.

“The larger premise of this festival touches upon other issues such as traffic congestion, poor air quality, reclaiming the street, celebrating street performers and appreciating the city at a slower pace. All directly, or indirectly, associated with the act of walking in Delhi,” she says.

Touted to be a first-of-its-kind event of such a scale, the festival promises something for everyone. It is focusing on three key locations – Old Delhi (Chunnamal Haveli, active on 22-23 February), Lodhi Road (Allaince Francaise, active on 24-25 February) and the Qutub Minar complex (1AQ Art Gallery, active on 26-28 February).

“These individual walks are already available for Delhi, the special thing about the festival is that we are trying to overlap these walks, so that the participants have a space to engage in conversation about the city. Individual experiences’ coming together is what makes this event exceptional for us, and hopefully, for the people who participate,” Chauhan says.

However, the festival will not only be about walks, which are priced at Rs 400, as Chauhan says they have also put together talks, film screenings, a madari-magician performance by Ishamuddin Khan, a Delhi Library curated by CMYK, a music playlist curated by Balcony TV, and other special non ticketed walks, which have been kept a surprise for now.

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