From food to art, these heritage walks in Delhi cover every facet of the city’s past, and make for experiences you won’t forget. By Gayatri Moodliar
Delhi is a lot to take in—there’s culture, history, art and, of course, food. So much so that it could get tricky planning a thorough trip. But, based on which avenue you choose to explore, booking yourself into a heritage walk might make the most sense as the guides are usually well-versed in the subject and aware of the gems of the city that most aren’t. Here we have five of the walks that you should check out, even if you live in Delhi, because there’s bound to be something you’ve missed.
The Qutub Minar gets most of the recognition when it comes to Mehrauli, but there’s a lot more to the area. Behind the Qutb Complex lies the Mehrauli village that houses an array of monuments, all of which tie in to a storied past. Built around the shrine of Sufi saint Bakhtiyar Kaki, a walk through the village takes you to a Prophet Muhammed-marked tank, the site of Banda Bahadur’s martyrdom, as well as a palace of the Mughals. More than anything else, this one area truly highlights the amount of change Delhi has seen.
While the weather still permits it, tour the city on two wheels as opposed to the titular walk, and do away with the mundane methods of commuting to-and-fro monuments. DelhiByCycle offers many such options, of which The Shah Jahan Tour is one of the most popular. Including breakfast at the famous Karim’s, cycle to Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk, The Spice Market and even stop for perfect photo opportunities of the Red Fort and Jama Masjid.
One of the most popular walks in Delhi, this stroll takes you into the inner-most parts of Old Delhi and shows you the city’s history in a way you’ve never seen before. And, it doesn’t stop just there—you’ll gain an insight into the traditions and customs of the city by visiting local homes and enjoying meals prepared in havelis. The influence of the local culture is heavy here, and prepare for an avalanche of exposure to the nitty-gritty of the city.
Delhi is a hotbed of culinary influences, having seen so many different regimes make it their centre. Delhi Food Walks dives into this by hosting walks devoted to different delicacies. The Kebab Food Trail takes you across the city to help you decide which iteration of the innumerable kebabs you enjoy most.
What if in one city-excursion, you could cover seven? Well, this Delhi Metro Walks tour covers the seven acknowledged cities of Delhi—Mehrauli, Siri, Jahanpanah, Tughlqabad, Firozobad, Dinpanah and Shahjahanabad—and even includes an eighth one, Imperial Delhi. Each city was the powerhouse of a different dynasty, and so, there’s a myriad of stories to uncover.