#TnlSupportsLocal: These Legendary Heritage Walks In India Should Be On Your Post Corona Bucket List

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Before we can once again have the world as our oyster, use this rare opportunity to explore the city you are in, the city that you call home. As and when you are able to step out for more than just grocery runs, consider taking it slow with these heritage walks in India. By Rashima Nagpal

  1. India Heritage Walks 

    Operating in over 70 cities across the country, India Heritage Walks are managed by Sahapedia, an open online resource on the arts, cultures, and heritage of India. From a tour in Delhi, that’s all about the poetic life of Ghalib to one that introduces you to the birds of Goa, and to an amusing insight into the antiques of Patiala—they cover myriad shades of the country. These are usually conducted regularly over the weekends and are led by young scholars or locals who have been trained in the field. These days, they’re also conducting virtual tours such as that of the historic Gwalior Fort, live on Facebook!

  2. St+art India

    If you’re familiar with the Lodhi Art District in Delhi, or the iconic Dadasaheb Phalke Mural in Mumbai, or Hyderabad’s Maqtha Art District, or the much recent Kannagi Nagar in Chennai that has been transformed into an open-air museum, then you’re probably aware of the ingenious St+art India Foundation that’s behind them. A not-for-profit organisation that reimagines public spaces with artistic interventions, it also curates guided tours in the locations it has, quite literally, left a mark on. The preparations for St+art Kovai, the 2020 edition of the annual art festival it hosts, were underway when the pandemic hit. Here’s hoping they resume soon!

  3. Breakaway

    Another home-grown setup that organises rare and immersive tours in India, Breakaway specialises in the rich heritage of textiles and handicrafts we have in the country. From the near-forgotten tribal art of Bagh printing that lives on in a small village of Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh to the renowned Calico Museum of Textiles in Ahmedabad, they have a knack for telling stories that you probably didn’t know. Sign up for one as soon as you can!

  4. Art Deco Mumbai

    Did you know that our sweet old Bombay is the home to the second largest collection of Art Deco buildings in the world? I didn’t know either until I came across Art Deco Mumbai. Characterised by rich colours, bold geometry, symmetrical designs, and exuberant shapes, these architectural gems have been hiding in plain sight in the riches of Mumbai. But thanks to the team at the four-year-old organisation, we now know of a record of at least 661 art deco buildings that add to the cultural heritage of the country. On weekends, they host an architect-led walking tour of Art Deco at the Oval, a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in south Mumbai.

  5. Calcutta Walks

    A local setup that boasts itself as ‘the only walking tour and special interest tour operator of the city that is active 24 x 7 x 365’ (with the exception of the current lockdown situation, of course), Calcutta Walks takes you around the City of Joy in more ways than one. Think a heritage tour led by a bunch of Royal Enfield riders, a sunset river cruise through River Hooghly, a bicycle tour through its old quarters at the break of dawn, and more.

  6. Ekamra Walks

    An initiative by the Heritage Cell of the Bhubaneswar Development Authority in collaboration with Detour Odisha (Bhubaneswar-based organisation that cares deeply for the colourful story of OdishaEkamra Walks is a real game-changer in the way travellers see and interact with the destination. Led by a community of young locals who are passionate about their region’s history and heritage, the tours conducted by Ekamra Walks bring out the lesser-known nuances of Bhubaneswar’s multi-faceted heritage beautifully. 

    Related: #TnlSupportsLocal: Here’s Why Khari Baoli, Asia’s Largest Spice Market, Is On Our Minds

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