India’s rich and diverse culture attracts tourists from across the globe. The idea of celebrating this richness by making it more accessible to travellers gave birth to the concept of India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF). The month-long festival led by Sahapedia is back with its third edition. IHWF also bagged the PATA Gold Award 2018 under Heritage and Culture category. Read on to know more. By Kumar Shree

Beginning from January 30, the festival will go on until February 23 and will offer guided tours through some of the finest heritage establishments across the country. A total of 80 cities and towns fall in the list of 2020. Expect to navigate through a varied range of museums, monuments, local markets, natural landscapes, and cuisines. All of these experiences/walks are led by locals experts, subject experts, scholars, and researchers.

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Throwing it back to this heritage walk through the Persian facades of Hazira Maqbara as part of @indiaheritagewalks festival led by @dharamayavat Hazira Maqbara is the earliest surviving Mughal structure in Gujarat. It houses the tomb of Qutbuddin Muhammad Khan and his son Nawrang Khan. Qutbuddin was the youngest brother of Atga Khan (Akbar's foster father) and held the charge of the sarkar of Baroda. He was also appointed as the tutor to prince Salim. Qutbuddin was killed by the fugitive Sultan Muzaffar Shah in 1583 while he was trying to recover his lost kingdom. . This structure is a symbolic representation of the Indo-Islamic architecture with features like the double dome, jali work, ornamentation in the form of calligraphic verses from the Quran. The tomb is built on an elevated octagonal platform with smaller gates in the four directions.  It also has the Char Bagh feature – a square or a rectangular area is divided into four and the intersection is the focal point where the main structure is constructed. Hazira bears a striking resemblance to the Humayun's tomb, although its grandeur is much more reduced to maintain the distinction between the royal lineage and their noblemen. #HaziraMaqbara #BarodaDiaries #Heritage #IndiaHeritageWalkFestival #ThinkHeritage #IndoIslamicArchitecture #MobilePhotography #HistoryEnthusiast #TheSolitaryExplorer

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The India Heritage Walk Festival is one of the best ways to brush past the glorious Indian heritage in varied forms. The past editions of this festival have seen eminent personalities like Sohail Hashmi, Esther David, Tony Joseph, and historian Parvati Sharma leading these walks. The themes of walks forming a part of this year’s festival are designed for catering to masses with varied set of interests.

Apart from major cities, these walks will also pave through Tier-II and Tier-III cities. Some of these cities are Allahabad, Agra, Indore, Jabalpur, Khajuraho, Kolhapur, Leh, Nagpur, Orchha, Pachmarhi, Patiala, Shillong, Shimla, Shivpuri, Udaipur, and Vadodara.

The festival kick-starts with a walk about, ‘The theory and iconography of Ganesha’ in Pune on January 30. Other noteworthy walks that we would love to explore are: Plastic and We – a love hate relationship in Ahmedabad,  A Historical Trail to the Monolith Garden of Nartiang in Shillong, Go Heritage Run – Hampi, and Exploring the Portuguese Architecture of Fontainhas in Goa. You can check out the entire calendar here.

Related: Peru Goes Green To Protect Its UNESCO World Heritage Site — Machu Picchu!