Ahmedabad is a city brimming with stories of its history and heritage. One can witness diverse cultural and religious identities within the walls of the old city.
Another interesting aspect that adds to the richness of the city’s history is the presence of women in every sphere of life, who have left behind their mark and carved out spaces of their own. A walk by Jyoti Sukla, titled “Women and the Walled City”, will focus on this aspect of Ahmedabad, beginning with the Delhi Darwaza, covering monuments like Rani Sipri Mosque, the Conflictorium, and Rani Rupmati Mosque.
The primary objective of the walk will be to explore these lesser known structures dedicated to some of the most phenomenal women in history, while learning about their lives. The two-hour free guided tour will be held on February 09, 8 am onwards.
In a separate walk, heritage management student Saif Siddiqui will be conducting a free guided tour in the neighbourhood of Sarkhej, initially a village during the time of Ahmad Shah.
Sarkhej is a multiethnic cultural complex, borrowing from Hindu, Jain and Islamic influences. The Sufi saint, Ganj Bakhsh Ahmad Khattu, decided to make his abode in Sarkhej, far from the bustling streets of the new city of Ahmedabad. The walk will begin with the Queen’s Palace, following which the participants will head to the King’s Palace, Kalandri Masjid, the Roza, along with other mausoleums. The tour will end with the Jama Masjid of Sarkhej.The heritage walk will take place on February 10, 8 am onwards.
The inaugural week of IHWF 2019 hosted a heritage walk exploring the rich delicacies of the walled city of Amdavad, on February 03.Another trail traced the sacred route dotting the historic city of Ahmedabad, on February 02. All bookings for the festival are powered by Odigos, a product by the Bird Group, is an online marketplace that connects tourists to certified guides in India. Odigos app provides a seamless way for travellers and locals alike to understand and explore the iconic sites of our country.
The IHWF, which received the prestigious PATA Gold Award 2018 for its maiden edition organised last year, is a one-of-its-kind month-long festival covering 37 cities, with nearly 100 heritage walks and outreach events. The February 02-28 festival is being supported by NMDC, a state-run mineral producer and explorer. The events’ bookings are facilitated by Odigos, an app that makes travel and discovery easier in India.
Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, said: “We want to democratise access to local history and culture. One might be living in the same neighbourhood for years, but there is a big chance that an important landmark, tucked away in a back alley, has been missed and forgotten. The IHWF is that opportunity to discover the hidden gems linked to the history of a place, town or city.”
Junhi Han, Head and Programme Specialist for Culture, UNESCO New Delhi office, said, “The IHWF programme addresses knowledge of local architectural heritage, sustainable tourism, with a special focus on gender-related issues and accessibility in cultural heritage facilitating more inclusive and better outreach. The festival is expected to involve, engage and sensitize more people, in particular the youth, about their cultural heritage.”
Details about the walks, registration and other programmes of IHWF 2019 are available on https://www.odigosguides.com/India-heritage-walk-festival
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