World Heritage Day: Sahapedia Organising India Heritage Walks in 16 Cities

NEW DELHI:
Joining a global initiative to raise public awareness about the diversity and vulnerability of the world’s monuments and heritage sites and the efforts required to protect them, Sahapedia will organise a string of India Heritage Walks to mark the World Heritage Day 2019 with ‘Rural Landscape/Rural Heritage’ as its theme.

To celebrate World Heritage Day (April 18), Sahapedia, the online encyclopaedia of Indian arts and culture, will organise 27 events, spread across 16 Indian cities, between April 7-21. The events include heritage walks for the general public and students, special experiences curated for persons with disabilities, and customised walks for targeted groups.

An interesting feature of this year’s India Heritage Walks is that participants can explore and interpret built heritage in their surroundings through ‘Sketch Walks’.Be it a lane of uniquely designed mansions or a sultanate tomb, these walks help people understand the techniques employed in a particular age. These are then interpreted by the participants in the form of sketches, giving them a platform to showcase their imagination and creativity.

‘Capturing an image through sketching and doodling allows the participants to imagine the fictive and accept the real in equal amounts. In addition, it makes them active participants in the initiative to explore and preserve monuments and heritage sites in desperate need of conservation,’ said Vaibhav Chauhan, Secretary, Sahapedia.

To catch a glimpse of all these sketches, one only needs to check IHW’s Instagram and Facebook handles. Around nine such events will be curated in over six cities in partnership with some regional organisations. This also includes an engagement with children with special needs in Kolkata.

Some of the events planned during India Heritage Walk are The Mumbai Art Deco Walk (April 14); Photography and Food – Through the Lanes of Old Delhi (April 14); Park Street Sketch Walk in Kolkata (April 13); A Sketch walk at SultanGarhi in Delhi (April 14); Sketching with Children with hearing impairment at the Indian Museum in Kolkata (April 18); A Trail through the Lanes of Old City in Udaipur (April 21); and A Visit to Ever Living Museum (a customised walk in Shillong on April 18).

Mumbai, Agra, Srinagar, Kolkata, Orchha, Siliguri, Ahmedabad, Jabalpur, Delhi, Itanagar, Shillong, Bengaluru, Amritsar, Pune, Udaipur and Kochi are the cities where these heritage walks will be conducted over nine days (April 7-21). All these walks will be led by expert walk leaders.

Sahapedia has also planned three events in Kochi, Kerala, that are in conformity with the theme of ‘Rural Landscape/Rural Heritage’. These are: a short heritage walk followed by Baithak through Moozhikkulam village,which has a temple with 13th century inscriptions and a church which is mentioned in several ancient Christian texts; screening of the national award-winning documentary called ‘Kaippadu’, which is on agricultural heritage; and a release of posters in English and Malayalam on the theme of Rural Heritage.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) established April 18 as the International Day for Monuments and Sites in 1983, which is commonly known as World Heritage Day. While UNESCO itself lists World Heritage Sites, this day is not just about those select few, but concerns all cultural heritage places and landscapes of international, national and local significance.

The India Heritage Walks programme is supported by Axis Bank Foundation.

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