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Walk the Mall Road – Glimpses of Shimla’s Architecture and Scenic Beauty on February 17

In Nation
February 14, 2019

As part of the second edition of Sahapedia’s India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) 2019, a free guided tour will focus on Shimla’s historic, bustling centre, the Mall Road.

On February 17, Shadab Hassan Khan, currently researchingabout the evolution of traditional architecture in the upper Himalayan region, will be leading a heritage walk through the Mall Road, a tourist hotspot.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.

“Most of the city’s historically important buildings are situated near or around it. Myriad layers of history surround the area, and this is reflected in the monuments of different eras that can be found here. The architectural style varies from traditional hill architecture to colonial architecture and even contemporary architecture, all intertwined in the common fabric of the city,” said the former architect, who is working with Sahapedia in the field of cultural documentation and preservation.

Shimla, aptly nicknamed ‘the Queen of Hills’, is known for its natural beauty and pleasant climate. Situated at a height of 6,890 feet, it welcomes visitors with its serpentine roads, thick deodar forests, cool breeze and fresh clean air.The walk will give participants a brief idea of the rich history of the city, with a visit to some of the most famous monuments to study their architectural style. The two-hour guided tour will begin at 2 pm and will conclude with a meal of traditional Himachali food.

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