Every person in the world, no matter where he or she comes from, represents a certain heritage. Every culture is made up of stories that—more often than not—are a product of socio-cultural complexities rooted in histories and traditions. this collection of stories defines each culture.
India, with its rich culture and heritage, is a treasure trove of narratives that continue to shape our present and future. There are stories hidden in every corner of the country. Some have made it into our textbooks, some have become topics of prime-time television debates, some exist in non-descript modesty while others are long forgotten.
Sahapedia and its outreach programme, ‘India Heritage Walks’, aim to relate the stories of the people and places who have contributed to the cultural fabric of this country. If you find yourself seeking unique ways to engage with history and enjoy weaving narratives around heritage sites, then India Heritage Walks is looking for people like you. Join us to curate and conduct walks around your city and interact with local historical sites.
With more than 100 walk leaders in 40 cities, India Heritage Walks has conducted over 1000 themed walks across the country. Walk leaders have the flexibility and creative freedom to incorporate art, architecture, food, nature, museums and social causes into the heritage walks. Walk leaders also receive financial remuneration.
‘Having been a walk leader with IHW for quite some time now, I have not only narrated stories about historical monuments, but have also learned so much from the people who attend these walks,’ says Diksha Goel, a walk leader who conducts walks in Delhi and Jaipur. ‘With the elaborate work that Sahapedia has done on tangible and intangible heritage in India, it has managed to attract the interest of diverse professionals such as journalists, architects, urban planners, conservationists, teachers, etc. This is perhaps the best thing about being a walk leader with India Heritage Walks,’ she adds.
The twenty-one-year-old possesses a bachelor’s degree in history from Miranda House and will be pursuing a master’s degree in heritage from Durham University, UK. She says that she chooses her sites based on the stories they have to tell—stories that could be hiding in plain sight. ‘Some sites--such as the Delhi Ridge, a park with ruins--are not aesthetically pleasing. However, the history of the area and how it shaped the Mutiny of 1857 is what makes this heritage site so important,’ Diksha says. From conducting a walk on the harems of the Red Fort to exploring the unheard narratives of the 1857 revolution, she is now set to conduct a heritage walk on July 28 on the Gaitore Ki Chhatriyan—the final abode of the Kacchwaha royals of Jaipur.
Diksha believes that stories that are not a part of mainstream public discourse need to be told. ‘Becoming a walk leader and attending such walks enables exactly that,’ she says. The exchange of ideas and narratives is important not just for personal growth, but to encourage cultural literacy—an important and much-ignored factor that leads towards development.
So, come be a walk leader with India Heritage Walks and become the voice of your city’s history and culture.
To register yourself as a walk leader, click here.
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