Hyderabad: In a bustling city where people spend most of their time hurrying to work and back, it’s hard to imagine a quiet walk amidst nature; but the India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF) is offering residents of Hyderabad exactly that — a chance to do a double take and ponder on the life and landscapes they pass by during every day commutes.
IHWF 2018 is organised by Sahapedia (sahapedia.org) an encyclopaedia of Indian arts and culture, and YES Culture, the cultural division of YES Global Institute, a practicing think tank of YES BANK. It is a month-long, multi-city event, introducing people to the tangible and intangible heritage of their cities, and celebrating India’s rich cultural diversity.
Hyderabad, with its rich history, is hosting two walks as part of the festival and is one among the 20 cities and towns featured in the event.
The first walk on Saturday, February 3 is titled ‘Walking Amidst Nature in Hyderabad’s Gachibowli’, and is an exploration of the suburb known as a major IT hub and home to the University of Hyderabad.
Spandana Freewill, an interior designer and a history buff will guide the participants on a trail around the University’s vast 2,300 acre campus which is home to over 734 flower plants, 10 species of mammals, 15 species of reptiles and 220 species of birds.
Hyderabad lies on the banks of the Musi River in the northern part of the Deccan Plateau; its lakes and the sloping terrain of low-lying hills provide a habitat for an assortment of flora and fauna, which the walkers can explore.
A bit of bird spotting and discussions on pressing environmental issues will also be on the cards as Spandana leads discussion on the local plant types and how they have been replaced with imported varieties.
She will also lead the second walk, ‘A Homage to the Hussain Sagar Lake’ on Saturday February 17, exploring the history of Asia’s largest artificial lake.
Built by Ibrahim Quli Qutb Shah in 1563 on the Musi river, the lake used to be the largest drinking water source for the city before Osman Sagar and Himayat Sagar. Today the lake lies at the heart of the city as a witness to countless historic changes, including the Telangana movement.
Vaibhav Chauhan, Festival Director (IHWF) and Secretary, Sahapedia, says, “The India Heritage Walk Festival 2018 is a celebration of all that Sahapedia stands for. In an attempt to create authentic, credible, and exhaustive content on our rich heritage and culture, we are developing a network of cultural practitioners across the country.”
He goes on to add, “This festival is a part of this pan-India movement, making heritage spaces more popular, more accessible, and more experiential. This is exactly why the festival tries to involve people from various walks of life with a range of thematic experiences covered through the walks, and caters to as many people as possible.”
Preeti Sinha, Global Convenor, YES BANK and Senior President, YES Global Institute, says, “Through active engagement with built, natural and living heritage through the design of walks, talks, and digital media such as films and social forums, the festival will be a touchstone for conscious thinking towards formulating historically-sensitive policy and decision making.”
IHWF 2018, covering 20 cities and towns around the country, will feature walks to historical monuments and shrines, well-known landscapes, places known for art and culture, cuisine and, flourishing trade....