Delhi is definitely not considered to be the most pedestrian-friendly city. But we guarantee that our list of walks, ranging from chasing fireflies to discovering idol-makers will have you lacing up your walking shoes and heading outdoors in no time.
Did you know you could witness fireflies in their natural habitat in the middle of Delhi? The New Delhi Nature Society has been organising a Fireflies Workshop every weekend in Hauz Khas Village that allows you into the world of these fascinating bioluminescent creatures. Science and beauty converge in this immersive event that founder and nature lover Virhaen Khanna leads. The walking workshop allows you to glimpse these mesmerising creatures up close. You will learn the secrets about their glow and how they communicate. Also, discover first-hand how light pollution and habitat loss continuously threaten these marvellous creatures.
Duration: 1 hour; Rs 350 per person; for details, visit ndns.in
Various criminal groups caused chaos in Delhi through burglary, cheating and robbing. The most notorious of the Mughal period were the thuggees and thuggeenis, who lured travellers into guesthouses. The area outside Delhi Gate became the infamous haunt of this criminal fraternity. Operating in secrecy, these criminals were almost impossible to identify and they believed their violence had the divine approval of Goddess Kali. The Delhinama's incredibly fascinating Thugs of Delhi walk explores who their preferred targets were, how they concealed their crimes, their escape strategies, and how the citizens of Delhi eventually defended themselves from this cult.
Duration: 2.5 hours; Rs 630 per person; for details visit @delhinama on Instagram
On the enchanting Built Legacy of Mughals, a heritage walk through Old Delhi with Sachin Bansal's India City Walks you will discover the vibrant lanes, where history, food, and culture blend seamlessly together. You will be transported in time as you stroll through Chandni Chowk, Fatehpuri Mosque, and Red Fort. Meet some locals, hear anecdotes, search for some silver jewellery, try your hand at kite flying and finally end up gorging on scrumptious parathas at Paranthe Wali Gali, biryanis at Karim's and mithai at Ghantewala, one of India's oldest sweet shops.
All walks are customised, for details visit indiacitywalks.com
Fascinated by food that makes Delhi a quintessential foodie haven? Set out on Saawan Ke Swaad: A monsoon food walk with Ramit Mitra of DelhiByFoot. Each season has savoury and sweet delights associated with it, and this breakfast blended with a heritage walk will introduce you to delicacies associated with the monsoon season and all-season treats as well. Relish ghewar (a sweet associated with Teej) and nihari. You'll also learn about the origins of jalebis and samosas as you traverse the streets of Chandni Chowk via Jama Masjid, Chawri Bazar, Ajmeri Gate and Shahjahanabad.
Duration: 3.5 hours, from Rs 750 per person; for details, visit delhibyfoot.com
Spread across 90 acres, the verdant picnic spot Sunder Nursery captured Delhi's heart from the moment it opened. It marked the Mughals' initial architectural presence in the Indian subcontinent and showcased their deep appreciation for nature. The Delhinama's walk takes you on a journey through this gorgeous heritage garden, a living example of Mughal landscaping and architecture. The park is literally an open-air museum that boasts nearly 300 species of trees and its monuments from the early Mughal era, such as Sunderwala Burj, Lakkarwala Burj, Azimganj Sarai, Sunderwala Mahal, and Bateshewala Complex will all be explored.
Duration: 2 hours; Rs 630 per person; for details, visit@delhinama on Instagram
In the run-up to Durga Puja, DelhiByFoot offers you a chance to experience the preparations that lead up to the Bengali festival with their Pre-Durga Puja Walk in Mini Bengal: Culture, Idol Makers & Food. Highlights include a visit to an idol maker's workshop to see how a statue is created and perhaps even help in making a Maa Durga idol. Learn about the myths and stories as you stroll through the markets of Chittaranjan Park and watch their preparations and indulge in a traditional Bengali breakfast.
Duration: 3.5 hours; Rs 1,200; for details, visit delhibyfoot.com
Art writer Ritika Kochhar frequently conducts museum walkthroughs. Art aficionados and novices alike can join her at the National Gallery of Modern Art on the Nation Building and Art walk that explores how art played and continues to play a crucial part in creating the concept of a nation. The art exploration starts with Amrita Shergill, Rabindranath Tagore and Nandlal Bose, followed by how partition shaped post-independence artists like Satish Gujral, Krishan Khanna and BC Sanyal, and eventually ends with how progressives like MF Husain aligned India with post-impressionistic-styles-of the west.
Duration: 90 minutes; walks are customised, for details, visit @dillikidiva on Instagram