Delhi Walk Festival
Edition 1 & 2
Delhi Dallying conceived and curated the first two editions of the Delhi Walk Festival, arguably the country’s first and largest walking tour festival. Commissioned by Delhi I Love You, a socio-cultural storytelling project, the idea emerged from Delhi Dallying’s project #Walktober that was positioned as a walking festival event. With the DWF, the intention was to bring walking tour experts and companies to come on a common platform and schedule for a city-level event. These included experts from the field of heritage, culture, ecology, architecture and urbanism, literature, and journalism.
The process of curating the festival included contacting and coordinating with the walking tour experts, creating the logic for the festival themes and hub venues and developing the schedule for the festival. The partners included the State Department of Tourism, Andaz Hotels a national news channel and several national newspapers. Apart from achieving the scale that they did (80 walks and 180 walks in the first and second edition each with over a 1200 participants), the highlights for us were the walking tours that were able to co-invent with new partners. An ecologist and a landscape architect came together to do a foraging tour followed by a meal with foraged ingredients at a restaurant nearby. An oral historian from the family of legendary bookshop owners led people through their neighborhood with stories from the bookshop. A street magician created a tour through his neighborhood- Kathputli (Puppeteers’) Colony that was slated to be demolished. A visually impaired entrepreneur blindfolded participants and led them to experience a neighborhood through their senses of sound, smell, and touch. With a balance between touristy and experimental content, the walk festival worked for the uninitiated as well as pushed for the locals to explore deeper pockets of the city.