If you observe carefully, there is a difference between being a traveller and being a tourist. The difference is that, tourists just visit famous sites while travellers experience the place they visit from the eyes of a local person. They derive the essence of the state or country by talking with the locals, eating at the local eateries and living like a local.
The closest thing a tourist can do to have such an experience is to plan a heritage walk or a walking tour through the place. There are certain places in India, that have conducted tours across the country. Here are the 7 best regions to go on a walking tour.
Biryani Trail At Hyderabad
Apart from the forts and rocky terrains of Hyderabad, the image that flashes in our minds when we think of Hyderbad is their Biryani! The dish that historically used to be the food associated with Nizams is now everybody's most favourite dish.
While exploring the many places of biryani stalls, secluded or the popular hubs, make sure to find out the origin of these places. Particularly the old ones, since these outlets bound to have an interesting tale.
PC: Sumit Surai
Walk Through The Relics Of Old Delhi
The aura of Old Delhi is such that it transports you to a time that you might've never lived to witness. Dotted with innumerable and impressive monuments, such as the Jama Masjid, Lal Mandir, Ghalib ki Haveli coupled with whiff of prathas, jalebis and street chat, walking through Old Delhi is a brilliant experience.
If you're a shopoholic, don't forget to stop at Chandni Chowk, the hub of shoppers from so many years. If you particularly need to shop for a wedding, this is your destination.
Explore The French Colonies Of Pondicherry
The postcolonial city of Pondicherry is dotted with alluring French buildings and remnants. Due to the long reign of the French, which began during the 17th century, when they first entered Pondicherry, till 1952, the influence is huge and can still be seen.
The French Quarter is lined with colourful and vibrant houses, cafes and a museum, and with a guided tour you can almost live in this ancient time.
PC: Roshan Sam
Ahmedabad Heritage Walk
Ahmedabad was recently declared as India's first UNESCO World Heritage City for a reason. The beautiful city is spread with relics of the past and can only be completely experienced on a heritage walk.
Usually, these conducted heritage walks take you through places like the Bhadra Fort, Chinubhai Baronet Statue, Teen Darwaja, etc. in a particular order. Heritage walks are conducted by many local services, which are organized differently for different needs.
It can be 2 hour walk in the morning, 1 hour walk in the night or 2 hour audio guided walk.
PC: Saad Akhtar
Mylapore Walk At Chennai
A walk through Mylapore, Chennai's ancient and culturally rich region, will give you an insight of Chennai in the olden days. Although Mylapore was taken over by the Portuguese and British for centuries, Mylapore managed to remain the same with temples galore to visit.
One of the most popular temples that you must visit during this walk is the Kapaleeswarar Temple, which is over 300 years old! You will experience a day's routine of these temples, while surrounding with the fragrance of incense sticks and the daily pooja that takes place in these temples. Don't miss out having your breakfast or lunch at the very famous Sarvana Bhavan.
PC: Aravindan Ganesan
Tour Through The Traditional Streets Of Varanasi
Varanasi is a place that is still rooted strongly to its past. The strong bond to its past can be witnessed through the streets and alleys of Varanasi that are filled with bazaars.
Incomplete without the holy river Ganga, you can observe how most of the lives of people in Varanasi centres around the river. You can see the poojas that take place by the river and just be one among the locals by walking through the streets of Varanasi. Stop at one of the local bazaars to buy the famous Banarasi saris.
PC: Dennis Jarvis
Heritage Walk Around The Capital Of Goa
Besides relaxing or partying by the beach, Goa has more to offer. Many guided tours are conducted around Panjim, the capital city of Goa, that take you through the heritage of the Portuguese presence.
The walk usually involves visiting churches and aesthetic Portugal buildings, that till date showcase the ochre and terracotta colours. Sometimes these guided tours also includes an authentic Goan breakfast or lunch so when in Goa, make sure you attend one of these guided walks.
PC: Potato Potato