It’s one of the best ways to experience the architecture and culture of a city. Walk along some of India’s most interesting streets on these five heritage walks:

Delhi

A bite of Mughal heritage in Chandni Chowk

Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times.
Delhi’s Chandni Chowk. Photo: Raj K Raj/Hindustan Times.

Mattancherry, Kerala

A spice route in Jew Town

Mattancherry, near Fort Kochi, with its Portuguese, Dutch and Hindu influences, is replete with unique experiences. Start at the Thirumala Sree Venkatachalapathy (Vishnu) Temple, walk through the narrow Gujarati Street. Walk along the spice market, taking in the smells. Move on to the Dutch Palace. The wooden-floor palace houses palanquins, paintings, clothes and artefacts from the 16th century. Just around the corner stands the oldest functional synagogue in India. Built in 1568 by the Jews of Kerala, the synagogue still has well-kept decorative interiors and a sombre atmosphere. Return via Jew Street.

Chennai

Dig into a hidden loft of hardware stores

George Town, Chenna. Photo: McKay Savage/ Wikimedia Commons.

Mumbai

Take a graffiti walk

Walk past the colourful, graffiti-lined homes of Bandra. Start at the historic 16th century Mount Mary Church, move through Ranwar Village and Bazaar Road to see the graffiti-lined streets. Walk to Chapel Road, and take in the kitschy murals adorning the weathered walls.

Kolkata

Sample Chinese culture

Although Kolkata’s Chinese population is dwindling, a walk in Tiretta Bazar (Old Chinatown) makes you feel like you’re back in time, to a period when the Chinese were thriving here. Arrive at 7am to dig into an authentic Chinese breakfast at Chhatawala Gali. Be sure to try out the sausages, prawn fritters, Tai Pao (a type of momo) and Shumai (pork dumplings). Walk into one of the six Chinese temples that are abuzz with the local Chinese population during the Chinese New Year in February. Red tapestry, candles, Chinese artefacts and weapons, and innumerable images of gods and goddesses adorn the interiors of these temples.

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