This ancient city has many monuments and all of them tell a different story. Unfortunately, most of them eventually crumble due to neglect, their stories lost forever. However, the city has not lost all its old stones. There are some that are worth a visit again and again, especially if they are cared for and the weather is nice.
The recently restored Humayun’s Tomb, a regular feature on every heritage walk list, will be the subject of another heritage walk, which promises to be very “different” than the usual history lesson that one usually gets from such an exercise.
Says Ratish Nanda, who spearheaded the restoration work of the tomb as the project director of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, “It will not be the usual history lesson, but will also include the manner in which we went about the conservation work and the rationale behind it. Our intention has always been to change the way in which conservation work is done and I will try my best to explain this. There will be bits about the neighbourhood thrown in since our conservation work usually involves the local community and talent and they are an essential part of this site.”
Mr. Nanda is also very assertive that the walk will not be only about him lecturing everyone. “It will be a sort of dialogue; I am hoping people will be interested in talking and asking questions. People who don’t know anything but want to learn are welcome, but they will enjoy it more if they have a cursory idea about the monument.”
The Humayun’s Tomb, a world heritage site was built in the 1500s by Emperor Humayun’s widow, Hamida Begam, fourteen years after his death. The enclosed garden is meant to reflect the concept of paradise according to Islamic cosmology.
Mr. Nanda will lead a group of 50 people through the monument, its gardens and ante-chambers on February 8. Registrations are on a first-come-first serve basis and it’s free barring entrance fee to the monument. The walk starts at 10 a.m. sharp and participants are expected to be inside the monument by then.
The Hindu Lit for 2014 will take place at the Siri Fort Auditorium 2 in Delhi on February 8, 2014.
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