Into the thoroughfares
Navin Singamy, who started Hyderabad Walking Company, out of love for the city elaborates on how Hyderabadis and even others enjoy city walks over the touristy few hotspots.
HYDERABAD: How many of you reading this claim to be true-blue Hyderabadis? If you nodded, then here’s a question: Do you know which two dynasties, ruled over our region? Did that take a minute? Now here’s another: How many Hyderabadi biryanis have you tasted besides Paradise? Alright, alright... Quizzing aside, in the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, we seldom have the time to explore, experience and be engulfed in all that our city has to offer. Why not take abreak from the usual, mall, movie or nightclub and delve into the bosom of a city we all love so much. Heritage walks and food walks across various parts of the city exploring the best and unsung parts of Hyderabad, have become a new favourite among particularly youngsters. Let’s find out what that’s all about.
Tourist vs locals
Navin Singamy, who started Hyderabad Walking Company, out of love for the city elaborates on how Hyderabadis and even others enjoy city walks over the touristy few hotspots. “If someone was visiting here and they wanted to have the famed Hyderabadi biryani, they would inevitably go to a Paradise. But someone who has explored the city through and through, would know hole-in-the-wall places which serve delicious biryani. We are trying to offer that choice to those who want to experience the city,” says Navin. Now that isn’t just the case for tourists but sometimes as citizens too we fail to notice the treasuretrove that our city can be. Navin says, “Even the most Hyderabadi ones would probably only go as far as a biryani from Shadab or Shah Ghouse. These outlets certainly serve great food but who wouldn’t like to explore a little more that what you see on Google. Similarly, very few of us have gotten a chance to find out about the rich heritage of our city. Besides just visiting hotspots like Charminar, or Golkonda or Chowmohalla, we try to dig out the history, background and the specialties of the places, which adds to the experience.”
While the idea of exploring your own city is something that appeals to both locals and those who have just shifted here. Some tourists and artists have a specific lookout. “There was an artist from abroad, and he was capturing frames with bright colours. Taking him to Chudi Bazaar for pictures was a given!” Adding to visiting places like these, walks also include interaction and engaging with the artisans and getting to experience them at work. Custom walks meant for corporate groups, tourists, foodies or history enthusiasts can be arranged and is a trend catching on.
A New culture
Although Hyderabad is growing as a metropolitan, it holds close its rich history and prides playing home to both the past and the future. And so do the youngsters of the city. Along with the usual movie-going, cafe-outings etc, city walks has become a new form of recreation for most. “I think the usual idea of a weekend outing is still the same, except now, there is a new option to have fun with friends available in the city that youngsters are considering,” says Navin. And not so surprisingly, this isn’t limited to the younger lot alone. “Most of these walks are organised online so naturally, the ones booking are mostly in their 20s. However, they often bring along their families so we’ve had people a old as 75 and as young as 12 participate in the walks.”
— Srividya Palaparthi