Scenic Stretches: Walks in Delhi to Take Right Now

Scenic Stretches: Walks in Delhi to Take Right Now
The pandemic calls for more walking as a form of outdoor activity,

Ditch the malls for these immersive walking experiences in Delhi

Prannay Pathak
September 25 , 2020
15 Min Read

Happy workers-from-home are all alike; every unhappy member of the workforce is unhappy in their own way. For instance, I miss smelling the crisp dusk filtering through the amaltas as I walked to the metro station from office.

That’s what has changed in all these months. But slowly, it seems to be coming back. With active life resuming somehow, Delhiites seem to be testing the waters that the Coronavirus has allowed them. The cycling revolution is already underway. Residents are also using the time to tick off the key landmarks of the city that they never saw despite being born here.

The almost-overnight transmutation of long-distance travel into slow, immersive and socially distanced engagement with the outdoors has fast-tracked walking into instant limelight all over the world. When it comes to Delhi, the city may have more djinns than people on its roads right now, but with the way Instagram is buzzing with pictures of the iconic spots of the city, an all-new flaneur movement may well be underway.

Read: 8 of the Most Picturesque Nature Walks in India

In a city as photogenic and sensitive to seasons as our beloved capital, walking as reclamation of travel only makes sense. It is also perfect for being in control of your social distancing, affords time for regular sanitisation and better mental health.

We have rounded up a humble little list of spots and circuits to walk around in the city—spots that might resonate with people from all walks of life.

Lodhi Art District

 
 
 
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A post shared by Z I S H A N P A T H A N (@zishan_pathan) on Jan 13, 2020 at 5:52am PST

Art districts are no more a novelty in the world right now, but this zone in the New Delhi neighbourhood, happily awash with murals decking entire walls, is quite something else. The graffitied walls of the government quarters here provide an effusive antithesis to the mostly calm and clean lanes of the locality. The scale and detail of the artworks painted on these walls is unbelievable and quite liable to turn your casual walk into a serious exploration.

Read: 6 Indian Cities with Stunning Street Art

The district came up as part of a unique initiative where St+Art India Foundation invited street artists from all over the world to deck the walls thus. The subjects range from stunning takes on travel and culture, whimsically done scenes from daily life, tributes to local figures, surreal depictions of flora as symbolic of womanhood, to symbols from cultures from all over the world, to pieces celebrating love, experiments with colour and tales from the epics. Oh, and don’t miss a shadow-based sundial-style work called Time Changes Everything that disappears between 9am and 3pm!

Mohammad Yahya, who arrived in the capital two years ago for his graduation, shares that his leisurely wanderings in the colourful neighbourhood has benefited him immensely in his efforts to acclimatise to the social life here. “I would just buy a lolly at Meharchand Market or Khanna Market and enjoy it on the way back, amazed at the rich artwork, sometimes clicking them and also interacting with the kids on their little bicycles,” he recalls.

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh/Khan Market

Rajpath

 
 
 
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A post shared by Prerak Pathak (@pathakprerak) on Sep 5, 2019 at 9:30am PDT

This grand tree-lined boulevard running down from Rashtrapati Bhavan to India Gate through Vijay Chowk is decidedly the most done-to-death walks in the Capital. And yet it doesn’t lose its charm purely because of the views it affords, the uncomplicatedness of the walk, and extra space in the form of the lawns where one can lounge or walk barefoot. You can even spot birds feeding in the canal. Feeling like extending the circuit a bit? Just walk over to the right of India Gate, for a little round of Children’s Park. Just make sure you’re there either really early in the morning or an hour past sundown to avoid the post-pandemic crowds. However, avoid jogging or other forms of exercise more intense than walking, at the moment.

Nearest Metro Station: Udyog Bhawan/Central Secretariat

Read: It’s Bollywood Calling for Delhi

Kamla Nehru Ridge

 
 
 
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A post shared by Rashid Siddiqui (@dr_mohra) on Aug 17, 2020 at 9:39pm PDT

The Delhi Ridge is known as the green lungs of the city, and the Kamla Nehru Ridge is a part of the prehistoric forestland. The area is a frequently visited haunt for north Delhi residents, who have found it easy to resume their outdoor activity because of it. That there aren’t any hares or hyenas anymore here makes it more human-friendly, even though it might be bad news for ecology. The flora, avifauna and butterfly species, however, more than make up. Of late, aquatic plants have also been introduced here. Don’t miss the Flagstaff Tower where British families took refuge during the 1857 revolt.

Jyotsna Kaushik, who lives in Mukherjee Nagar, shares, “It’s the best way to avoid close contact and keep the virus at bay. Living so close to a serene wilderness like this sort of also eases the pain of not being able to travel as much as one wanted—and since I am not great with monkeys, my sister has to accompany me, which is again a good thing.” Covering the trail takes two to three hours, depending from person to person.

Nearest Metro Station: Civil Lines

Read: The 6 Best Cycling Routes in Delhi-NCR

Barakhamba Road-Mandi House

 
 
 
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Dizzying

A post shared by Prannay Pathak (@gregorsamosa) on Dec 28, 2017 at 12:30am PST

The retro posh charm of the imposing stretches of Barakhamba Road and its surrounds, and the wistful streets of Mandi House dull the flashy circles of Connaught Place. Lined on either side by high-rises, office complexes, a metro station, and bike dock stations, Barakhamba Road affords the walker a feel of the yuppie urban landscape of the seventies and the eighties even as cafés, juice shops, omelette stalls chai tapris come up steadily in the cracks. At one point, Tolstoy Road intersects Barakhamba Road and heads west to meet Kasturba Gandhi Marg, which forms another cool, tree-lined avenue which also takes one to the slightly overvisited Agrasen ki Baoli. Nothing makes a Wednesday work afternoon more bearable than a post-lunch walk down these roads.

Past the iconic Modern School and the National Museum for Natural History, Barakhamba Road culminates in the Mandi House roundabout. The cultural hub is in itself a nice spot to grab a chai and samosa from the clump of shops near the Shri Ram Centre for Performing Arts or enjoy a well-rounded meal at the Triveni Terrace Café.

Nearest Metro Station: Barakhamba Road/Mandi House

Read: The Once and Future City

JNU Campus

 
 
 
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#throwback : The one path we always love to walk on!😍 Which is your favorite place to take a stroll in the campus!? ðŸ¤Â” . . . Follow @jnu_photos for more amazing pictures. #roadtrip #lockdown #lockdown2020 #covid #streetlights #mobilephotography #jnuphotos #mobileshots #delhiphotos #Photography #covi̇d19 #lights #nights #jnu #jnucampus #campus #delhi #india #nature #indianphotography #instagood #picoftheday #photography #photo #mobileclicks #photographer #university #followback #likes @_mobile_photography______ @mobile_clickzzz_kerala @mobile_photographyofficial @streets.of.delhi @delhigram @photographers_of_india @sodelhi

A post shared by JNU PHOTOS (@jnu_photos) on Sep 6, 2020 at 1:38am PDT

The lush expanse of Jawaharlal Nehru University’s 1,000-acre campus is one of the capital’s best-kept secrets. Take in the sights and sounds of nature and then indulge your taste buds at the several dhabas and addas inside. The gently-sloping roads are lined with bougainvillea-laden trees and spotting peafowl isn’t too hard. The Parthasarathy Rocks area of the campus, famous for the panoramic views it offers of the city and its skyline at sunset, is loved by many but access here is allowed only if you are accompanied by an enrolled student.

Nearest Metro Station: Munirka

Read: Interesting Neighbourhoods in India: Majnu Ka Tilla

Safdarjung Tomb to Humayun’s Tomb

 
 
 
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📸 @iam_rajaji 🙏 📍Safdarjang Tomb 🔸🔸🔸🔸 Follow @elements.of.delhi for more & use #EoDelhi to get featured. . . . #delhidiaries #mypixeldiary #oph #indiagate #delhimerijaan #nightphotography #delhivibes #delhigram #sodelhi #delhiphotography #delhiscenes #delhiite #delhincr #uniquedelhi #delhigram #delhincr #delhidaily #delhiwale #delhi_gram #delhiexplorer #delhistreets #delhi_igers #delhilife #delhiuniversity #delhimetro #delhiblogger#saddidilli #IndiaPictures #igramming_india #safdarjungtomb

A post shared by Elements Of Delhi (@elements.of.delhi) on Sep 22, 2020 at 9:52pm PDT

Mayank Austen Soofi, the resident flaneur as far as Delhi goes, names the Lodhi Road stretch between Safdarjung Tomb and Humayun’s Tomb as his favourite. The reason is simple: this scenic stretch that runs for a little under 4km has plenty of greenery on both sides, with trees lining the avenue till the Staff Selection Commission pretty heavily. Once you have crossed Dyal Singh College, the road is flanked by the grounds of the Delhi Golf Club and then the Amir Khusro Park, and a number of mosques are scattered around the Sabz Burj roundabout. Hereon, you can go on and explore the Humayun’s Tomb complex or enjoy the delightful environs of the restored Sunder Nursery.

Nearest Metro Station: Jor Bagh


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