India Heritage Walk Festival 2018 Exploring history and art in cosmopolitan Kochi

Throughout its long existence Kochi has had one constant — its cosmopolitanism — acquired through centuries of trade and travel by its welcoming, enterprising communities; and residents of the city will celebrate this vibrant history this month in a series of curated events as part of the ongoing India Heritage Walk Festival (IHWF).

Kochi is one among 20 cities hosting the month-long, multi-city IHWF 2018 organised jointly by Sahapedia, the online encyclopedia of Indian arts and culture, and YES Culture, the cultural division of YES Global Institute, a practising think tank of YES BANK, to encourage citizens to explore the tangible and intangible heritage of their cities and towns.

Of the two walks and a baithak (discussion) organized in the city as part of the festival, the first walk on Saturday, February 10, is a look back at Tripunithura to heyday as the seat of power of the Cochin Royal Family.

Mr Balagopal, an entrepreneur whose father belongs to the royal family, will guide participants on a walk along some of the most important sites of the town including Statue Square, Clock Tower (Manimalika), Poornathrayeesa temple, Kalikotta Palace, Iron Bridge, and the elephant stables.

‘Stories of the Throne—Exploring Tripunithura’, as the walk is called, will recall the royal family’s contributions to Kochi’s multiculturalism, public infrastructure, the national movement and conservation of traditional art forms.

On Saturday, February 17, artist Aditi Nayar will lead a walk around the Museum of Kerala History in Edapally, one of the city’s oldest museums housing an extraordinarily rich art collection, including the works of modern masters such as Jamini Roy, Ramkinkar Baij, M.F. Husain, Ram Kumar, K.G. Subramanyan and Bhupen Khakhar.

The walk is being held in partnership with the Madhavan Nayar Foundation in Kochi.

Besides the walks, the IHWF is also organizing a baithak on Friday, February 23 to discuss the History of Jews in Kochi. Elias (Babu) Josephai, the current custodian of the Kadavumbagam Synagogue in Mather Bazaar and one of the last few Jews left in Kerala, will discuss the history and traditions of the Jewish community through his own personal narratives.

Details about the walks and other programmes of IHWF 2018, map routes and registration information are available on

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