Gita Balakrishnan


7th June 2024


Walk—to explore; walk—to discover; walk, and you shall arrive.

At fifty-three, Gita Balakrishnan—an architect by profession—set out to discover India on foot. Her main aim for embarking on this journey was to explore the design sensibilities intrinsic to the fabric of Indian society and initiate a dialogue on design literacy.

1700 in 70 documents her inspiring story of determination, resilience, physical endurance, and spiritual growth against the backdrop of India’s diverse landscapes, cultures, and architectural heritage.

While traversing 1,700 km in 70 days, from Kolkata to Delhi through cities, towns, and rural heartlands, Gita highlighted the crucial role of design in every facet of our lives. She engaged with local communities, immersed herself in their cultures, and found inspiration from their use of traditional construction practices. In this inspiring book, she delves into the power of design—from creating dwellings and shaping lifestyles to building communities and forging identities.

1700 in 70 awakens all your senses with its captivating narrative and compelling accounts. It urges readers to slow down and find purpose in their individual journeys.

Join Gita on this walk and discover the true India—and yourself.


Gita Balakrishnan is an architect from the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi. In 2002, she established the Ethos Foundation to sensitize young minds from the fields of architecture, construction, engineering, and design to be agents of change. Gita was shortlisted in the Lead India Campaign by The Times of India as one of the top 25 people in Kolkata.

An avid runner, she has completed multiple full and half marathons. 1700 in 70 is her debut book, where she chronicles her 1,700-km walk from Delhi to Kolkata in 70 days to explore the role of design in changing lives. Since then, she has completed three more such walks.