I have been in Delhi for over 6 months now and it never struck me to write about Delhi even once! I was caught up in planning my trips to other countries that I failed to see the number of tourists bumping into me while walking along the streets.
Once I started my quest to see the old markets and the ‘gali’s’ (side alleys), I realized that I shouldn’t wait till the end of my tour to start writing a post about Delhi. Four weekends of tired legs and sweaty hands behind me, I am yet to fully explore what Delhi has to offer.
Dilli Haat is a heritage center set up the Tourism Department to showcase the cultural talents of our villages. You see the craftsmen weaving and stitching to create beautiful fabrics right in front of you, the man with the carpenter tools making antique looking furniture from plain old wood and musicians playing their instruments hand made from wood. This is a single destination for fabrics, arts, crafts and furniture, to top it all, each state has their food stall where you can taste and smell the different cultures.
There is something about a well organized, bustling market that I love. Being walking distance from the INA metro station, makes it very accessible as well without facing the horrendous Delhi traffic. Needless to say, I came out happy with a couple of shopping bags.
2. Chandi Chowk:
I do have to warn you about this place like how my dear friends did. This is without doubt the busiest, crowded market in Delhi, also slightly lacking in hygienic standards. However, this din’t deter me, neither did it deter anyone who is willing to squeeze in through a human maze to get some air. People say there is an order in this chaos but the crowd and streets took me by surprise. This is a historical spot for all.
Chandi Chowk is a part of Old Delhi and was the commercial hub during the Mughal Empire. Though the grandeur of the empire is now gone, the shops remain. This is first sport for all Delhi brides to buy their trousseau; the options are infinite and the cost ranges from being affordable to zeros spilling out of the small rate card. If shopping and bargaining is not in your agenda for the day, you can go in and see some of the many religious institutions and remains of the old buildings and palaces. This place also houses some of the oldest and the most famous eateries and has a street dedicated for the same (Paranthe wali gali in local tongue). Close your eyes while eating their food and enjoy the festival in your mouth.
As I continue my journey and keep going to such spots, I will update this blog. These are some of the jewels that you see in the ‘To- do’ list for India but without much emphasis but for a long stay in Delhi, these places cannot be missed.