I could count today in my list of ‘100 Happy Days!’ I’ve been asked to pen down a little something about my first and last love – Dil Walon Ki Dilli! So while there’s crazy amount of stuff to do here, let me take you through those few places that I personally adore and visit often! If you’re a shopaholic and crave for some good food, then you’re in the right hands!
That’s the obvious choice. But how you do your India Gate visit really makes all the difference. The best way to enjoy this place is to take along a couple of friends, pack some food and have your little picnic at the park. You’ll always find families having a potluck, playing frisbee or enjoying an ice cream from the various vendors that line the park! You could even drive down really really late at night to take in the beautifully lit up gate and have your ‘Rang De Basanti’ moment to show off to friends back home!
Got a wedding coming up or just in the mood to pick up some all out blingy and inexpensive Indian wear? Head to Chandni Chowk. The best way to get to this place is via Metro. Make sure you’re nicely covered when you get here (to avoid popping those eyeballs), keep your valuables in check and be prepared to push your way through. Chetan Store at Nai Sarak stacks a variety of sarees, suits and lehengas starting at 1k to designer replicas that go upto 50k plus. Jewellery, wedding decoratives, gifting material are all available at wholesale prices. For a quick bite, head to the Paranthe Wali Gali. Leave your hygiene issues at home if you want to enjoy the delicacies here! Gorge on stuffed paranthas served with spicy chutneys and aloo ki sabji! Ranbir Kapoor, Imtiaz Ali, Shah Rukh Khan, they’ve all grabbed a bite here during their Delhi visits!
It’s a criminal offence to not visit this place! Keep it for the morning time as that’s when the vendors are ready to bargain the most (bohni and all). You can always find this place full with stylists, designers and even models. They’ve got all the reject pieces from Zara, Mango, Top Shop, ASOS for as less as Rs 100! You’ve just got to hunt it all down through the piles and piles of clothes that are gathered on either sides of the street. Great for chunky jewellery, boots and even dearth cheap swimwear. Starts at Rs 50 and you never pay more that Rs 350 for anything in Sarojini!
After all that shopping, it’s time to sit back, relax, sip on a cosmo and bite into sumptuous food. The recently opened CyberHub can be called the ‘mecca’ of food and my latest favorite! A beautifully done up open area lined with restaurants on either side. An activity area for the kids and an amphitheatre that holds regular performances and screenings are just another add on. This is where you can experience the High Life! As the name suggests, The Wine Company is a heaven for wine lovers. Done up like the old Hollywood cowboy pubs, this place can spoil you for choice when it comes to wines! Dhaba by Claridges serves up some delicious and piping hot North India Food. Dal Makhani, Galouti Kebab’s and a Patiala peg! Other great options are SodaBottle Openerwala for Parsi/Irani food and Soi 7 where you can enjoy trained Thai boxers kicking some ass in the boxing ring!
The inter-connected Vasant Kunj malls make for an awesome shopping destination. DLF Promenade & Ambience Mall have all your everyday top brands while DLF Emporio is known to be one of the most luxurious malls of Asia. From Roberto Cavalli to Versace to Christian Louboutin to Burberry, they have it all. An outdoor Smoke House Deli and Mocha Arthouse make for great options to chill at while you catch the latest match on the king size screen situated between the two.
One of the most affluent neighbourhoods in South Delhi is Hauz Khas Village. The narrow lanes of this urban village hold within themselves, the craziest of resto-bars pumping out the best of music and the dizziest of cocktails. Young musicians, tattoo artists, designers and graffiti artists occupy the rest of the village. Amour and Chamanlal & Sons (Yes! That’s the name of the resto-bar) are great places to enjoy the view from.
Amour overlooks the deer park while Chamanlal gets you seated at their balcony for a beautiful view of the Hauz Khas lake. Also recommended are Fork You (for burgers) and Imperfecto for their Sangrias. For Bollywood inspired coasters or laptop bags or a neon pink floral sofa and funky scooter front lamps, visit Purple Jungle.
Classy vintage jewellery can be picked up from Dang and do explore the basement shops to get your hands on the oldest ever Hollywood/Bollywood posters or record labels. And oh! Do grab freshly baked breads and a red rose tea from Elma’s Bakery & Tea Shop as you head back.
Now this one’s a tourist favorite. And mine too! Delhi Haat has craftsmen from all over the country showcasing their work. Metal crafts, Rajasthani decoratives, Kohlapuri chappals, pure wool and silk fabrics, carved wooden pieces, chunky jewellery and much more. Food stalls too are allocated state wise, so from momos and fruit beer from Sikkim to Kahwa & Kebabs from Jammu to Vada Pav from Maharastra or the Gujrati dhokla, you’ll get all of it here. Folk dancers, street plays, music bands, puppet shows often liven up the spirit of this place. Do get your hair braided by the local village women sitting right outside the haat.
In case you’ve got some more days to spare, an overnight stay at Neemrana Fort should definitely be on your list. But since we’ve got a word limit to follow, let’s just keep it for the next time!
And yes, while in Delhi, do as Delhi. Lather on that make-up, slip on some high heels, throw on some bling and get along some Panju (Punjabi) friends for that extra tadka!