Saturday, October 22, 2016

Be a part of the Chaos at Chandni Chowk!

Chandni Chowk is well known for the variety and authenticity: food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1,000 kinds, sarees with chikan and zari work. Kinari Bazaar is the wholesale market for ethnic clothing and is the best place to look for zari and zardozi trimmings and tinsel. The cloth bazaar of Katra Neel offers all kinds of fabrics such as silks, satin, crepe, cotton and muslin.

This market can be said to be a paradise for shopping freaks. All you have got to do is put in your time, energy and bargain.

An interesting thing about this place is that there is a Jain temple, a mosque and a Gurudwara right next to each other. The Lal Mandir is the oldest jain temple in Old Delhi and is located at the Netaji Subhash Marg opposite to the Red fort. Just a few steps away from the temple is Gurudrawa Sis Ganj Sahib. And when we talk about the mosque it is the very famous Jama Masjid.

Chandni Chowk is the location of the original Haldiram's and brands such as Gianis. When we talk about food, it is exclusively known for it's street food and sweets. When there don't forget to visit the Prathe wali Gali where you get finger licking food. Around 40 different types of prathas are served in this by-lane of Chandni Chowk. When we talk about food let us not miss the authentic, hand-picked spices at the Khari Baoli market.

Follow the narrow lanes and get lost in the smell of delicious street food at Chandni Chowk.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Namaaz at Jama Masjid

I had been to Jama Masjid to attend the namaaz on Eid this month. We got down at Chawri Bazaar metro station which is about 750 meters away from the mosque. The area had crazy crowd and vendors screaming at the top of their voices trying to attract customers even at 7 am in the morning. The Chawri Bazaar area is popularly known for its whole sale markets and British times’ havelis (Bunglows) and other attractions.

As we reached we removed our footwear on the entrance stairs as instructed and carried them inside in our hands. Usually, visitors are not allowed in Jama Masjid during the prayer hours except for festivals. I was shocked to see thousands of people sitting in absolutely parallel lines in complete silence. Everything went on very systematically and there was no chaos despite of the number of people present. Towards the end there was a loud banging sound which was the signal that the namaaz is over. People stood up and hugged each other saying 'Eid Mubaarak' (Happy Eid) and everyone left in lines thereafter.

As we talk about its structure there are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded by two tall minarets which are open for the public to visit. On the floor, a total of 899 black borders are marked for worshipers and the courtyard can accommodate more than twenty five thousand people at a time. The mosque allover is very calm and serene. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Kashmiri Gate near Kashmiri gate Station

The Kashmere Gate was built as a gateway of the fortified city of Shahjahanabad. It was developed by Shahjahan after shifting of his capital from Agra to Delhi in 1638 AD. The city was enclosed by rubble built high walls strengthened by bastions (circular as well as square from) and fourteen gates as entry and exit from different regions. Kashmiri Gate is one of the forteen gates and its location defined the route towards Kashmir from the Shahjahanabad. 

Its significance is also associated with its usage by Britishers and by Indian freedom fighters during Mutiny of 1857. Britishers when first started settling in Delhi, established their residential estates in Kashmere Gate area. During Mutiny Indian freedom fighters used to gate to attack Britishers by firing cannon balls. They utilized the area for assembling and developing strategies for freedom fights. Hence, the gate symbolizes the first patriots who committed their lives for the cause of independence.  Today, we see parts of the original city walls near the gate.


Saturday, March 5, 2016

30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2016

Surajkund was lately the talk of the town. Telangana was the Theme State for the 30th Surajkund International Crafts Mela-2016. The event took place at the outskirts of the town in Faridabad. It was easily reachable by mela and shuttles were organized from the nearest metro station for the visitors. The tickets were also easily available the most of the metro stations and online. Also, special discounts were provided for senior citizens and school students. Security was also thoroughly looked after by placing CCTV cameras throughout the field.

Spreading the colors of culture the mela attracted lakhs of visitors from all over the world. It offered a variety of products for people from jhumka and Kohlapuris to the latest western dresses. On a shoe- string budget? No worries.Crockery, handicrafts, show pieces everything was available for people of all Income groups. 

 A separate section was earmarked for amusement and adventure activities ensuring that the Mela offers entertainment for all age groups.

This mela proved to be paradise for those who love handicrafts.

Cultural events, dances were organized by locals of the state as well as by well known artists. The mela proved to be a shopping as well as entertainment hub.

Decorating your house with show pieces ranging from Rs 300-1000 and flower sticks as cheap as Rs. 10 each sounds fun!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

The National Zoological Park

HOW TO REACH HERE: By metro- Get down at Pragati Maidan metro station
By road: The Zoo is adjacent to Old fort on the Mathura Road.

TIMINGS: 9:30AM to 4:30PM

Lake at the Zoo

HISTORY: The Indian Board for Wildlife felt in the year 1952 to have a zoo in the national capital of the country to provide recreation to people at large. Accordingly, an ad-hoc committee of some prominent nature lovers of Delhi, including Smt. Indira Gandhi, was constituted under the Chairmanship of Chief Commissioner to formulate a proposal for establishment of Zoological Park for Delhi. Mr M.E.F.Bowring Welsh, of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, was appointed as its Secretary. The committee met on 9th September, 1953 and approved the site between Purana Quila and Humayun's Tomb for the purpose.

A white parrot
Sleeping leopard

The National Zoological Park, Delhi is a big place where you need to walk a long way. For the convenience of the visitors, open trolley cabs are provided at very reasonable prices which drops you at 10 major stops in the zoo.
A baby crocodile

The Zoo lacks exotic animals which is expected in a good park. You will find all the basic animals such as Lion, elephant, tiger, white tiger, leopard etc. The reptile house is quite interesting and you must visit it. For you photographers out there, it is an amazing place for Macro photography and portfolios.  
Old African elephant

The animals are kept in big enclosures and not in cages; this provides a natural, unobstructed view. I would recommend that the Zoo should be visited between November and February - when the weather is cold.

Monday, May 25, 2015

The garden of five senses...

HOW TO REACH HERE: By metro- Get down at Saket metro station
By road: The garden is situated in Said-Ul-Azaib village at Mehrauli-Badarpur Road

April to September: 9 AM to 7 PM 
October to March: 9 AM to 6 PM

HISTORY: The Garden of Five Senses is a park spread over 20 acres, in Saidul Ajaib village, opposite Saket, near the Mehrauli heritage area in Delhi, India. Designed by Delhi architect, Pradeep Sachdeva, the park was developed by Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTDC), Government of Delhi at a cost of Rs 10.5 crore (150,000,000 rupees), over a period of three years and opened in February 2003. 

The Garden of five senses is a breadth taking and enamoring experience. It is not just a park - it is celebration of aesthetic expression and appreciation, a seamless dialogue between the creations of the man and nature that invites interaction and exploration. It is an ideal ground to realize the twin objectives of the need for a public leisure space as well as awakening of human sensitivity to the environment.

Visitors are encouraged to touch the rocks and displays, the fragrance of the flower for the nose, beds stimulates the olfactory senses, the landscaping appeals to the eyes - the sight, the ceramic bells and the water falls create a soothing sound - pleasing to the ear and the food courts serve a variety of cuisines - to please the tongue.

There is a ultimate mixture of attractions, festivals, art destinations, culture and amusement. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Crack the deal at the Janpath market.

HOW TO REACH HERE: By metro- The market is at walking distance from the Rajiv Chowk metro station. 
By road: The market is at the road connecting Lodhi Road and Connaught Place

HISTORY: In the older times, the name of this street was Queen’s way. This way was designed by the Edwin Lutyens. This is the raod that connects the Lodhi Road with Connaught Place.
The name of this path is known was People’s path and it runs perpendicular to Rajpath that means Ruler’s Path. 
Also, Refugees who came after the Partition and Tibetans who came when China invaded Tibet settled here as traders.

Today, one of the most popular spot in Connaught place is Janpath market, which is a heaven for budget travelers and shoppers, buyers of curio, handicrafts and garments, and numerous Indian-style fast-food places.

Though it is quiet fun in shopping at that place but it is quiet tiring as the whole road is having markets and shops. It gets more irritating for those who are handling the shopkeepers who are not fixing the rate up to which the customers are ready to purchase the things. Although it is quiet difficult to manage all these things but most of the people enjoy shopping to these places. Once you are going for the bargaining, you have to be very sure and confident and then you have to proceed to that shop.   Most of the products available in the market are export-surplus and if you have the ability to distinguish between real and fake stuff, you will return with hands full of shopping bags from the market.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sikh house of worship - ਗੁਰਦੁਆਰਾ ਬੰਗਲਾ ਸਾਹਿਬ

HOW TO REACH HERE: By Metro - Rajiv Chowk and Patel Chowk metro stations are equidistant from the gurudwara. Get down at either of the two stations and walk to the holy place.
By road -  Gurudwara is on  Ashoka Rd, Hanuman Road Area, Connaught Place

HISTORY: Originally this place was the Bungalow(haveli) of Mirza Raja Jai Singh, hence the name Bangla Sahib. It's original name was Jaisinghpura Palace. Mirza Raja Jai Singh was an important military leader of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb.After the passing away of Guru Har Rai the seventh Sikh Guru, Ram Rai and his masands (masand is derived from Arabic word masand, meaning delegating authority of the sovereign) instigated Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb to issue a decree summoning Guru Harkrishan to his court. Ram Rai was elder brother of Guru Harkrishan. Guru Harkrishan decided to go to Delhi since he felt that the "sangat", his followers had been misguided and he saw an opportunity in this to clear their misunderstandings. Meanwhile Sikhs of Delhi approached Mirza Raja Jai Singh, a strong devotee of Sikh Gurus to prevent any harm coming to Guru Harkrishan either by Aurangzeb or by the masands of Ram Rai.
Ram Rai when learned that Guru Harkrishan had accepted the summons to appear before Aurangzeb in his court at Delhi, started rejoicing since Guru Harkrishan had taken a vow not to appear before Aurangzeb. If Guru Harkrishan Comes to Delhi and refuses to meet Aurangzeb then definitely he will be arrested and suffer humiliation. Now Ram Rai felt that this act of Guru Harkrishan will surely lower his prestige among his followers and will pave the way for Ram Rai to declare himself as the true successor of Guru Har Rai.
Mirza Raja Jai Singh had made elaborate arrangements to receive Guru Harkrishan. Guru Harkrishan was received on the outskirts of Delhi like a royal guest of honor. Guru Harkrishan was accompanied by prominent Sikhs from his darbar and his mother Sulakhni.

Interiors of the gurudwara.
Langar being practiced in the hall.

Gurudwara Bangla Sahib is situated in the heart of New Delhi's  Connaught Place area. It is located on the east side intersection of Ashoka Road and Baba Kharak Singh Marg. The holy place includes the temple, a kitchen, a large holy pond called 'Sarovar' , a school and an art gallery. Just like any other Sikh Gurudwara, the concept of langar is practiced, and all people, regardless of race, caste or religion may eat in the Gurudwara kitchen (the langar hall). The Langar is prepared by gursikhs who work there and also by volunteers who like to help out. At the Gurdwara, visitors are requested to cover their hair and and remove their shoes before entering. Assistance to foreigners and visitors with Guides, head scarves, and shoe-minding service can be found inside the compound and are available free of charge. Anyone can volunteer to help keep the shoes in the shoe-minding room, and cleaning the precincts of the Gurudwara.

The first city - लाल Kot

HOW TO REACH: Take the road going inside the Mehrauli Village (behind Qutab Minar). 
By Metro: Get down at Qutab Minar metro station. 

HISTORY : 17th Tomar King of Delhi, Raja Anangpal (II) Tomar, aka Anekpal, aka Anaypal fortified his village in mid-11th century. His fort was called 'Lal Kot' and marked the first city of Delhi (after Indraprastha of Pandavas). Later his great grandson gave the throne of Delhi to Prithviraj Chauhan, the king of Ajmer, who extended this fort by three times and renamed it to Qila Rai Pithora.
Entire history of Delhi is based around this fort. The Islamic Invaders came to this place and settled for the first time. This is the place, where the Indo- Islamic Culture was born and where the world famous Phoolwaalo'N si sair festival is conducted.

A watch tower
Lal Kot was also known as Qila Rai Pithora. The areas of Qila Rai Pithora have been developed into heritage parks with lush green lawns and walking trails. The ruins are mostly walls at the boundary. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

A picturesque view of Delhi through DELHI EYE...

HOW TO REACH HERE: Delhi Eye is at Kalindi Kunj Park in the Okhla neighborhood of Delhi. The easiest way to reach is by driving yourself but If you wish to travel by Metro, then Jasola- Apollo is the nearest metro station. De-board here and get an auto. 

 TIMINGS : 11 am to 8 

Delhi Eye 200 ft height, only one of its kind in India with AC Capsules, is the latest public attraction in Delhi.

This Giant wheel gives a spectacular View of Delhi in Day and Night. The wheel has 36 air-conditioned cabins, each able to carry six passengers, from which Akshardham Temple, Humayun's Tomb, Lotus Temple, Qutub Minar and Red Fort are visible on a clear day.

For the first 15 days after it opened, tickets were discounted to Rs 250, after which they cost Rs 300.It completes one rotation in 20 minutes which provide you a complete time to enjoy beautiful Delhi.

'Riding the Delhi Eye is simply a joy to the eyes'.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Surrounded by leafy and broad avenues - KAMLA NAGAR

HOW TO REACH HERE: Vishwa Vidyalaya metro station on the Yellow Line and Pul Bangash metro station on the Red Line are the closest Delhi Metro stations.

HISTORY: Kamla Nagar is named after Kamala Nehru, a freedom fighter and wife of Jawaharlal Nehru. The neighbourhood rose to prominence after the erection of Ram Swarup Clock Tower on the Grand Trunk Road in 1941, and the construction of Jaipuria and Birla textile mills. It was also a stop of the erstwhile Delhi Tram Service. Later, it was developed as an affluent residential area in 1950s.
Kamla Nagar and its adjoining neighbourhoods were centre of political activity during the late British Raj and the first two decades after Independence. Freedom fighters and political personalities like Aruna Asaf Ali, Guru Radha Kishan, Bharatiya Jana Sangh General Secretary Kanwar Lal Gupta, Purshottam Goyal, Murari Lal Gupta Chharia and Shivcharan Gupta were active there.[1] Wrestlers like Dara Singh, Guru Hanuman, Satpal Singh, Bhupendra Dhawan and Maha Singh Rao trained in the akharas of the area. It was also a cultural hub after Independence with Gulzar, Santosh Anand and Manoj Kumar being active there during some part of their lives before becoming popular in Bollywood.
It was also the venue of Guru Radha Kishan's 24 day fast to support the rights of labour unions of textile mills where he rose to prominence from. He was also elected the youngest member of Delhi Municipal Committee.

Situated next to the North Campus of Delhi University, Kamla Nagar is a lively market and a popular hang-out for college students. It is famous for popular fashion brands and spicy street food. The roads, spreading out radially from a huge roundabout, house several showrooms. The lower floors of the market house retail stores and restaurants while most of the upper storeys are residential quarters. A number of booksellers and publishers have their offices in this market, especially on the Bungalow Road. You may check out a few showrooms on Bada Gol Chakkar and Chhota Gol Chakkar. The McDonald's and Domino outlets here are a big attraction for the young regulars.

P.S  Kamla Nagar market is closed on Mondays.

While the market is surrounded by leafy and broad avenues dotted with the famous colleges of Delhi, the market itself is crowded and busy at all times. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

For the Desi look - Lajpat Nagar.

HOW TO REACH: By metro: Get down at Lajpat Nagar metro station.

By road: Market is in  Lajpat Nagar III

HISTORY: Lajpat Nagar, also known as Afghan Nagar, is an affluent suburb of the South Delhi district of Delhi. It is named in honor of Lala Lajpat Rai, also known the Lion of Punjab, and is today most known for the Lajpat Nagar Central Market.

Lajpat Nagar is a popular shopping area where you can get whatever you desire - accessories, clothes, footwear, bags, etc. The garments at Hakoba range from saris and salwar kameezes for women to kurtas and kurtis for both men and women. The Lucknowi embroidery, which is mostly done in white-coloured threads, is breathtaking and of very high quality. Karan & Nasir have been revolutionizing the way men dress. RCKC has carved a niche for itself in the international market with labels like Anamika and RISA by Abhijeet Khanna. 

 There are huge glittering showrooms as well as roadside stalls. The mehndiwallas (appliers of henna) are very famous. Bargaining is a must if you wish to get the best of this market. 
P.S The market remains closed on Mondays.

If you are in class 12th and want to buy a reasonable designer saree for your Teacher's day/ Farewell, this is the place.