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Me and my sister in Hauz Khas Village

I annually visit Delhi, as it is my native town. I spend a few weeks, eat, play, rest, and come back to my regular hectic routine in Hyderabad. I never realized that all of India’s heritage for stuffed and bundled up in its capital. So this time, I hopped on the flight, not to go to my home town, but go to Delhi; with a tourist’s point of view!

Delhi has been the most important place in India from centuries ago. From the age of the Mughals to today, Delhi had all the administration centers all important embassies and above all a very precious gem as well. Culture and heritage. Every important era, came, added another feather to Delhi`s hat, another relic, and left. This helps us today to cherish the Mughals and the British who came about India once upon a time. This cosmopolitan place has everything, heritage and culture as well as the most modern technology and trends.

Shopping, eating street-food, sight-seeing and visiting museums. All these may be the activities you would like to strike off from your list if you visit Delhi. Are you a history-buff? You are welcome to Delhi. Are you a shopaholic? You are welcome to Delhi again!

The journey begins with rushed streets and markets!

If you are in Delhi, and a shopaholic, the rushed and crammed with people-place is just the right option for you to visit. Now that is one of the greatest tourist attractions of Delhi. Hawkers calling out prices, trying to win customer hearts. You get the best imported merchandise at exceedingly reasonable prices here.

We visited one of the biggest local markets in this happening city, Karol Bagh. The street food you get here is just scrumptious. People crave for these finger-smacking foods like tikkis, naankhatai, faluda kulfi, chhole-bhature and the king of all, golguppas! They are the most common and eyes-watering. And that is because your eyes water more than your mouth. The mixture of the spicy and tangy and sweet water is just awesome. Your eyes and nose water badly, but that just doesn’t stop you from having more of these heavenly golguppas. The thing is that, food is one passion that actually unites the whole society. Talking about the shops, one can see ladies having bargain wars and shopkeepers continuously flattering customers.

Footwear, clothes, accessories, sweet shops, narrow, stuffy but lively lanes where you can barely walk properly without being pushed, or pushing someone else, it all feels very good. The local clothes shops have all imported and high branded stuff like Zara, Mango and Old Navy. Try out the pretty dresses, have fun. You can get anything at good prices. The maze of exceptionally narrow streets in Karol Bagh is very confusing but very heart-warming and exciting. We go walking on a nice and broad lane and take a sharp turn thinking it would be quite and dull. But the narrowness and liveliness makes your eyeballs pop-out. Poet Mir Taqi once said, ‘The streets of Delhi aren’t mere streets; they are like the album of a painter.’ Well, he was absolutely right!

Remembering the ones who gave up lives

India Gate. On eyeing this monument, a feeling of patriotism engulfs the heart. On this monument, there are names inscribed of 82,000 soldiers and more maybe, in total who died fighting for our beloved country in all the wars India has been a part of till now. Lord Irwin rightly said, “Those who after us shall look upon this monument may learn in pondering its purpose something of that sacrifice and service which the names upon its walls record.” Today the India Gate is a major tourist attraction in Delhi. Street hawkers selling fancy accessories, ice-creams and tangy bhels. We also found mini radio controlled cars and bikes for children to ride. The pathway in front of the India Gate is very lively at night. The Amar Jawan Jyoti burns today with pride. We really enjoyed ourselves having ice-creams and borrowing props from hawkers for taking selfies and photographs. But deep inside the heart, we saluted all the great people who fought for us till the last breath.

Hauz Khas Village

This jaw-dropping destination is only 18 minutes away from Dilli Haat. The place is so lively, beautiful and jolly. The word ‘Hauz’ means water tank and ‘Khas’ means royal which makes it the Royal Tank built by Allauddin Khalji.  It has pavilions, a mosque and a tomb.  

Here on entry, there is a fantastic European-Style Street where great fashionistas set up their designer showrooms. One can’t stop their feet from entering every single shop in the street and praising everything around. There are many expensive bars, great restraunts and cafeterias. Glorious music buzzes around the bars which make you want to tap your feet to it. We were completely transported to a different world.

After having a walk in the modernized street we entered a completely different environment very different to the street outside. It was historic! What a combination! After all the music and the bustling crowd, we suddenly entered a place so still, so quiet, so serene. All this historic area was built by Firuz Shah Tughlaq. Fantastic stone structures stood in the perfect condition but extremely hot as it was very sunny. On entering a grand stone entrance we immediately spotted a large green patch of land where kids were playing and people relaxing in the sun. The great sea of grass had stone structures with a dome on top of them. We then moved on to the other stone structures bigger in size and also in clusters. Everything was very fascinating. Contra positive to them was the spectacular Hauz Khas Tank was stretched out beautifully in front of us. It was picturesque! We next found a hidden flight of stairs. It lead us to a long passage like area of complete stone again.

On leaving this area, we came out of a kind of place which is tough to believe resides in a fast city like Delhi. We came out of the land of subtleness and calmness and once again entered the fast-moving and rushed city once again.

Rediscovering the past

I'm in Red Fort

All the history-buffs out there if you are in Delhi, the spectacular Red Fort is calling! One complete day is required if you wish to visit all the points in Red Fort because inside the Fort because there are different structures like Diwan-i-Aam, Moti Masjid, Hammam, Diwan-i-Khas, Naubat Khana and the others, which we couldn’t visit as the Fort was closing down, which make up the complete Red Fort. The best timming to visit this place is in the early morning as the Fort opens at 7 o’clock. You can hire a guide or take an audio guide. Or you can go around and read the information plaques and see around, as you like it.

We took an audio guide. Few pieces of information are so fascinating and interesting that I can’t stop myself from sharing it. Let me start with the entrance. The Lahori gate. This gate is made from wood, plated with brass with wonderful carvings. This gate faces towards Lahore in Pakistan. That is where it gets its name from. The red stone for the Fort came from Rajasthan. There are seven white domes of marble on the top of the Red Fort indicating that there is a mosque inside and was very important to the Muslims. There are seven arches as well just below the domes indicating that this Fort will remain a royal Muslim fort forever. As you walk in, the hurried footsteps and exciting noise of the friendly crowd of the Meena Bazaar penetrates into your ears. It is the main highlight of the Red Fort. This bazaar was set up by the queen and the ladies of the Fort. This bazaar was open to everyone on all days except Fridays which was only for the ladies as on that day all the men went to the mosques. In the Meena Bazaar you get everything, fine silks, spices, wooden artifacts, woven carpets, jewellery and gemstones, fresh flowers and garlands, small wooden tables and stools and decorative items are sold here. Look above the shops and you will find large open windows where the maidens used to stand and sprinkle flowers happily looking at the people bargaining, hawkers calling out loud, the lively crowd and people laughing.

On carrying on, another eye-catching element was the Sawan and Bhadon pavilion which is July and August rain months respectively. A very well planned canal system is spread in the complete Red Fort ground. This also keeps the Fort very cool. A highly raised platform is built in which the ladies of the Fort used to sit and enjoy the pleasant rain and the water which flowed besides them. Opposing the Pavilions is the beautiful Zafar Mahal. As the name suggests, it was built by King Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal Emperor whose strategies were extremely weak, but he had a very priceless jewel in his court. Urdu literature and poetry which has been kept alive till date. He used to come here to write poetry, the structure was first encompassed completely with water connected through the canal system of the Fort. The Diwan-i-Khas was indeed appreciable. Amit Khusro, the great poet, said, “If there was ever heaven on earth, this is it, this is it, this is it.”

Every point was gorgeous in the fort, once upon a time. But alas! First Nadir Shah, then the British, one after the other, they came and destroyed the city that the Mughals had once carefully laid and embellished. Nadir Shah rode in Delhi in 1739 and wiped out everything in his path brutally. The Diwan-i-aam and the Diwan-i-khas was one covered with gold over with Persian embroidery. And above all, the magnificent Peacock throne was also carried away along with the inlaid Kohinoor diamond, which was the pride of the Red Fort as well as Delhi. When Nadir Shah saw the diamond for the first time, “Koh-i-noor!” were the words that shot out of his mouth. That is where it got its name from. But thank the stars somehow the diamond came back to India. Then came along the British and carried away the grandiose Kohinoor which was the elite of The Golden Bird, India. Before them many people came, looted the area and went. And the complete Mughal Sultanate remained untouched in the walls of the Red Fort.

We really got stuck between a rock and a hard place, Delhi is such a city. Is this a historical place or a place completely for youth? What to visit first? So, better come to Delhi for a nice, long visit. You will go back with a large bag of memories!

Well, that was the end of our fascinating trip to Delhi, or mini-India, as it really is. People, cultures, ideas and beliefs from all over India are present in Delhi. This city is like India packed in a small handbag, full of surprises of course!


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+1 # RE: Visit to Delhy with a tourist’s point of viewNalin 2017-02-13 08:22
Good preview of delhi.
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