The Authentic Dilli

New Delhi or Nai Dilli, often known to be the capital of India is about to accomplish its 100th birth anniversary on December 15, 2011. Performing its role as the city of the country, this place needs no introduction.

When we talk about places to visit or must do’s in Delhi, usually the big names like the Red Fort, Old Fort, Parliament House, Lotus Temple, India Gate and Qutub Minar strikes our mind. But the real essence of Delhi is beyond these well-known monuments. Even if one is new in Delhi, you can figure these places without much difficulty.

Without visiting the following places and doing these things, your trip to Delhi will remain unsuccessful:

Chandni Chowk:
Once the most luxurious avenue in Shahjahanabad, as this city was known under the Mughal Empire, forms the most fascinating streets filled with chaos and crowds in Delhi today. This one single lane running from the Lahore Gate to the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid, is a symbol of the Indian culture and diversity. Some of the most pious churches like the Central Baptist Church, gurudwaras like the Sis Ganj Sahib and mosques like Sunehri Masjid, or “Golden Mosque, are situated here in these narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk.

A place, which could once be afforded only by the richest merchants and noblemen, is the largest wholesale market in Asia today. It has various sub-markets within, like the shoe market, clothes market, spices market etc. You can easily purchase goods for half the original price.

If you have come to Chandni Chowk and not tasted the mouth-watering paranthas from the Paranthe wali gali, your visit is a waste. From nimbu , mirch, aaloo, gobi, methi to rabdi, name the flavor and the paratha is in front of you. Three main shops which have existed from 1960 are  Pt Kanhaiyalal Durgaprasad (estd 1875), Pt Dayanand Shivcharan (estd 1882) and Pt Baburam Devidayal Paranthewale (estd 1886). This area was once known as Chota Dariba or Dariba Kalan.

Hauz Khas Village:
A common notion about this place is that it is a boring place that does not have much to do. But this village, which is located between the Deer Park & close to Green Park, is a home to many design studios, galleries, boutiques that sell hybrid Indian Western clothes and accessories – and some nice restaurants and bars where one can sit and chill with friends and colleagues. Here at Hauz Khas you can also view the paintings of some blooming artists.

Empty Canopy:
All of us visit the India Gate but how many of us are aware of the beautiful canopy or domed kiosk, with a roof of red sandstone, under which the marble statue of George V once stood. The statue removed from beneath the canopy and shifted to the Coronation Memorial Park in North Delhi. The emptiness of the canopy is a symbol of the British retreat from our country

Chhatarpur Temple:
If you are fond of viewing the culture and mythology of India through temples then this place located on Gurgaon-Mehrauli Road, in South Delhi is a must visit for you. A great devotee of Goddess Durga called Swami Nagpal Maharaj built the Chattarpur Temple. The main shrine made of white marble is dedicated to Goddess Katyayani (a form of Durga) and it has a tint of South Indian Style of architecture. Inside the Chattarpur complex there are more shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesha, Radha-Krsihna and Lord Rama. The main feature about this temple is that its construction doesn’t seek any end.

The National Museum:
This museum is country’s largest and it exhibits several galleries covering 5,000 years of art and culture of India.

The ground floor houses collections from the Harappan Civilisation, stone, terracotta, bronze and wood sculptures, Buddhist Art, Indian scripts and coin evolution, Indian Miniature paintings, Decorative Art and Jewellery.

The first floor has Central Asian Art, Maritime Heritage, Manuscripts, Tanjore and Mysore Paintings and Ajanta Paintings.

The second floor has Indian Textiles, Indian Coins, Arms and Armour, Wood Carvings, Pre-Columbian and Western Art, Musical Instruments and Tribal Lifestyle of North-East India.

Apart from Mondays you can visit this museum any day from 10am-5pm.

Shopping:
If you have come to Delhi and not shopped from the flea markets of Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar, then you have surely missed on some exciting things. From bags to clothes to shoes to house- hold things, each and every thing is available here. While you are shopping you can also munch on some authentic dilli street food like Gol Gappa, chat, banta, ram ladoo and more.

When you have experienced all these things, it is then when you have discovered Delhi in its true meaning.

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About Shreya Arora

Media Trainee at Symbiosis Institute of Media and Communication, final year. Aspiring to be a Journalist.

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