Delhi is the capital city of India and known for its rich cultural heritage, food and shopping destination. It has been capital of the ancient kings and rulers over and over again during their regime.
Exploring each corner of Delhi is a real challenge in itself and require days of research and stay in the city.
My trip to Delhi this time was a second stopover and more fun with a gang of girls. The motive was travel, eating , shopping and loads of fun.
Feb 26 2014 – Day 1 : Wah Taj!
It was an unusual early morning for me. Out of habit i got out of bed and stepped into the attached balcony only to encounter the never before experienced chills of the city. We started our journey by taking the Yamuna Expressway which we were told is worth an experience. Indeed the gigantic roads are well maintained and it was a comfortable ride. We stopped after the first toll on entering the expressway for breakfast which consisted of a sumptuous Aloo Paratha, crispy tasty Samosas and steaming hot tea !
It was a long ride of 2.5 -3 hours to the city of Agra.Upon entering all eyes were searching for the main attraction, the Taj Mahal amidst the other heritage structures and monuments which makes the city special. Not to forget the traffic of the city also took us quite sometime to reach the nearest stop to the Taj. This day was the last day for the Taj Mahotsav , so we had to stop our vehicle at some distance away, but it opened another opportunity for us.. the Tanga Ride.
The first look of the magnificent Taj through the red stoned structure entrance adds a different charisma to it. Taj Mahal does not need any introduction , neither does it need any history to be told. It tells its own tale.
Roaming around Taj Mahal for hours wasn’t enough and we forgot about lunch as well. Quick Note for travellers , if you are having lunch at Agra, please do proper research about the places for we suffered a heavy cost at lunch in a well known restaurant , where the non veg items werent cooked enough (side note) and we were billed an amount of 4000/- to our shock.
The next destination was Agra Fort.This is one fort whose historical importance attracts me. The best being the views of Taj Mahal from different angles and locations at this fort. The huge Corridors, the courtyards, inside mahal are all so lively. Completing Agra Fort marked the descend of dusk and we had to head towards back home. Fatehpur Sikhri is still on my list for next visit 🙂
Feb 27 2014 – Day 2 : Delhi 6!
The day started travelling to Delhi 6 – Chandni Chowk. This amazing place is super crowded not just with people but shops everywhere. Yes,it was the start of the Shopping Parade. So we decided to charge ourselves up with the famous Dahi Bhalla at Natraj right outside the lane coming out from the Chandni Chowk Metro Station. Delicate and soft Bhallas dipped in snow white dahi topped with khatta meetha chutney and sprinkles of masalas. It isn’t really something new, but whats worth mentioning is the freshness of the bhallas and the sweet sour dahi.. Heavenly!
So Chandni Chowk is the famous wholesale market and you really need a whole day’s time to cover the whole market and yet not get tired with the variety. Since its wholesale, it is cheaper to buy in lots. The dress materials varies in really variety of ranges with the cheapest starting i guess from 200 and the upper limit would depend on what you intend to buy. The lehengas are something which are really cheap and my companions say the same when you buy from showrooms would be double or triple the price you get in here.
And when there is an alarm ringing in your stomach saying battery down in between your busy shopping hopping schedule, ou just have to reach out to the Parathewali Gali at Chandni Chowk near the Metro Station gully. Honestly, you dont have to ask anybody about the place, you can just close your eyes and follow your nose’s sensation. 🙂 The shops have pictures of celebrities to politicians. The range of parathas start from Aloo, Gobi, Paneer, Mixed Veg… The ones worth mentioning are Mirchi Paratha, Papar Paratha, Malai Paratha and Lemon Paratha. These are deep fried in desi ghee and served with a khatta meetha banana chutney , aloo ki sabzi, pumpkin sabzi, pudina chutney and a bowl of mixed vegetable achar to be taken as per requirement. The best accompaniment with the hot served parathas is a glass of chilled lassi.
The next place that is a must try is Kanwarji Sweet shop where the hot jalebis and the kachoris and the variety of sweets are just too good and fresh.
Feb 28 2014 – Day 3 : Shopping Parade!
Delhi trip is incomplete without a visit to the Red Fort aka Lal Quila and the metro connectivity in Delhi makes the travel very comfortable.We boarded the metro and landed in Chandi Chowk again to visit the fort. Red Fort has always attracted me with its vastness, architecture , history and the red stones.. I get engrossed watching every details of this place. Red Fort is a very important part of Indian History and again needs no new introduction.
This visit was followed by another round to the Parathewali Gali since we were in Chandni Chowk and it wasn’t an opportunity to be missed. The happy tummies now filled in energy enough to start our shopping expedition.
To flag start the shopping expedition, we went to Janpath. The Junction of Janpath has some nice stores for Kurtis , Stoles and scarves, junk jewellery. Right where the stores end , starts heaven..What an amazing place to be. I was awestruck!
Colorful-Crowded-Cheap-Chirpy… and it consisted of what not – from indian-to-western wear, tops-to-bottoms, shirts-to-skirts, formals-to-casuals,stoles-toscarves, socks-to-shoes, jackets-to-sweaters, and the list is never ending. Its just not clothes, but also some nice decoratives glass items, antique look alike items for house decoration purposes- nice good stuff, but most attractive were the clothes…..and the best part of the shopping was nothing exceeded a maximum of 400 bucks. Shopping here we lost our glances at our watches not tired,not hungry until our pockets were empty ;).
Soon it was dark and we headed towards Connaught place. A nice hot cup of tea in hand and a pleasant evening stroll along the white long corridors. Winters can be fun 🙂
On one of these corridors amongst different vendors sits a lady selling brass items and the originality of the items can be found out from the weight. From small Ganesh idols to huge nataraj statue. The best of the lot was a chess wooden board and the pieces on top made out of brass. Fine matt finished with a price of 5 grands. Different varities of unique pieces she has with not a second exact model.
The last spot here was right opposite Gate no 7 of Metro Station(if i am not mistaken), the shop is called Thapar’s and you got some huge collection of woolen there. Pretty reasonable and not to bad for the quality. If you shop for 3k and above you get a kit-bag free :).
Day end happily with hands overloaded with shopping bags.
Feb 29 2014 – Day 4 : Finale ..
The trip was incomplete without visiting Qutub Minar and the bonus was another shopping destination very near Qutub – Dilli Haat…
Qutub Minar like other major monuments does not need any introduction but there isn’t much left for a visit except broken pieces of the place.
Dilli Haat is one colorful places with different shops under one shed. I believe every city had a place like Dilli Haat named differently with shades of cultural heritage. Again the list includes from dresses, jewellery, stole, decoratives, woolens etc. Here you have a lot of variety to eat with specialties from different states of the country. We tried Rajasthani House for a change with authentic delicacies like dal bati churma.
This marks the end of the wonderful Delhi Trip with loads of shopping, food and travel.
We definitely missed out the authentic Old Delhi yum eat outs of tiny to miniature sizes near the Red Fort but that is still a to-do in my list. Will go back again for a Food Trip next time. 🙂