When I first came down to Delhi from a small town like Jammu, I couldn’t get over the largeness of this city or the humdrum it possesses. I had never had the freedom to run around on my own either as my parents brought us up as very protected. So growing up we ( me n my sister ) were ” escorted” everywhere – school, college, friends house, market, tuitions…. You get the drift. Since terrorism had partially shut down J&K in the late 80s n early 90s, our trips to movie halls were far and few.
Delhi was like a melting pot of people places and events – all waiting to be discovered. Most of these spaces were happy on my pocket and have some amazing architecture for me to lust after.
This is one of the best thing about Delhi – there are a tonne of spaces here that offer free or low-cost entry and have some amazing cultural events for everyone to attend.
Let me take you through my top six places in this gorgeous city that I never bore of……
A perfect mix of an artisans hub with some great crafty items on sale – be it exquisite indian embroideries like kantha, chikankari, mirror work , lamps, paintings, curios from every indian state ; and the veritable smorgasbord of delectable food from every region of India. One can gorge on Momos from Nagaland stall or sagodana khicdi from the Maharashtra stall or piping hot sweet jalebis from the Rajasthan stall – can one really ask for more than this!
Late night after dinner drives for an ice cream which is eaten strolling along Rajpath teeming with others who came out with same intent. Be it a chuski or orange bar on sultry summer evenings or a hot cup in fogged out misty nights, it makes for the perfect evening out with family and friends. Bonus part is the zipping up and down Rajpath in full view of the martyrs memorial – one of my best memories of Delhi!!
It’s one of the biggest green lung in the heart of Delhi which lures people in droves to enjoy its green lawns, dotted with majestic ancient monuments which foretell our past with romance in its architectural lines. I have fond memories of long morning walks, picnics, art classes, photography meet ups and more in its environs. One can lounge by the lake and feed the honking geese, or soak in the peace in one of its monuments or simply walk on its many paths to discover an unknown section of the park. It’s the perfect amalgamation of a green space and heritage, designed to captivate nature lovers and romantics alike.
India Habitat Centre
I fell in love with the architecture of this place and its the perfect spot in Delhi to enjoy cultural and intellectual meets, be it classical music, piano recital, art shows, rock concerts, environment meetup and many more such. Its got some divine eating joints; some have membership while others are free. Or one can simply sit down in one of its open spaces and day-dream without hesitation.
There is something so old world about this space in Delhi – some modern architecture coupled with its graceful plazas, make it one of the best markets to walk in. Its teeming with cinema halls, eating joints, book stores, stationary shops, libraries, emporiums and museums in its surrounds – all beguile you with their charm. One can simply soak the winter sun in the central park, if one is desirous of doing nothing at all.
British Council Library
Again a graceful building with an amazing art gallery, auditorium and an open theater space for art installation and performances – all free and accessible to all, especially during the awesome events that take place here. Most of the events are free and have some delicious food and wine too. I had initially become a member of its unbelievable library which has the most impressive collection of not just books but videos as well. Now I haunt its insides during the film festivals and art shows that are a regular feature here.
So here is the lowdown on the kind of places I love to roam around in; what are your favourite haunts? Come on share them with me!