A Day in Hauz Khas Village

A Day in Hauz Khas Village, Delhi

The Indian capital is a massive city that’s impossible to see in a single visit—or even in several. If you’re short on time while visiting Delhi and don’t know how to balance competing desires to sightsee, eat well shop in the city’s best shops, then head straight to Hauz Khas Village in South Delhi. This small urban enclave has it all, and will keep you occupied for hours. Sightseeing Hauz Khas Village is centred around the Hauz Khas, or ‘royal tank’, a large pond dating back to the 13th century. Above the pond are an impressive collection of ruins of a seminary, mosque and tombs. Delhi is a city full of atmospheric old ruins from the Mughal period and earlier, hinting at the city’s many centuries of history and layered civilisations. The ruins at Hauz Khas are some of the best in the city, and are free to enter. It’s a peaceful place, even when filled with smooching students hiding between the pillars. Information boards dotted around are as informative and detailed as any museum’s. There is also the pretty Deer Park adjacent to the pond, where you can stroll through the dense woods. If you’ve just passing through Delhi, sightseeing in Hauz Khas Village will give you a great introduction to the city’s atmosphere and appeal. Shopping Hauz Khas Village has developed rapidly over the past few years from a quiet suburb into one of the city’s trendiest shopping hubs. This means that a lot of shops (as well…

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Review: The Lodhi Spa, Delhi

Review: The Lodhi Spa, Delhi

Delhi—whether you’re a first time visitor or come here often—can be exhausting. It’s massive. For much of the year it can be very hot (and the rest of the time it’s very cold). And getting around, even with the excellent metro system, can take a while. The perfect antidote to the big-city stress is an afternoon spent at The Lodhi Spa. I have been to Delhi many times, but in 2016 I visited during the monsoon for the first time. I’d spent two and a half months in the parched high-altitude desert of Ladakh, so Delhi’s thick dampness was actually welcome, despite the heat. Delhi’s lush gardens and tree-lined avenues really sparkle at this time of year. What I love most about the metropolis, and what keeps pulling me back, are the pockets of peace that can be found amid the chaos: in the shade of a fifteenth-century ruin, or walking down a flower-fringed pathway in an unknown urban park. But during this rainy-season visit I had to resign myself to the fact that I couldn’t spend all day walking around the spacious avenues and outdoor shopping areas, like I usually would, unless I wanted to get really wet. A perfect time to retreat to The Lodhi. The hammam is open for hotel guests and spa patrons to use before or after their spa treatments. It’s even hotter and steamier than the monsoon streets outside. After plenty of cooling down with air conditioning and ice-cream at lunch, I retreated to…

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The Best Markets in Delhi

The Best Markets in Delhi

It’s no secret that Delhi is one of my favourite cities. The history, the food, the shopping… I’ve long been saying that I’m going to start a coin jar specifically to save up for annual shopping trips to Delhi. I still owe a second-hand sari seller in Hauz Khas Village a couple of thousand rupees from the last time I was there, which I will pay back one day. Anyway, here’s an extract from my recent article on Travioor. No doubt some vigilant reader will contact me to tell me how wrong I am, and how their favourite market isn’t included in my list. But Delhi is a huge city with a lot to explore, so here are some good places to start. The best markets in Delhi for an authentic experience Delhi is a massive city with food, clothing, entertainment and other sights to suit everybody’s tastes. Foodies and fashionistas will delight in Old and New Delhi’s markets, and even travellers who are less inclined towards the sartorial or culinary will likely find sights, smells and flavours to interest them. Each neighbourhood has its own market, but here are some markets that you simply shouldn’t skip while spending time in Delhi. Markets discussed in this article: Lajpat Nagar Central Market Khan Market Khari Baoli Kinari Bazaar and Dariba Kalan Dilli Haat Daryaganj Book Market Read the full article on Travioor here.

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Everyone thinks India is dangerous. Here's why I can't wait to go back.

Everyone Thinks India is Dangerous. Here’s Why I Can’t Wait to Go Back.

I live in Nepal and I love it (well, often). But if I’m honest, I only ended up here because I was aiming for India and landed a little too far north of Uttar Pradesh. There are many similarities between the two countries, as they have a lot of shared culture, but there are also significant differences than generally fall in Nepal’s favour. I don’t regret that I ended up in Nepal, because things tend to just be a bit more relaxed here than in India–the people, the climate, the general way of life. But nowhere excites me as much as India does. Even after six or seven trips there (I’ve honestly lost count, as most of my visits have been for several months at a time), I am still always excited to go back. There are so many parts of the enormous and diverse country that I’ve never been to, or barely scratched the surface of. With the exception of Kerala, I’ve hardly been to the south; I’ve never been to the east coast or the north-east, and there are huge parts of the middle that I haven’t even passed through. Like I said: I can’t wait to go back. I also have very little patience with the ‘India is dangerous’ hysteria. Everywhere is dangerous, but by the same token, nowhere is dangerous (except active war zones). The people in India are generally the same as people everywhere–they mind their own business, have better things to do than interfere…

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What 2016 Looked Like

Old Delhi Street Food Walking Tour

It was just typical that on a day in which I had to get up early and traverse across the metropolis of Delhi, it was raining a deluge of Biblical proportions. I had signed up for an early-morning breakfast street food walking tour through Old Delhi, with Delhi Food Walks. By the time I met guide and ‘head foodie’, Anubhav Sapra, at the meeting point outside Chawri Bazaar Metro station, I was soaked through. ‘Luckily’ it was also about 30 degrees (with 100% humidity), so I wasn’t cold. I’d gotten up early because morning is the best time to walk the streets of Old Delhi: it is quieter and less congested. Moreover, I was taking the walk on a Sunday, the day of the week when Dilliwallahs from as far away as Gurgaon travel up to Old Delhi for the breakfast treats that can only be had here. It was worth the soaking. I quickly learned that Dilliwallahs love to eat chickpeas and fried, puffed bread for breakfast, in all their imaginable permutations. We started at a typical Delhi snack and sweet stand, the kind where you order at the counter and stand at high round tables with no chairs. We then proceeded to the back alleys, which were crowded not with regular everyday commerce, but with people queuing for hole-in-the-wall (or rather, frying-pan-on-a-step) food. I’m very familiar with Indian food, but one of the most memorable discoveries of the day was the pureed chickpeas (Chole Kulche) served by Lotan…

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