Dilli Haat

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What can be more colourful than these handmade puppets?

Delhi has always been a treasure trove that needs to be explored and the treasure never seems to end. After the wedding, I moved to my daughter’s house and after cooking Rajma and Palak paneer, I stepped out to visit Dilli Haat; a shoppers and foodies paradise. It is like an extended flea market, situated in the heart of Delhi. It is like an Aladdin’s cave offering an enchanting potpourri of craft, cuisine and cultural activities. The market is permanent but the craftsmen keep changing, hence presenting a kaleidoscopic view of the richness and diversity of Indian textiles, handicrafts, artifacts and cuisines.

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My mom used to have storage trunks like this above one; peacocks and elephants have been displayed on it here.

Imaginative landscaping, creative planning, and traditional village architectural style have united to create the perfect ambience for a Haat or marketplace. Small thatched roof cottages and kiosks bestows the plaza with a village atmosphere. A  paved and cobbled path with stone and brickwork expertly interspersed with grass, flowering shrubs, tall trees, and a play center for kids have created a quaint oasis in which visitors can shop at their leisure. An extensive array of skillfully crafted handicrafts, intrinsic to each part of the country is available in this exotic bazaar.

These products range from elaborate rosewood and sandalwood carvings, embellished bags and garments,  camel hide footwear, to stylish fabrics, chunky costume jewellery, beads, brassware, metal crafts, silk and pashmina and many more.

 

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A gypsy lady showing off her traditional attire.

IMG_8819Metal carved tribal art

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Bead Baubles

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Miniature models of Bikes..all handcrafted

IMG_8837Handmade Juttis or shoes to match with every dress

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Papier Mache Lamps and Ludo

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Sequinned and Hand woven place mats

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I bought this Parasol.I have a weakness for Umbrellas and Parasols!

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Glass candle votives

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Clay House Boards

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Fiery Sauce!

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The food plaza allows visitors to savor the incomparable flavours and culinary delights from the diverse regions of India. The different food stalls offer a wide choice of local regional food which is clean, hygienically prepared and easy on the pocket. I was drawn to the Momo stall and ordered a plate of steamed momos. I rarely dine alone but the momos with the spicy sauce were tantalizing and I polished off the plate and sipped the Thukpa. I had to down a lemon soda to quell the fiery aftermath of the Momos. Recipe for homemade momos is her http://tinyurl.com/ht6jplw . Strolling around all the food stalls was a gastronomic experience; Idly dosa from Andhra Pradesh, Momos from Sikkim or the Bamboo chicken from Nagaland, Kahwa & Kebabs from Jammu& Kashmir,  Pooranpoli from Maharastra, Gujarati Dhokla.

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Dilli Haat proffers the Indian experience in a microcosm. It is a destination in itself for a visitor to India. It showcases a land filled with myriad colours and vibrant disparity. There are some gorgeous baubles but do bargain hard. Dilli Haat is not just another market place; it has been visualized as the pride and joy of traditional Indian culture; a forum where rural life and folk art are showcased to an urban clientele. Craftsmen find a platform to demonstrate their artistic skills to thousands of visitors every day.

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I had a great evening browsing Dilli Haat. If you are ever travelling to Delhi do plan a visit here.

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