An England-return aunty, a chachi visiting from Mumbai, friends from a phoren-land making a trip to Incredible India – the one place that’s on all their Delhi checklists is Dilli Haat. This ‘Little India,’ situated in the heart of Delhi is, more often than not, dismissed as that place you go to to give non-Delhiwaalas a pure desi experience of what the capital has to offer. Well, we ought to start giving more credit to this rare {and rarely successful} government initiative of 1994 that’s withstood the test of time, and the waning patience that comes with globalization.

Yes, we all shop at Zara and are ‘waiting for IKEA to open in Delhi!’ But Dilli Haat is that welcome antithesis to the asphalt jungles of Nelson Mandela Road and Select CityWalk. You can buy shawls and stoles as gifts, wrought iron figurines, cane furniture, antique finds, pickles and jams, bangles, thalis, momos, masala chai, desi ghee ladoos, a hair braider, or a custom jewellery piece… heck, you could even get a picture with a man on stilts! Dilli Haat holds fort as the one stop for getting a slice of India – and literally so, when you make your way to your food court.

Make merry while the sun doesn’t shine; Begin with these 8 things to scour out at Dilli Haat.

Monuments Men

IMG_0151 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

Classical South Indian Art takes the form of breathtaking Tanjore paintings, brought to Dilli Haat from Tamil Nadu. The style dates back to 1600AD, and the works are made on solid wood, topped with gold foil that makes it luminescent and tastefully opulent. Also check out the 4-5 Madhubani stalls in Dilli Haat. This hand-drawn work of art which traces its roots to Bihar is considerably less expensive. Both Madhubani and Tanjore paintings make for a stunning house-warming present!

Price | Varies depending on the size and intricacy of work. Starts from INR 500


IMG_0111 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

We’ve given you a round-up of desserts from the region; but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this state’s wonders. Apparently, the largest number of tribes in our country are in Orissa; and each has its own distinctive style of jewellery. We especially like the simplicity of this one; embossed brass pendants and trinklets are strung together with a plain black thread for this chic-metal ware.

Price | Starts from INR 200

Finding the Desi Cambridge Satchel

IMG_01401 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

The leather stalls had us haggling with the vendors for hours! The quality of the leather is impeccable, and you’ll find a wide spectrum of tans and styles to choose from. From bucket bags, to purses, totes, wallets, and satchels that stole our heart, these stalls are a must visit. Ask the gentleman at the stall if he can create custom satchels for you- we’re in the process of getting our samples in place for this!

Price | Bags start from INR 1300 and wallets at INR 600

A piece of Lucknowi history

IMG_0121 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

Lucknow represent! Chikan-work tunics and suits are a summer wardrobe staple for us. Rumor has it that this particular type of textile was introduced by Nur Jehan! For adventurous and fashion forward ladies – the fabric you find here can be stitched into beautiful summer dresses. They’re available in muted pastel tones, and in breezy summer fabrics like cotton and chiffon.

Price | Starts from INR 500

From the Punjab

IMG_0129 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

Floral makes a comeback for SS ’14; and phulkari work has it served desi style. Hailing from Punjab, this particular form of embroidery showcases floral patterns on stoles and dupattas. We’re told that it takes 6 whole months of handwork to make one phulkari dupatta! Have a look at the phulkari sarees on display too.

Price | Starts from INR 350

Kahani Ghar Ghar Ki

IMG_0153 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

You can’t make a trip to Dilli Haat and not be distracted by the home/decor accessories,  available at every nook and corner. There’s a particular open air spot with rows of tile and brass mirrors, furniture in mango and teak, patio-style chairs, and cane and bamboo storage units. You could be scouting for vintage-inspired items, heavy and engraved furniture, or little tea light holders – Dilli Haat’s got it all covered.

Price | Varies according to the product

Biryani 101

IMG_0170 A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

The Uttar Pradesh stall is the place to go for delicacies like mutton gosht, vegetable korma, Awadhi chicken curry and biryani. The phirni makes for quite a stellar ending. Top that with some dry pan, churan, aam papad, dry amla, anardana goli and several other digestive chatpata items from the stall next door.

Price for two | INR 500 {approx.}

Flavours of Sikkim

sikkim-dilli-haat-momos A Desi Day Out | 8 Dilli Haat Must-Dos

Popular for its momos, this stall has built itself a good reputation over the years. Another must try dish is the thukpa, a simple noodle soup infused with vegetables, egg and chicken, in a warm, delicious broth.

Price for two | INR 400 {approx.}

Notes in our Little Black Book |

The stalls are allocated on a rotational basis, so there is always something new to look forward to.

Where: Aurobindo Marg, opposite INA market

Timings: Dilli Haat is open from 10.30am to 10pm everyday.

Entrance fee: INR 20 for Adults; INR 10 for children up to 12 years.

Getting There: The closest metro station is INA; you can also get there by public transport. Parking provision is available.

Phone number: 011 4629365/6119055

Others: Dilli Haat also hosts festivals to celebrate various occasions. Some of these include the Mango Festival, Baisakhi Festival, and Comic Con.

Keep yourself updated through their Facebook Page here    


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