Many of Delhi’s secrets remain unexplored as visitors rush through the city in search of well-known destinations. Away from the masses, these secret places are waiting to be discovered. Explore the city with our guide to Delhi’s ten best-kept secrets.
Hauz Khas Village
Hauz Khas Village owes its magical atmosphere to the old charm of the medieval buildings that can be found around the place. Situated in south Delhi and built on the ruins of the medieval city, named Siri, the area is filled with sophisticated restaurants, goofy cafes and luxury retail stores. The most fascinating place in the area is the 13th-century water storage reservoir known as Hauz-i-Shamsi which includes various attractive monuments. Not many tourists explore the Hauz Khas Village, but it is certainly worth the visit.
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Opening hours: Mon-Sat, 9.30am-10.30pm
Yeti is another of the gems that can be found in the Hauz Khas Village. It serves high quality Nepalese, Bhutanese and Tibetan food. The restaurant is located near the historical Hauz Khas lake. The rustic décor of wood and brick features some old objects from the Himalayan region, providing an original setting to enjoy their food. Customers can order Tibetan momos, Nepalese bread tingmo, and Bhutanese chana among other dishes. The Yeti is a true treasure of Himalayan food.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 12.30pm – 11.15pm
Address: 2nd Floor, 50A, Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, India, 011 40678649, 011 41027746
Café Illuminatii, located in the Khan Market, is a luxurious café-bar. Its exceptional décor includes a set of original mirrors and incensed candles lit on the stairs that lead the customer to the restaurant’s Gothic gates. These elements contribute to the Café’s undeniable charm. Their menu, aside from coffee, includes meals with Italian and Kashmiri influences. Customers will find a Candle Boutique within the café.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 11am-1am
Address: 2nd Floor, Shop 18, Inner Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi, India, +91 11 43504250
Manju Ka Tila: Tibetan Colony
Manju Ka Tila, located in North Delhi near the Yamuna river, was built in 1960 as a refugee camp for the Tibetans who in 1959 followed their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, into exile in India. Today, this Tibetan Colony is popularly known as ‘Little Tibet’. The area is famous for its rich Tibetan culture, offering a variety of Tibetan restaurants, cafés, guest houses, bookshops and antique shops selling Himalayan art and objects. The colony is worth the visit for any traveler, yet it is a must-see destination for visitors with an interest in Tibetan culture.
House of Blondie
House of Blondie is the place to go for visitors in search of vintage clothing. This little shop is secluded in one of the small lanes of Hauz Khas Village. Their clothes include pieces from collections by famous designers such as Channel, Marc Jacobs, Moschino and Betsey Johnson, and there’s no need to spend a fortune, all the products are sold at affordable price. The shop also sells a colorful collection of jewelry.
Outside of the Old Fort in Delhi there is a historic temple dedicated to Lord Bhairav, the fierce form of Shiva. The temple is said to be one of the oldest in India and it attracts many pilgrims from around the country. The most peculiar fact about the temple is that Bhairav is worshiped with alcoholic drinks. It is therefore not unusual to see devotees carrying bottles of whiskey as holy offerings to the deity. There are also several dogs inside the temple; they are regarded as Bhairav’s companions and cannot be harmed. The visit to the temple offers an authentic experience of Indian traditions.
In the high-end area of the Khan Market, ranked as world’s 21st most expensive retail street, visitors will find the Café Turtle, a well decorated café for book lovers. Set up to complement the Full Circle Bookstore, the café is a place where customers can drink aromatic cappuccino while reading one of their favorite books They offer a choice of home-made cakes, energizing fresh juices and light meals. Come and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this welcoming café.
Opening hours: Mon-Sun 9.30am-9.30pm
Address: 2nd Floor, Middle Lane, Khan Market, New Delhi, India, +9111 2465-5641
Lodi Gardens: Bara Gumbad
Although the Lodi Gardens are often featured by guides as a must-see spot in Delhi, few travelers explore the area thoroughly enough to discover a hidden gem: the Bara Gumbad or the ‘Big Dome’. Located in the center of the Lodi Gardens, this architectural marvel was built in the 15th century, during the reign of Sikander Lodi, as the entryway to the three-domed mosque. The Lodi Gardens remarkably reflect Delhi’s historical Mughal heritage. It is advisable to dedicate some time to your visit to the gardens so that you can take in their beauty and discover their various appealing elements.
IGNCA: Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts
IGNCA is a center dedicated to the promotion of Indian arts, culture, literature and religion. Established in 1985 in memory of Smt. Indira Gandhi, it has since grown into one of the most reputed academic and cultural centers in India. Most tourists tend to visit to the National Museum, yet IGNCA is an equally interesting institution, hosting conferences, exhibitions, public lectures and cultural performances. This is a must-see destination for visitors interested in exploring Indian culture.
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