We’re back to spend a couple of weeks at Gurgaon. That basically used to mean weekends of travelling to tourist destinations nearby. However, in the last 1 year, that’s gotten a little limited. The focus is now day-trips around Delhi.
This weekend we decided to visit the Dilli Haat, since that has long since been on my to-visit list. While doing a bit of online research, hubby figured that if we went to the INA Dilli Haat, we could also visit Sarojini Nagar Market. That was obviously a great idea! 😀
There are 2 Dilli Haats: one at INA and the other at Pitam Pura. Dilli Haat basically refers to a marketplace. The Dilli Haat is a village-like ambience suited for modern needs. It is a place where handicrafts from different parts of India are displayed, while featuring displays of traditional folk arts and food stalls from different regions.
It helped that we were already on the Metro Yellow Line. We boarded at Gurgaon’s Huda City Center, and a few stops later got out at INA.
The INA Metro station was in itself a surprise. It is the only Metro station of its kind in Delhi. It features “Crafts of India”, a collection of 58 panels featuring rich handicrafts, textiles, paintings from across India. The idea is that since a lot of foreigners would be visiting the Dilli Haat, the Metro station can be utilised to further promote the Art and Crafts of India. The panels are spread out around all 3 entrances of the Metro station.
INA Metro Station - Gate 1
On stepping out of Gate 1, we had to turn right, and after taking a few steps, found ourselves on the steps of the Dilli Haat. The tickets to enter the Haat costs Rs. 20 for adults and Rs. 10 for children. It starts at around 10.30am and continues till 9pm. We weren’t sure if all the stalls would be up and running early in the morning, so we opted to reach by lunch time.
At the entrance, there are some artistically decorated stalls displaying handicrafts that are sold int the Haat.
The food stalls are located right at the end of the Haat, and stalls from various states are interspersed with each other.
The food we decided to try was Rajasthani, and offered a large variety of local Rajasthani fare, from Dal Bhati churma to makki ki roti – sarson ka saag, to missi rotis and various parathas. Hubby opted for missi roti while I opted for makki ki roti with sarson ka saag.
Makki ki roti with Sarson ka saag
With full stomachs, slowly made our way to the various shops. The prices for the stuff being sold is quite reasonable. Also they are bargainable. As long as you know the actual value of the stuff you are buying, you can bargain. Also the rates quoted are also reasonable, so most places you can simply pay the mentioned prices.
Folk dancers performing at the Haat
Cane-ware at the Haat
Wooden idols at the Haat
The different kinds of items that are sold in the Dilli Haat in Delhi include footwear made from camel skin, brass ware, sandalwood and rosewood carvings, handloom items, woolen and silk items, draperies, articles made from stone, ornaments and others. Every product is unique and is a fine example of the skills of the Indian craftsmen.
After slowly making our way back to the entrance gate, after finishing the requisite shopping and photos, we set off for Sarojini Market.
The market is around 2 km from the Metro station. One can easily reach here by taking an auto for Rs. 30. This is a standard fare, and if anyone charges more, just move to the next auto!
It’s a good idea to remember which gate one steps through, as one needs to remember it while coming out. It is quite easy to get confused and distracted inside the market. It is definitely a shopping haven.
Map of Sarojini Market
What we covered was only the North side and the west side of the market. In the North-west corner is the Babu Market. This was originally a cloth market, but now it hosts a whole lot of other shops including a dentist!
We slowly made our was to the West Market. This is primarily focused on clothes. And this section is best avoided on busy weekends! The crowds literally take you along, with you having to actually walk! Just kidding…. 🙂
The clothes stalls are the most tempting. The designs are fresh and trendy, and the prices cheap. Not to mention the footwear shops. Currently there are a whole lot of sales going on. So I managed to get myself a pair of funky ankle boots for a mere Rs. 650! But I digress…
Which song/movie/actress do you like most? Choose your sari accordingly!
The sections we did not explore was the Subzi Mandi and the other half of Central Market. Central Market has a unique design, something like “][“. If the top horizontal like is considered “North”, then the south end would be Subzi mandi, and the rest would be Central Market. Central Market is famous for export items, furniture and spices.
Subzi is the common Hindi word for vegetables in North India. This Subzi market is famous for its fresh vegetables in South West Delhi. The vegetable vendors shout at the top of their voice to attract customers to their stalls. Some of these vendors get creative with the calls and rhyme them in a comic way. Subzi market is also the best place to get freshest fruits in South West Delhi at a reasonable price. Customers can bargain with vendors when buying large quantities of fruits or vegetables.
When going to Sarojini Nagar Market (better known as SN Market), it would need at least half-day to explore all the shops. Factor in shopping time, and you have a whole day’s shopping! It is better one goes early in the day, as some shops may not be very well-lit in the evenings.
Even though we didn’t manage to see the whole market, it was still a satisfying experience to visit the market.