Archives December 19, 2017

Iftaar Walk

Be it rain or storm, nothing can dampen a DIlli-wala’s spirit, especially when it comes to food. As scheduled, Delhi Walks went out for an Iftar Walk on 6th Aug 2013 in spite of heavy downpour around the city. The roads were crowded with buyers, sellers, rickshaw-wallas, tourists beggars, like any other evening in Old Delhi. But still, there was something special about this evening. This was the time for Iftaar- the evening meal when fasting Muslims break their daily fast during the month of Ramadan.

We started our gastronomical journey at Chawri Bazar, where one can find some wonderful street food joints. Our first stop was Ashok Chaat Bhandar, which is located just outside the gate no.3 of Chawri Bazaar Metro Station. Here one can find variety of chaats, golgappas, bhalla and tikkis. We had some golgappas and dahi bhallas before moving onto our next stop.

After this, we decided to try some real nonveg cuisines and thus we moved ahead to Jama Masjid Mosque area. The mood at Jama Masjid was very high on energy and festive, in spite of the unfavorable weather. The whole atmosphere was breathtaking. Inside the Jama Masjid, families laid out their mats, arranged their Iftaar food, waiting for the azaan to break their fast.

While the atmosphere inside Jama Masjid was sort of soothing, the markets outside were buzzing with people. The Matia Mahal street has many street shops which were selling dried nuts (dates, cashewnuts, kishmish, etc) and dried Sewai (semolina noodles), which usually are consumed during iftaar and Eid.

In Matia Mahal Street, we decided to have our evening meal at the Al-Jawahar restaurant, which serves some really delicious non-veg mughlai cuisine. For starters, we ordered shami kebab and chicken seekh kebab. Later on, we ordered Mutton Barra, Fried Chicken, Chicken Biryani along with tandoori roti.

After eating till our souls were satisfied, we moved on to have some dessert. We had a small portion of Shahi Tukda, a dish rich in ghee and sugar. By this time, we were completely full up to our necks. We decided to head towards our final stop-Jama Masjid, as it was almost time for the Maghrib ki Namaz. Holding our sandals in one hand and making our way through the crowd, we found a spot for ourselves to sit. Don’t be shocked if you get invited to share the iftaar with some families around you. We ended our journey with delicious Halwa puri and Sharbat in Meena Bazaar.

While on our way back to Chawri Bazaar Metro, we all had one thing in our mind- THIS PLACE IS A HEAVEN FOR GLUTTONS!!


The Tomb of Mirza Ghalib is situated towards the northern end of the Chausath Khamba enclosures and very close to Hazrat Nizamuddin’s Shrine. Mirza Ghalib was a renowned Urdu as well as Persian Poet of his time who was born in 1797. He was a poet in the Imperial Courts of the Mughal Empire and a close friend of Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar. He was also the Urdu and Persian Teacher of Bahadur Shah II. He is popularly known as the ‘Shakespeare of Urdu’ who wrote numerous Ghazals (Passionate and Musical Poems of Love normally written in the Urdu Language) and also famous for his quote which reads that Delhi is the Soul of the World.

Mirza Ghalib’s Tomb is small compared to the numerous royal tombs in Delhi which has been deemed as a protected monument by the Archaeological Survey of India. It is dressed with a structure made of marble and sits within a small courtyard enclosure which is kept under key and lock. The small Tomb area is also dotted with several other graves of persons unknown.

Mirza Ghalib was born in Kala Mahal, Agra into a family descended from Aibak Turks who moved to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan) after the downfall of the Seljuk kings. His paternal grandfather, Mirza Qoqan Baig Khan, was a Saljuq Turk who had immigrated to India from Samarkand during the reign of Ahmad Shah (1748–54). He worked at Lahore, Delhi and Jaipur, was awarded the subdistrict of Pahasu (Bulandshahr, UP) and finally settled in Agra, UP, India. He had four sons and three daughters. Mirza Abdullah Baig Khan and Mirza Nasrullah Baig Khan were two of his sons.

In 1850, Emperor Bahadur Shah Zafar II bestowed upon Mirza Ghalib the title of “Dabir-ul-Mulk”. The Emperor also added to it the additional title of “Najm-ud-daula”. The conferment of these titles was symbolic of Mirza Ghalib’s incorporation into the nobility of Delhi. He also received the title of ‘Mirza Nosha’ from the Emperor, thus adding Mirza as his first name. He was also an important courtier of the royal court of the Emperor. As the Emperor was himself a poet, Mirza Ghalib was appointed as his poet tutor in 1854. He was also appointed as tutor of Prince Fakhr-ud Din Mirza, eldest son of Bahadur Shah II, (d. 10 July 1856). He was also appointed by the Emperor as the royal historian of Mughal Court.

Exploring the Delhi Nostalgia

Even though Delhi is chaotic, messy and frenzied you would surely agree that the charm of Delhi yin this muddled lifestyle only. The hustling bustling and zigzag alleyways of Old Delhi is energetic with colourful shops and lively people. The shopping complexes of Connaught place, which offers an ample series of electronic commodities, garments, jewelleries, books, handicrafts, fashion accessories etc. A montage of faiths, cultures, customs and languages, that blends harmoniously in to one piece. The city is enchanting, a treasury of art and architecture. For decades she has witnessed the birth of religions and rituals, life and death and new ways of life again.

Delhi has gained humongous importance in the world not only as the capital of India but also as a city which is being looked upon as one of the fastest growing cities in the world. But, to mention Delhi without mentioning its sister city is like having food without salt. Gurgaon has always been evenly rich and affluent in terms of popular tourist attractions like Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, the tranquil Damdama Lake, the artificial Karna Lake, Kurukshetra, etc. Each of these tourist attractions in Gurgaon manifests the grand history of Gurgaon.

Gurgaon which was originally named with reference to Guru Dronacharya, who was handed over the land to teach the art of warfare to the Pandavas. Hence the village gained the name as Guru Gram or Guru Gaon i.e. “Teacher’s Village”. The Gurgaon of today is home to offices of numerous MNCs, and has emerged as the hub of IT and several other modern businesses. The city’s growth has undoubtedly increased exponentially in terms of people, culture, economy, tourists etc. Even though it has always been portrayed as a business city but it has a charm of its own. A charm which is transported to its sister city Delhi through the marvellous Metro railway.

Delhi does not belong to any one person or any particular community. Nobody can claim her to be their alone; its multi ethnicity and multi cultural beliefs are reflected everyday in every part of it. So what is new about Delhi, what is that should attract you, what is that would lure you to take out time from your busy schedule for yourself and spend in this frenzied metropolis. Well you just need to look at the right place for right moments.

Let me tell you that the best way to get acquainted with Old Delhi is to walk through its labyrinths and through the city is to cycle and that too early morning. The dawn of Delhi has its own zen like feeling. The roads are nearly empty, there is a pleasant breeze and everything seems different about her. There are lot of people out there who have spent a lifetime of theirs in Delhi and probably know every nook and corner, whether it’s baffling mazes of Chandni Chowk or the all the same looking roads and buildings around Central Secretariat, but what I would bet here is not on your knowledge about the city but its moments. Like I said, you just need to look at the right place for right moments.

You must have walked or driven through the Lodhi road a number of times, but try walking from Nizamuddin Auliya Dargah to Humayun’s Tomb in the brahma-muhurta : it’s the same road, the same place, probably the same rickshwalas and beggars, sleeping on the pavements but yet it’s not just amazing but a miraculously beautiful moment and I can assure you, that’s not even the beginning of what you will experience. Delhi has so much more to offer us than what we just know. Delhi is a giant city that contains an overwhelming amount of history, culture, life, food, temples, and everything else you could possibly imagine.

You cannot miss the beautiful moments of the month of Ramzaan. The first thing that comes in one’s mind when thinking about Delhi is its delicious food and the month of Ramzaan is the perfect time for any foodie to savor the delicacies of Iftar. Ramzaan is the time when every dilliwala makes a trip to Jama Masjid to savour the flavors of iftar. A walk to bustling zigzag alleyways of Jama Masjid would be meaningless without experiencing the whole process of iftaar.

And of course the 67th Independence Day of India is almost there, a moment of celebration, a day to pay tribute to the martyrs who struggled and sacrificed their presents so we can live in a better future. No matter what are the conditions today but we owe it to them, our freedom, and yes that ever present ray of hope.

One thing besides the Independence Day celebrations that you cannot miss being part of is the Kite Flying in Delhi. It is a much awaited event that takes place in Delhi, and children and kite flyers wait for this opportunity to flash their vibrant flying machines and watch the spectacle as they race against the wind high above, surpassing all others. There are some famous parks like India Gate, Red Fort, Ramlila ground or any parks in the locality can be used.

As they say in the Vedas “Tat Tvam Asi” or “Thou Art That” which proves the philosophy that God and Self are one. You can go back and rediscover the precious values, that all reality hinges on, the moral values and that everything has a spiritual control. Being spiritual does not just means to be religious. It’s about understanding your inner self and trying to give meaning to the world and to the unexplained. Keep our minds on a positive train of thought and live courageously.

Well we can actually keep on talking about it and probably it would never end. Even those who have lived here since their child hood get amazed to see places they had never even heard of or they had not even a slightest bit of idea it’s not just a city they are living in, but a legacy left by people of diverse cultures and beliefs, more than 2000 years old legacy.

Well the more you talk about it, the more exciting it gets, and it’s absolutely fine if it lures you to take a weekend off and take some time out for yourself.

Dilli dur ast

Nizamuddin Dargah is a few metres away from Amir Khusro’s Tomb. Nizamuddin Auliya was a famous humanitarian Muslim Sufi and mystic saint. The original tomb no longer exists. The present structure was built in the mid 15th century by Faridun Khan, a nobleman. It was repaired and decorated by Feroz Shah Tughlaq and subsequent rulers. The majestic pavilion with marble arches and lattice screens or jails was added by Emperor Shah Jahan.

Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia (d. 1325 A.D.) represents in many ways the pinnacle of the Chishti Order of the Sufis. Hazrat Baba Farid, his spiritual guide, said to him on appointing him as his successor: “Be like a big tree, so that Allah’s creation, the human beings in their vast multitudes, may find rest and solace under your shadow.”

This shrine also houses the tomb of Amir Khusrau, a famous poet and the saint’s beloved disciple. Encroachments plaque the shrine and the area itself seem to belong to another century. The shrine was built by Muhammad Tughluq and is one of the sacred places of pilgrimage. Other tombs situated in the complex of the shrine belong to Begum Jahan Ara, Shah Jahan’s favorite daughter and Mirza Ghalib. Every Thursday, one can hear qawwalis here around sunset.

Shaikh Nizamu’d-Din was born at Budaun in 1236. He came to Delhi with his mother and became the disciple of the famous saint Shaikh Farid Shakarganj. The rulers such as Ala-ud-Din Khalji and Muhammad Tughluq were devoted to him. It is said that he had already prophesized beforehand that city of Tughluqabad could never prosper and that Ghiyath-ud-Din Tughluq, who was then in Bengal, would never see Delhi again. He died in 1325. The original tomb has been renovated many times and the present tomb was built in 1562. The area around the tomb is regarded as sacred. Twice every year, ‘urs’ is held to commemorate the death anniversaries of Hazrat Nizamu’d-Din Auliya and Amir Khusrau.

Delhi with Kids

Delhi is a chaotic and busy metro city with a very rich history and culture, numerous monuments and places to see some as old as the civilization itself. So many pubs and discs, lounges hang out spots, shopping malls and much more.

Does that mean Delhi is hell for kids? Well, it actually has so many places, parks, hang out and recreational spots where not just kids but you can also enjoy all your time. Let’s take a look through the list of places where you can take your kids when you are in Delhi:



  1. National Rail Museum: Train and kids have an unusual bonding and a place filled with innumerable replicas, model trains and toy trains is absolute heaven for kids.
  2. Dilli Haat: Dilli Haat is basically a market so why should your kids love a shopping market? This no ordinary market it’s a culmination of Indian culture, composed of shops and eating joints representing various states. The market is extremely colorful and fun filled which your kids will absolutely love.
  3. National Science Centre: It has various sections for all age groups such as Heritage & Dinosaur gallery, Human Biology gallery, Fun Science Library etc. There are also a number of hands-on displays explaining the laws of physics. The Cyberlkool of this museum is the first fun-packed multimedia centre in the country. At least a whole day is required to go through this children’s paradise.
  4. India Gate: It’s one of the most visited places in Delhi besides Red Fort. The memorial has a park in its compound and it’s a hub for numerous activities and games.


Holi is a festival that Indians look forward to the most. It is that one day of the year when everybody- old and young, rich and poor, is in their best of spirits to celebrate and enjoy this festival. Holi not only marks the beginning of spring for Indians, but it also symbolizes the feeling of love, harmony and belongingness for fellow humans. The colors we color each other in stand for the love and respect we have for each other.

Delhi is the cultural hub of India and every festival here gets a different flavor as the city sees a coming together of people from different cultures and different corners of the country. All these people bring with them their own rituals and ways of celebrating the festival and gives the festival a unique character. For an international tourist, to be able to witness and enjoy Holi in Delhi would be a completely new and exotic experience. But at the same time, there are safety concerns that give birth to inhibitions in the tourists’ mind regarding the festival. Keeping all of this in mind, Delhi Walks, a specialty vertical of India City Walks organized a group tour on Holi, for people who wanted to witness the colors of Holi in the city. With a group of ten tourists from different parts of the world, we started with what we call the Holi Walk.

We all met at Karol Bagh metro station and boarded an AC coach to go through the various lanes and streets of Delhi and experience the many hues and shades of Delhi. We were to go to Karol Bagh, Rajendra Nagar and Kailash Colony to have a look at Delhites celebrating Holi. We also planned to tell the tourist the story of Holi with all its history, mythology and legends and give them a taste of delicacies that are prepared for this special day. The priority for us was to give the tourists a safe, exciting and never-before experience.

We saw people all drowned in Holi masti at all these places. People were playing colors and gulaal on the streets and all faces were covered with many many colors. All divides of sex, religion, status ceased to exist in the celebrations. We also saw people enjoying Holi parties at various places and having a god time with colors, music and food. Children were the most fun to look at. They looked very excited with colors, water balloons and pichkaris and they seemed to be very excited. And, thei excitement was infectious; looking at everybody play Holi, we all wanted to get out there and play with colors. And to do exactly that, we stopped at India Gate. There was a group of people at India Gate, who were playing Holi and we joined them. We had made arrangements for colors and gulaal for the tourists beforehand and the Holi playing was very much fun and intoxicating for all of us. In no time, we were all throwing colored water at each other and running around the whole place.

Playing Holi was exciting as well as tiring. But the excitement won over the tiredness we had. With the excitement and energy we had in our hearts, we stopped at a café in Kailsah Colony for a cup of coffee and some food. And then came the big surprise for the tourists, a rain dance party. We had organized a rain dance party for them to give them the feel of dancing on bollywood and Holi songs. The rain dance was really enjoyed by all of us.

With the rain dance, the Holi Walk came to an end. We all said our goodbyes to each other with lots of memories that will be cherished for a long time to come. The walk was a real experience for the tourists, which cant be gained by reading or listening or talking about it. This was an experience that can only be lived, that can only be felt. We created an experience for the travelers, who wanted to live and explore Holi. The bestpart about the walk was that it was safe, well planned and gave the tourists a panorama experience of Holi complete with its story, food, colors and fun.

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