Shopping in Delhi – GK1

GK’s famous M block market is an elite shopper’s paradise, not for the clothes or the accessories but more for unique ‘fashion-parade’ by people who wander around in the market.

fashtry

Stores in GK range from the usual branded shops of Levis, W, UCB, Adidas, Reebok, Puma, Esprit, L’ Affaire and so on, but what makes this market universal for shopping is the range & variety one gets in the stores and outside them (in small concaves). These smaller setups have pretty decent stuff & definitely worth a look. For instance you can get sunglasses from the branded stores for as much as Rs. 20,000 and cheap knock offs (may I add, pretty good cheap knock offs) for anywhere around 200 bucks at the outside stall.

While Sarojini is great for bargains, Khan Market for the foreigner-type of-mal, M Block has the best of both. Luxury goods, branded clothes, Indian handcrafted paper products (Rio Grande) and shoes (Finesse) and so on. Along with the shopping, you can have a quick bite at – Café Coffee Day, Barista or Costa Coffee. With so much choice, there’s no question why M block is a hot favourite among the youth, the socialites and also the drivers, who can’t but resist a pan from the famous Prince Paan Shop which has been there for decades. 

Evening brings with it the hip-and-happening crowd, as night clubs, bars, pubs and restaurants come alive. While housing the popular eating joints like Pizza Hut and McDonald’s, it also has China Garden, Spins & We2.

The only thing, one must remember is that parking can be a handful. Though there are ample mini parking lots, all around M block, but one must be prepared to not find a spot if you come in rush hour. Recommended option is a chauffeur driven, whom you can call your driver on the cell to meet you, once you are done.
 

GK1 – N Block Market

While there is tons in M block market, its alphabetical counterpart N Block houses some of the quiet glamour that is missing in M Block. 

fab

One dominating feature in this market is the FabIndia chain. You can have a go at the traditional fare, with FabIndia which house clothes, accessories, toiletries, furnishings – you name it and its there – that too on either side of the road. If FabIndia doesn’t suffice, Cottons is an alternative.
Once you have had a handful of ethnic shopping, you can go in for designer wear with Ravi Bajaj’s who in fact owns an eatery here too. The Shoe Shop, Hidesign, Next, Apartment 9, Forest Essentials, Urban Shore London are some other good haunts.
Must visit Navrattan Jeweller for exquisite Jewellery.

And if shopping isn’t all that you are looking for, there are book stores cum cafés and tons of pubs and restaurants to satiate that hunger. You can head into Café Turtle for a cup of coffee and a time out to read books, or try the Breads & More, for bakery delights. Or else, there is Kasbah for some Italian, while Urban Pind and Shalom are the hot spots for the partying kinds.

Your trip to Delhi, isn’t complete without at least a stop-by at one of the GK markets. By-the-way there is GK-2 too… more on that later. Try this one till then.

Travel Tips: Udhagamandalam / Ooty

Someone once told me that one should not see everything in a place, so that there is always a reason to come back. Never-the-less, I have some ‘Must do’s’ about every place that I’ve been to. The Travel Tips series are some of my notes-to-self which I thought I’d share with you guys.

Someone once told me that one should not see everything in a place, so that there is always a reason to come back. Never-the-less, I have some ‘Must do’s’ about every place that I’ve been to. The Travel Tips series are some of my notes-to-self which I thought I’d share with you guys.

 

Udhagamandalam aka. Ooty

 

Must Know – Ooty is the “Queen of hill stations” and the capital of the Nilgiris district. It used to be one of the most popular summer and weekend getaways for the Britishers during the colonial days and still retains the old world charm.

Tea plantations

Most movies in the 70’s and 80’s had at least one song shot in Ooty, if not entire sequences. It did not matter whether the movie was Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada or Mallu. It was a place where the hero and heroine would sing in the rolling tea fields or the hills. A large number of potboilers were shot here, as well as well-known hits such as Karz, Moonram Pirai, Gitanjali, Saajan to name a few. Mithun Da’s cult classics like Cheetah, Gunda, Ravan Raj have been shot here.

Ooty - Coonoor Toy train

Must See – Winding roads, cool breeze, tea plantations, beautiful cottages, the lush and verdant greenery, the War memorial at the prestigious Defence Service Staff College at Wellington, the lakes and the botanical garden at Ooty.

Must Do – Take a trip on the ‘Nilgiri toy train’ that connects Coonoor to Ooty. The train itself is a charming blue and cream with wooden coaches and large windows. This train averages at 10.4 km per hour and
is probably the slowest train in India. It leaves Coonoor at 7.45 a.m. crossing Wellington, Aruvakadu, Ketti, and Lovedale, it reaches Ooty by about 9 am. The fare is Rs. 4 for adults in second class and Rs. 76 for adults in first class.

Coonoor Ooty Toy Train

There are many tunnels along the way and the deafening whistle of the train as it goes through the tunnels has a charm of it’s own. If you enjoy taking pictures, keep your camera ready for a few memorable shots of the valley, plains and the picturesque landscape.

Must Buy – Ooty’s famous chocolates. Do pick up some fudge & chocolate from King Star Confectioners. It is a tiny shop at 33 Commercial Rd, Ooty, next to HP Gas. Well known for its home made chocolates of every conceivable description. You just can’t leave Ooty without trying some chocolates from King Star !

Must TryShinkows Opp. the Nilgiri Library, Ph: +91-423-2442811, for Chinese. Like they say, In the hills, things never change, Shinkows was recommended by my parents who were in wellington 25 yrs ago, and is still going strong.