IF you had just two days to spend in Delhi and just a couple of hours to shop – Traditional, Indian, Artistic, Authentic and mostly Handmade, visit Dilli Haat. One stop shop for souvenir shopping from India.
Breezy summer evenings and sunny winter days were made for strolling around the beautiful things India has to offer. A joint collaboration between the New Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Department, the basic idea of setting up this crafts bazaar was to promote the Indian handicrafts industry and Indian cuisine. There are now two Dilli Haat in Delhi. the original one at INA, Aurbindo Marg and the relatively new one at Pitam Pura near the TV tower.
Most handicraft bazaars are filled with Kashmiri and Gujrati handicrafts, but in between those Dilli haat offers a taste of Assama & Naga hand-loom, Bihar Silk, Odissa lamps, silver jewelery, ceramic pottery, Punjabi phulkari and I can go on and on.
Originally, you could see the artists in action on their current project, it was intended to promote artisans and give them an outlet to sell their handcrafted things. Now, I mostly see traders and some people are almost permanent there.
My tip – Shop for the unusual & Bargain Bargain Bargain !!
Almost everyone loves to get a great bargain. The thrill of getting a great deal on a purchase is addictive. Here is how i do it. First, Think how much you would pay for something you like before asking the price. That’s your maximum. Now ask the price, quote 60% of it and see the reaction. Most of the time you will get your best price, especially if you go on the last day of the festival which is generally 15 or 30th of the month. As the artisans don’t want to pay the cartage to take things back.
And then sometime, I just pay more than they ask – to appreciate the artist, support the art or motivate them to come again.
There is a selection of food from many about 20 different states. In fact, there was a time I visited Dilli Haat for eating and not shopping. Yes, there was a time when I wasn’t interested in shopping!! The food is not as good as it used to be.The most popular eats are momos, fruit beer and the state specific thallis. The prices have increase from college day but INR 500 still gets you a couple things. My current favorite stalls are Maharashra & Sikkim.
Not only is this a great place to shop, its a great place to sell. If you have a collection you would like to showcase, get a stall here, its relatively inexpensive & 15 days gives you a good opportunity to connect with shoppers. more info here.
What I love about Dilli Haat is that it is clean, festive, strollers friendly and inspirational. And like someone said – it’s a one-stop-shop for one of the best representations of what’s out there as far as handicrafts goes! Plus it has a play area for kids at the back. Its walking distance from the INA metro station and it fits everyone’s budget. What more can one ask for !!
Here is the official info on How to get there? and Other stuff.