Yasir’s Favorite Food Joint

“Lets start with the food joint, that your favorite Yasir Anwar”, and that’s where we are, the famous Jalebi Wala, Chandni Chowk!

#immersions #experiences #foodwalks #heritagewalks #fusion #oldelhi

A lesson to remember-Hauz Khas Complex

When you walk with friends, and have your teacher also listen to history, that even they are not aware of, its a lot of fun. A school picnic after our exams got over, and we had fun, chasing rabbits and deer, and then enjoying the history lessons, by the lakeside.

Build around an urbanised village, Hauz Khas Village is a place that’s a lot fun.. Its medieval history can be traced back to the 13th Century of the Delhi Sultanate reign. The Complex was a part of the second medieval city of India,of the Delhi Sultanate of Allaudin Khalji Dynasty.The Hauz Khas Tank is famous for its Royal Tank,which is well maintained in spite of encroachment . This royal tank wasn’t built for personal use,perhaps for the use of the inhabitants of Siri.

Several mosques,madrassas and tombs were constructed,overlooking the water tank. The madrassa,which I gazed at constantly,had an innovative structure built in L-shape. It was one of the leading institutions of Islamic learning in the Delhi Sultanate. It was also considered the largest and best-equipped Islamic seminary in the world.

As it is a dead fort,the architecture today stands worn out and hence not many of its buildings are recognizable. Today,what this fort gives to the tourists is still great. Its wide lawns are a perfect stop for us to run around. The ruins offer alleys and other secret passages for tourists to explore. For people who like to indulge in photography,the worn out walls offer an interesting subject.

The fort overlooks a wide pond,which is home to many birds and various kinds of flowers. Though the pond is unkempt,the beauty of nature cannot go unnoticed. The inlets to the reservoir were blocked and consequently,the lake had been lying dry for several years.

The lake has been revived and converted into a beautiful sight for onlookers. More recently,the Hauz Khas lake and the surrounding park were actively developed. The Indo-Islamic architecture done by Malik Ghazi Shahna between 1352 AD and 1354 AD is an inspiration to all those with an artistic support. The seven domes made with red sand stone and marble are now of a lot of importance to the heritage for the new generation. to which active visits are being made by joggers and students.

We all came back really recharged, and look forward to our class 7th syllabus, where we can talk about all that we have “seen”, and not just mugged up.



‘Bhai kya poochte ho. Kya likhoon. Dilli ki hasti munassar kai hangamon per thi. Qila, Chandni chawk, her roz majma Jama Masjid ka, her hafte sair jamna ke pul ki, her saal mela phool waalon ka. Ye paanchon baatein ab nahin, phir kaho Dehli kahan. Haan koi shehr is naam ka Hindustan mein kabhi tha.’ – Mirza Ghalib

These words of Ghalib describe the gems of Delhi that has perhaps lost their shine to the changing times. This article is a journey into the city that was. The loss of which is so keenly lamented by Mirza Ghalib.

Qila- The palace-fortress of Shahjahan, called the Qila-i Mubarak (auspicious fort, popularly known as laal qila) was an overpowering structure which took nine years to complete. According to the French traveler Bernier it was ‘the most magnificent palace in the east – perhaps in the world’. It is built on a larger and much comprehensive scale than any other of its kind. It was the residence of the emperor, and also the seat of the governmental as well as cultural activities, and contained a variety of buildings, thus forming a city within city.

Thousands of stone-cutters, masons, stone carvers, carpenters, gardener- designers, and others craftsmen worked on it. The craftsmanship was of such an order that, as Muhammad Salih remarks, ‘a sharp nail could not be pushed between the stones of the buildings’.

A large moat, 23 meters wide and 9 meters deep surrounded the fort. It was faced with rough stone, and filled with water. It served to further isolate and protect the imperial household. The palace fortress was separated from the city proper by three gardens namely Buland Bagh, Gulabi Bagh, and Anguri Bagh. None of these can be seen any more.

The fortress had four massive gateways: Lahori Gate facing Chandini Chowk was the principal entrance. Behind it was a massive vaulted hall which opened into a courtyard. Shops were constructed here and expansive luxury items were available. This was known as Chatta Chowk. The chowk connected to another hall, which was the naubat-khana or the nakkar khana, (drum room) here ceremonial music was played and it also served as the entrance to the Diwan-i-‘Am. Its upper storey is now occupied by the Indian War Memorial Museum. The next structure within the palace is the Diwan-i-Am,it was the hall of public audiences. At the back of the Hall is an alcove that housed the Royal throne which stood under a marble canopy.

Behind the diwan-i-am along the eastern wall of the palace-fortress were 6 structures. The rang mahal being the largest, Mumtaz Mahal, Khas Mahal, Deewan I Khas, the Baths and the Shah Burj Mumtaz Mahal was formerly the women’s quarters but now is an archaeological museum. The Rang Mahal, derived its name from the beautiful interior paintwork (no longer in existence) fortunately, the lotus-shaped marble carving on the central floor still remains. The Rang Mahal was the home of the emperor’s principal wife. Khas Mahal, used to be the emperor’s personal palace. Diwan-i- Khas (Hall of Private Audiences), where the emperor would conduct private discussions or meetings. Made of milky white marble, it was here that the famous solid-gold and gem-encrusted Peacock Throne (now gone) took pride of place.

Royal Baths, comprised of three spacious hammams (Turkish-style baths) with a central fountain. These baths originally sported sublime pietra dura (marble inlay work) floors and pretty colored glass roof panels. , a rather simple octagonal tower, it served as Emperor Shah Jahan’s personal study and library.

On the eastern wall of the fort on the riverfront a delicately carved structure (jharokha) was devised where the emperor showed himself every day in the early morning to the people who gathered there in large numbers.

The Qila-i-Mubarak was a city within the city. it had bazaars, offices, living quarters, huge gardens etc. it was a grand sprawling structure.Tis walled world of marble buildings was the site of the decline and fall of the Mughals. The fort was looted by Nadir Shah, the king of Persia; and vandalized by the British, who ended the Mughal dynasty. After retaking Delhi following the 1857 rebellion, the British razed most structures in the Red Fort. Like the rest of Delhi, much of the palace’s glory was lost till it was regained by the construction carried out by the British who conquered it but could not destroy it.

Agrasen ki what!?

Are you a vagrant? Do you have itchy feet? Is discovering your hobby?

This time, we bring to you the uncharted lands of Agrasen ki Baoli, the marvelous edifice protected by Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act of 1958. Featured in Aamir Khan’s PK, this monument is not just known for its architectural finesse but also popular for notorious activities in the night. Spooky, isn’t it?

What exactly is Agrasen ki Baoli?

It is a structure built to store water mainly to cope with seasonal fluctuations in water availability. It is a 60-meter long and 15-meter wide historical step well on Hailey Road, near Connaught Place, Jantar Mantar in New Delhi. While there are no concrete evidence to prove who built this well, it’s believed that it was built by the legendary king Agrasen during the Mahabharata epic era. It was rebuilt in the 14th century by the Agrawal community which traces its origin to Maharaja Agrasen.

It has 103 steps with a series of sliced chambers and passages. It has a distinctive structure which consists of three levels. Each of the levels is lined with arched niches on both the sides.

Is Agrasen ki Baoli actually haunted?

Well, yes. . Home to thousands of bats and pigeons, this place has a spooky aura associated to it. People visiting this step well claim they have heard creepy voices and strange presence in the enclosure down the steps. Stories suggest this stepped well was once filled with black water that enticed people to jump into it and commit suicide. It is also believed that the place casts an evil spell on visitors who stay there post sunset

One of the places surely to give you goosebumps. Experience it, to know it!

New Girl in the City

There are times I wonder… Why does my mind always long to travel…???

Travel to new unexplored places..

Travel to crazy shopping trips..

Travel to make the unknown known..

Travel to meet someone I haven’t seen for long..

Travel for adventures..

Travel to indulge in the local experiences..

Travel to do the unexpected and unplanned things

Travel to feel alive…

Still I never thought that this place which would be my new home for few days would give me this adrenaline rush in such a short duration. I came to Delhi for my MBA and this walk made me fall in love with the concept of it. It was the first week in a new place and my friend took me for walking tour in Rahagiri at Cannaught Place and I could experience all these things in just these 2 hours.

This tour made me a fan of walking tours and made me realize why such customized tours are gaining importance.

India has always been famous for such tours but the difference was they were pilgrimages be it Rameswaram or too far off Kashi and Pariah.

A walking tour affords a splendid opportunity to come in contact with a variety of people and converse with them and thus understand the widely differing nature of men’s thoughts, realize their shortcomings and help to evolve a feeling of fellowship. The large number of places visited on the way would open our eyes to the fact that this world is quite a large one and could give us chances of studying the customs and habits of the inhabitants. Apart from these, such tours afford ample scope for closely observing nature in its different settings and help us to appreciate its beauty. Thrills of Walking Tours are many.

So indulge in this amazing experience, try to find yourselves as its rightly said if you face in right direction all you have to do is keep walking.

The begums, the maids and the concubines and the roles they played

It was an interesting date with the Capital city. The Red Fort, which now appears dry and deserted, was once the seat of power from where the mighty Mughals ruled all of Hindustan. Being assured of their might, the Mughals indulged in a life of luxury and devised an institution called “Harem” (Seraglio) – an institution built by Akbar the great, rattled by Jehangir, disciplined by Shahjahan, simplified by Aurangzeb and corrupted by the later Mughals.

Our walk leader, gave us some well researched facts about the Mughal dynasty. We Discovered how every Mughal emperor began his morning in the Harem and when attending to the duties of the empire, made sure that he leaves the ladies of the Harem under a “Z-level” security system of guards and spies

Perfect way of storytelling with facts, and animations that helped us visualize the luxurious interiors of the Harem where ladies were not allowed to walk on the bare floor and the fashionable dresses the women of the Harem devised and which are still in use today.

The roles that the women have been playing in shaping the politics, discussed with a lot of ease. Being my third visit to the Red Fort, I truly wanted an experience, that was away from the guided walks. The difference between the women at the Harem, and the Traditional tawaifs, were some of our interesting debating points. Walking with like minded people, educationists and beaurecrats, one gets to learn a lot from the fellow travellers. A lovely day spent, discovering the secret lives

Aao sunaye tum ek kahaani

We have grown up on stories narrated to us by our grandparents, parents and other elders in the family.

They were the good old days when we would lie beside our, daadis or naanis, as they took us on fantasy journeys with their tales — the wit of Birbal, the righteousness of the Pandavas, the stories of the Panchtantra, of Vikram and Betaal et al. Those were the stories that helped us learn some important lessons of our lives. They taught us about the good and bad and also had a hand in making us the people we are as grown ups. However, now, with technology invading our lives like never before, nuclear families and working parents overpowering the social set up, the art of story-telling has become rare.

A big advantage of storytelling is that listening to stories enhances a child’s vocabulary, feel some parents. Studies have proved that infancy is the period when children absorb most of the words that they later use in their lives. So, telling stories even to infants should be an important part of a parent’s schedule. When they grow up, storytelling encourages and enhances the listening skills of children.

Usually, children like to talk more rather than listen and this behavior is evident especially in classrooms — they are not usually good listeners. But when a habit of listening to stories is inculcated in them, they learn to become better listeners. It provides them the necessary training to absorb and understand more, instead of talking. The art of story telling has suffered a hit after the visual effect provided by technology has found takers. It has, to a certain extent, become a bane for the art of story-telling.

The good thing though is that the schools are taking notice of this dying tradition, and starting to include similar sessions for their students. So till the time someone is taking care, and being vigilant, the tradition still stands tall.



Day trip to the Qutab Minar

During my week stay in Delhi, I got the opportunity to visit the highest building of India, Qutub Minar as it is one of the most prestigious monuments of the Indian heritage.
I had a day off on Sunday, and I hopped on the metro, yellow line from my hotel in CP. An easy ride, with the metro being nearly empty on Sundays, I took about 25 minutes to get there. Looked a few online options, on how to see Delhi, immersing yourself in the culture, I came across this website, that organized experiential walks in the city.

The walking group was already there when I got to the ticket counter, I made a few introductions, and we were set to go. To my surprise, the walk leader was very knowledgeable. He gave me various facts about this colossal monument, he told me that Qutub Minar is the tallest monumental structure in Delhi as well in India. Precise history of this fascinating edifice and told me that the structure was started by Qutub-ud- din Aibak in 1119 but was completed by his successor Ilttumish.

Beside this, the complex also have some more beautiful Mughal architectures- the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid that mark Qutub-ud-din victory over Rai Pithora, Qutub-ud-Din Aibak built the Quwwat-ul-Islam Masjid of 1192. The walking tour, gave me a good experience of the area.

The other thing that strikes me most was the Iron Pillar. There were inscription written on the pillar in Sanskrit and Indian Language, dating back to 4th century. At the end of the day I could only say that I thoroughly enjoyed my day trip to Qutub Minar as there was no better place then this to spend a holiday.

 Well, I must say, its really important to walk with someone who wants to show you around the city, as a friend, and not as someone who does it for a profession! Immerse yourself in the culture!

Top 15 Things to do in Delhi


Delhi, India, is a giant city that contains an overwhelming amount of history, culture, life, food, temples, and everything else you could possibly imagine.

Not everything is a easy to accomplish in India, and that goes for Delhi too.Things don’t always turn out how you want them to, and there will always arise some frustrations when touring around.

That being said, the culture, history and food in Delhi is incredible! Always be positive, and immerse yourself in the Delhi Madness.

1.The Lotus Temple (Bahá’í House of Worship)

Among the numerous recognizable landmarks which are scattered all around Delhi is the remarkable Lotus Temple. Designed in the shape of a sacred lotus flower, there are 27 flower petals which are constructed of marble and make up the structure.

Though it’s dedicated to the Bahá’í faith, it’s a religious worshipping grounds for people of all religions (as such is the philosophy of the Bahá’í faith). As you approach the temple, you’ll walk through some nicely manicured gardens and then have an opportunity to place your shoes in the free and secure shoe deposit room. You’ll then be given a 2 minute briefing by a volunteer, mainly about turning off your cell phone and keeping silent, and then you’ll be free to enter the sanctuary and sit in pure silence for as long as you’d like.

2.Jama Masjid

It was the during the Islamic Mughal empire when many of Delhi’s famous ancient sites were constructed. In the heart of Old Delhi, located right at Chawri Bazar and very close to Chandni Chowk is the largest Islamic mosque in the city, Jama Masjid. It’s a huge structure, built in the 17th century, and includes multiple entrances that all lead to the main worship deck. The mosque has two towering minarets and a few onion shaped domes. The giant expanse on the upper floor has a capacity to hold 25,000 people. There are some great restaurants like Karim’s and others within the vicinity.

3. Akshardham Temple

This modern Hindu temple complex, which was built in 2005, is one of the things to do in Delhi that you don’t want to leave out seeing. Akshardham, with its elaborate architecture, construction, and its ridiculous amount of perfect detail and decoration will blow your mind.

They don’t allow anything inside the temple complex, but they do have a very secure (and free) place to store all your belongings – you’ll have to deposit your camera, phone, and everything, but they’re safe and their system is very organized.

The interior of the temple is really pretty. What you’ll see will make your jaw drop. The amount of labor and craftsmanship that went into building Akshardham is unimaginable. Photography isnt allowed, though.

4.Hauz Khas Complex

The historical complex of Hauz Khas (originally known as Hauz-e-Alai) is an ancient community of ruins which includes a mosque, various tombs, and the previously important water tank.

Built in the early 1300’s, the water tank was designed to store rainwater to be used when needed in the dry season.  Delhi just has so many ancient Mughal buildings of history that there are many that are just public and not fully preserved, but are just part of the daily lives of residents – such is the case when it comes to Hauz Khas.

5.Lodi Gardens

The Lodi Gardens is a public park that’s scattered with ancient Mughal tombs and structures. Kids run around, people enjoy picnics, and artists become inspired by walking and sitting in these gardens. The park is large, and it’s easy to walk around for a few hours indulging in a breath of fresh air and exploring the 500 year old tombs.

6.India Gate

The well respected India Gate is a 42 meter tall monument that was built in 1931 to honor Indian soldiers as a war memorial. A flame that’s continually lit and honors soldiers that have given their lives for their country, is positioned under the gate.

Since the India Gate attracts quite a number of tourists, both locals and foreigners, there are also quite a few beggars and overly pushy sellers that hang around.

7.Qutub Minar

Along with a bunch of crumblings structures is the incredible 72.5 meter minaret that sort of looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa. The minaret is the tallest in all of India, and it was originally built nearly 1,000 years ago.

Constructed from red sandstone, there are detailed carvings and inscriptions throughout the tower. Though you can’t go inside, it’s really awe-inspiring to see from a distance and up close. Qutub Minar is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a proud icon of Delhi, India.

8. Humayun’s Tomb

Persian designed, the tomb was built in the mid 1500’s to house the Islamic Mughal emperor known as Humayun. Along with Humayun, there are quite a few other Mughal rulers whose graves are also within the building.

Walk around the surrounding gardens and then proceed to climb a flight of stairs to the main deck. Then you can walk around the inside of the building and see the many marble tombstones. Also, located at the entrance of the attraction is a small museum showcasing some old photographs including explanations of the tomb and its history. A startling fact about the monument, that most people arent aware of, is that it was built by a woman!

9.Tomb of Safdarjung

Originally constructed in 1754, the tomb was built for Safdarjung, a prominent leader under Muhammad Shah, the more powerful Mughal emperor. The tomb’s construction is very similar to Hamayun’s tomb, and it’s surrounded by Mughal gardens.

Not very popular with the tourists, but that also gives you a chance to enjoy the solitude, that you wont get in Delhi otherwise.

10.Red Fort

The Red Fort in Delhi, known as Lal Qila, is a red sandstone Mughal fortress of walls that surrounds an entire ancient city. Once you get inside the gate, you’ll be able to freely walk around and view some of the main structures, halls, and mosques. Along with being a place to learn and see the history of Delhi, it’s also just a quiet place to get away from the crowds and noise outside the walls.

11.National Museum of New Delhi

You’ll find an impressive quantity of over 200,000 individual pieces of art! It is the premier art gallery under Ministry of Culture, Government of India. The main museum at Jaipur House in New Delhi was established on March 29, 1954 by the Government of India, with subsequent branches at Mumbai and Bangalore.The pieces of art include works by artists such as Thomas Daniell, Raja Ravi Verma, Abanindranath Tagore, Rabindranath Tagore, Gaganendranath Tagore, Nandalal Bose, Jamini Roy, Amrita Sher-Gil as well as foreign artists, apart from sculptures by various artists. Some of the oldest works preserved here date back to 1857.

12.Chandni Chowk & Chawri Bazar

A dense chaotic center of trade, business, food, spices, and overall life. You’ll find some of the most interesting people and businesses in all of Delhi in this compact district. You can walk through the narrow ancient lanes, stop in at the inviting Sikh temple, and visit both the Jama Masjid and Red Fort which are both in the area. Shop, eat, explore and immersse yourself in the era that went by!

Don’t miss the Paranthe Wali Gali or a chaat from Natraj!

13.Connaught Place – Rajiv Chowk (& Palika Bazar)

While Delhi doesn’t exactly have a single downtown business district, if you did choose one area to label as that, it would probably be Connaught Place. Within the series of roundabouts which makes up the central framework of “CP,” are countless stores, delicious restaurants, and a dark underground shopping plaza known as Palika Bazar. Explore the libraries, cafes, eateries, both Indian and International fame, and shop for all the knick-knacks at the Janpath. A colorful riot of emotions, options and ethnicity!

14.Paharganj (Main Bazar)

Located next to the New Delhi Railroad Station, Paharganj is a district in Delhi that is known for its crowded streets, shopping, and now its the budget backpacker center of Delhi. If you’re looking for where to stay in Delhi where you’ll have easy access to transportation and lots of action, head to Paharganj. Shoppers paradise, be prepared to haggle and bargain hard.

The area is yet another interesting area of Delhi to explore and includes a host of businesses and restaurants. Explore the  chole bhature at a small restaurant known as Sita Ram Diwan Chand.

15. Local Transport

What is Delhi without its lifelines – autos and rickshaws, and most recently, the Metro. To get an authentic taste of the life of a Dilliwala, a trip on its local means of transports is essential. Take the auto ride, haggle with the driver, rub shoulders with the fellow travelers on the Delhi metro, and enjoy the Hop on, Hop off bus, while enjoying the Delhi heritage sites. Delhi’s local means of transport will be an experience in themselves, irrespective of what your destination is.