Delhi is undoubtedly the place to be in whenever a shopping sojourn in India comes to mind. The city has plenty of markets offering a diverse range of handicrafts and several other items from different parts of the country. However, the most amazing shopping experience awaits you at Dilli Haat – India’s renowned cultural hub. It is the biggest and most famous market in Delhi today. Set up as a joint venture by the Government of India’s Ministry of Tourism and Ministry of Textiles, and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation in March 1994, the Dilli Haat resembles truly 100 percent traditional weekly village market, popularly called a “Haat”. Apart from selling handicrafts and regional delicacies, this hugely popular market has become a prominent venue for showcasing dance, music, crafts and different cultural festivals of India.
The diversity at Dilli Haat is simply going to leave you completely spellbound. It seems as though you are getting a glimpse of a small ethnic, rural India amidst the urban glitz of a greater India that lies in the capital city of the country. The real India is seldom showcased at one place. And, Dilli Haat is among few places where India’s cultural diversity is appropriately and splendidly portrayed on one single platform.
Locations of Dilli Haat
Dilli Haat is presently located in three places in Delhi. The original Dilli Haat was founded in 1994. It is spread in an area of 6 acres and is situated opposite South Delhi’s INA Metro Station. The second one has been established in 2008. It is situated at North Delhi’s Pitampura area near Netaji Subhash Place Metro Station. It is spread over 7.2 acre. The third and newest Dilli Haat has been established at West Delhi’s Janakpuri area on Lal Sain Mandir Marg. It is spread in an area of 9.8 acre and is presently the largest one in Delhi. It was founded in early July 2014.
Among these three haat, the most popular is the one situated opposite the INA Market. Easy accessibility and central location makes it the highly frequented place for the local Delhiites and foreign tourists. This disabled-friendly market was made completely accessible for wheel-chair bound shoppers in 2003.
The newly-opened Dilli Haat at Janakpuri is quite special unlike the other two. It was developed with a special theme of Music. Its major highlight is a music library offering access to the visitors to know about the history of Indian music with the help of books and records. A dedicated museum here showcases various kinds of old and new Indian musical instruments and many artifacts related to music. The live performances and special cultural events are its other special features. Here you will find an amphitheater with a seating capacity of 820 people, an AC auditorium with a capacity to host 800 people, and a large exposition hall.
Shopping at Dilli Haat
Dilli Haat offers a fascinating experience to shoppers whichever location they are visiting. It’s a one stop destination to buy several products such as antiques, handicrafts, fabrics, linen, jewelry, furniture, silk items, leather goods, carpets, rugs and European fashion items.
The haat situated opposite the INA Market consists of 62 stalls selling different handicraft items from different states and regions of the country. The stalls here are provided to craftsmen on a rotational basis. This provides opportunity to nearly all the craftsmen to display and sell their wares. The visitors here get a fantastic chance to buy some authentic things at highly affordable prices. The exhibition hall here holds various shows promoting handicrafts and handloom and showcasing the traditional Indian heritage in all its glory.
Vesting the Dilli Haat at Janakpuri is a different experience altogether. Here you will get opportunity to visit at least 100 craft stalls, 46 AC shops and 74 open platform shops, more than what you will find at the one situated opposite the INA Market. You will find a wide range of things sold here ranging from intricate Rosewood carvings to sandalwood and Kantha sari. Other items to be purchased here include gems and bead ornament, fabrics, handloom drapery and footwear made of camel hide. This is also one of the best places to see live demonstrations by artisans and potters.
The food court and food plaza at the various locations serve regional cuisines from different Indian states. There are 25 to 30 food stalls found here. The food plaza also offers itself as a prominent venue to host different food festivals on various occasions.
Dilli Haat is quite a lively, colorful and happening place. It has already been visited by several foreign dignitaries and celebrities, including Hillary Clinton and Lady Gaga. Do remember to visit any one of the three haats to get a complete and thrilling shopping experience.