There’s tons of stuff available when you search for the best places to visit in Delhi or even the top-rated hotels near famous places in Delhi. That is what guides and helpful online forums will anyway tell you. Yet, what you probably don’t know is that New Delhi, our Capital, has some of the most enchantingly hidden or secret places that most people have never heard of! Their beauty lies in this seemingly nondescript existence and their charms lie waiting for discerning travellers who ultimately pay their visits.
These are some of the most secret places in Delhi that many bonafide Delhi-wallahs will also be faintly/vaguely aware of (read: Yeah, must have read it somewhere) although there are many who have experienced the sheer magic that they bring to the city and its tourist circuit.
Without further ado, let us then plunge into the list of 7 hidden places in Delhi that you should certainly consider exploring on your visit.
Traverse right back in time, away from more well-known World Heritage sites and monuments/mausoleums in Delhi, to this beautifully crafted sandstone mosque in red. Architecture lovers will certainly trip on the amazingly embellished arches, the blue and red designs for the tomb and the Koran verses inscribed lovingly on the walls. Wonder of wonders, it is situated right adjacent to the Qutub Minar within the Mehrauli Archaeological Complex. This ancient marvel houses the tombs of Shaikh Jamali, a Sufi saint and Kamali, his trusted aide. Bet you didn’t know that did you?
We’ve often quoted a Ghalib verse or two in our happiest moments and what better way to honour the great Mughal poet than to check out his own Haveli. Right in the heart of Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk, stands the once-grand 150-year old Mirza Ghalib Haveli which is now a museum. Make your way through the narrow lanes teeming with life into this majestic wonder which will get you up close and personal with Ghalib’s paintings, famous works, statues, photographs, quotes and a lot more. Document your odyssey in this fascinating museum. Tehzeeb Tales anyone?
A little better-known of the hidden landmarks of Delhi, Agrasen Ki Baoli still retains much of the mystique and aura that has enveloped it for decades. Take a break from shopping at Connaught Place and make your way into this famous step-well which goes all the way back to the 14th century. A former resting place for journeymen, the hidden marvel is a favourite haunt for artists, photographers, poets and even a lover or two! Walk down the steps and feel history peeking at you from every corner. Enjoy the sheer solitude that so lovingly embraces you like the setting Delhi sun in winters.
Ever visited Tibet? If you haven’t, Majnu Ka Tilla is where you need to be! Relish Tibetan culture with gusto at this pristine Tibetan Colony. Established as a refugee camp initially in the 1959-60 period for Tibetans, Majnu Ki Tilla interestingly owes its name to Majnu, a locally revered Saint. It is also called Little Tibet now, something you may have heard. Once here, you’ll possibly go berserk, shopping for Tibetan handicrafts, accessories, trinkets, lip-smacking food (innumerable Tibetan restaurants and cafes dot the place) and much more. While you take a break from your shop-a-thon with steaming momos, Little Tibet will engulf you in a heady cocktail of culture, art and warmth.
A trip to a haunted forest is straight out of a Halloween special! Fret not! This isn’t as foreboding as it seems! Sanjay Van is one of the biggest untouched forest areas in the Capital and is a treat for bird watchers and those who simply love their solitude amidst nature. Go bird spotting, walk amidst the lovely trails and take a moment to enjoy the tranquility in the woods. Covering 10 square kilometres, this modern day oasis is home to several tombs of Sufi saints of yore. Some believe that it is haunted as well. However, there’s no reason to spook out! Simply get a few pals along and explore during daytime.
Yes we get it- New Delhi is a lot about glitzy and swanky malls selling everything under the sun. Then there are major shopping complexes near top Delhi hotels as well. However, for a real taste of the city’s reputation as a shopper’s paradise, this is the best haunt by all means! Situated at the prime Chanakyapuri area, this lovely shopping complex comes with souvenir shops, Sancha, the famous boutique tea place, cafes, high-end retail stores and the works! Set amidst a lovely backdrop of natural greenery and impeccably manicured lawns, this is where you’ll find enticing accessories, home décor items, clothing and a lot more.
If aesthetically and painstakingly crafted pottery work rocks your boat, head out to Kumhar Gram in Uttam Nagar. This unique potter’s colony accommodates 700+ potter families who have dutifully transferred their pottery-making legacies across generations. Many of these expert potters have won National Awards and other laurels with their earthenware and clay products finding takers not just in India but also worldwide. Have a ball watching these dedicated craftsmen in action, etching intricate patterns and designs and creating a mélange of items on the iconic potter’s wheel. You can also shop for flower pots, clay utensils, ceramic items, figurines and a lot more at really attractive prices.
These 7 places in Delhi will give you glimpses into whole new worlds that exist without most people traversing into the same. However, that is probably what has lent them their untouched beauty and charm over the years. Here’s to more hidden wonders and sparkling memories ahead!
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