Dilli Haat is an open-air market with 62 stalls that features both permanent and transitional vendors, allowing original items to be introduced regularly. The space, designed to resemble a traditional village market, was created to showcase products from across India. There is an application process to determine the temporary vendors who generally stay for 15 days. Items include textiles, crafts, clothing, shoes, beads, gems, and art, as well as a food court with specialty items from across the country. The small entrance fee and gated exterior keep unwanted panhandlers at bay, allowing for a leisurely shopping experience. Though prices are reasonable, bargaining is still encouraged. Dilli Haat is a favorite jaunt for locals and tourists, adding to the diversity of the experience.
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Fruit Beer at Dilli Haat
Dilli Haat is an open-air market with over 60 stalls and features both permanent and transitional vendors. It also showcases regional cuisine of India. Each state has a food and beverage booth, and the Nagaland stall offers a refreshing fruit beer. Lightly carbonated, it is popularly paired with momos (dumplings).
Yes, Dilli Haat caters to tourists-- but locals go there too. It's a permanent space set up by Delhi Tourism that has rotating and permanent vendors from many different parts of India. That said, anytime we're looking for some souvenirs or trinkets, we head immediately to Dilli Haat.
My advice would be to take a quick look around before you really get down to bargaining-- items can be marked up in the front and you might find a better deal once you've "been around the block" a few times.
So save yourself the "authentic shopping experience" and go to where locals go to buy their gifts.
Dilli Haat is a little shopping villa where you can find a little bit of everything...
Start strolling down the walk paths and admire all the hand-crafted wonders that local manufacturers/sellers have in display for you: from jewelry to sarees and pashminas, from a simple keychain to a beautiful kurta, you will find it here.
Keep walking and you will find the food area, organized by region so you can easily find the type you want to try: Punjab, Gujarati... it's all there! Needless to say, it is all local fare... nothing pretentious... but oh so full of flavor that you will have trouble coming out of the trance that is induced after your first bite.
Don't leave without witnessing the amazing skills of the henna drawers... the ladies that master this art can be found throughout the Haat. They'll have a book of designs for you browse and select your piece of art. Go ahead, you won't regret it!
The show starts when the artist, unaware, performs a live show drawing on your hands. It is art meant to adorn the female body during special ceremonies, to enhance the hands and arms. Each drawing has its own message, hidden to the untrained eye... it is mysterious, feminine and sensual in its own way.
Beautiful, intricate, millenarian .. a testimony of India itself!