Photo by Graham Crouch
New Dehli is a growing city that is finding the new within the old, creating a new buzz to outshine Mumbai.
No longer a supporting actor to Mumbai, New Delhi is abuzz with new buildings, new energy, and new money. Well-heeled locals frequent art galleries and restaurants while iconic Ambassador taxis jostle with motorized rickshaws on the broad boulevards—and monkeys cavort on the sidewalks. This is clearly a city pushing beyond its old limits. Get here soon to experience the capital’s comeback.
The narrow alleys of Hauz Khas Village are ripe with modern goods. Young designer Gautam Sinha sells gorgeous leather bags and luggage (shown) at Nappa Dori. The über-hip hang out at Ultrastore, a furniture shop that stocks cheeky housewares. Yodakin is the spot for alternative books and music.
In the funky Hauz Khas Village, try South Indian specialties at Gunpowder, a restaurant where the view of the reservoir is as pleasing as the pork curry.
Live crabs from Chennai? Fresh turmeric, bamboo shoot, bitter gourd? The Indian National Army Market, or INA, carries nearly every spice, meat, fruit, vegetable, and grain on the planet. Here are a few ingredients to stash in your suitcase.
Kokum: This dark fruit is slightly astringent. Use it to elevate the complexity of coconut curries.
Patthar Ke Phool: The black stone flower, a fluffy, aromatic lichen, is used in Chettinad cuisine.
Asafetida: The onion-garlic flavor of this stinky powdered gum sticks with you. Be sure to pack it in an airtight container! (Shown.)
The quietly elegant Aman New Delhi is tucked away on six serene acres. Decorated with muted colors, intricate jaali screens, and creamy stone walls and floors, the hotel exudes calm and well-being. The luxury here is endless space and silence—a reprieve from the bustle of the city.
>> Next: The AFAR Guide to New Delhi
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