Having lived in Delhi for my 20 years of life, I had just one complaint with the city – that of not having a water body where you could sit and enjoy the serene depth of the blue. Lately I was lucky to have visited the Hauz Khas ruins with a couple of friends and I’d say it’s a dream come true! A perfect blend of old and new, urban and rural: that is the Hauz Khas Village for you in a nutshell! While the Madrassa overlooking the reservoir built by Alaudin Khilji is the main attraction, one cannot miss the Deer Park and the small stone monuments along the narrow lanes. The old style buildings co-exist with the new posh houses.
As you walk through the urban village, you keep bumping into Art Galleries, Boutiques, Art Shops and Restaurants housed in those same old structures! You are only getting tired when you reach the travelers’ café: “Kunzum” café! A cozy little space for budding artists, musicians, writers, computer geeks and college students who are often low on cash, Kunzum Café is just the place for you to sit back, relax and enjoy the view to the artificial reservoir! Now this is the only place which doesn’t cost you anything in this city! The Kumzum serves various varieties of tea which you can choose from in the small open kitchen at the corner and they serve you with delicious biscuits that I wish I knew the name of! The best part about them – they don’t ask you for money! You can drop in whatever amount you think this place deserves and trust me you’d want to empty your pockets there!
Apart from Kumzum Café, one can also try out “Yeti – The Himalayan Kitchen”and “Naivedyam”. While the former serves a combination of Tibetan, Nepali and Bhutanese cuisines, the latter serves authentic South Indian cuisine. A meal for two at Yeti costs approximately Rs. 1000/- while the same costs approximately Rs. 400/- at Naivedyam. I went to these two places on different occasions and ordered Pork with Bamboo shoot (Rs. 300/-), Chicken Thukpa (Rs. 300/-) and “Macha Ko Ledo” (Fish curry, Rs. 350/-) and I remember the sound of pleasure my stomach made with each bite of the tasty dishes! At Naivedyam, one could try just about anything while I’d really suggest “Naivedyam Maharaja Thali” because the name sounds too cool to resist! In both these places, the waiters are dressed up in the attire of the parts of the country these places represent. Both have a calm environment, just the kind you would want with family or a group of close friends.
Final word on the Hauz Khas ruins – go there for what it is, what it was and what it has the potential to be! It was a village that no one really cared for a while back. It is a place replete with historical significance, great food, buzzing fashion market and a perfect blend of the old and new. And it has the potential to be the most sought after tourist place in the entire city!
Contributed by Akanksha Mittal