The unexplored treasures of Delhi
“Apparently, the city of Delhi is a ‘character’ in my novels. I would argue that it's a ... city… in my novels.”
- Karan Mahajan
Mr.Karan has beautifully put in words the marvelous city of Delhi. It’s like a dream, a beautiful fantasy. From spiritual to historical to political it serves each and every purpose. Not to forget about the mesmerizing monuments that hold you captive for a moment. Not to forget about the scrumptious food that gets everyone drooling. Red Fort, India Gate, Humayun’s Tomb, Raj Ghat, Jama Masjid, Qutub Minar have already garnered millions of visitors from all over the world. But, Delhi is so much more than these famous monuments. It has hidden gems stored for all of us that are waiting to be explored.
We all know due to this unforeseen pandemic it won’t be safe for us to travel to different states but for all the Delhitiies it will serve as a perfect opportunity to discover and visit the hidden gems that the capital has stored for us. Also due to the pandemic, you can explore all these places without a rush and hotchpotch. So, let us have a look at all the treasures and jewels that have skipped our eyes, and that deserves more of our attention.
1. Nili Masjid
We all have been to Hauz Khas, it is famous for its club and well-known fort but we have surprisingly missed this marvel. Nili Masjid or the Blue Mosque is a beautiful Lodi era mosque located near the Hauz Khas market. It is said that the mosque was built by Kausambi, a royal nurse of her time under the reign of Sikander Lodi. It is protected by The Archaeological Survey of India. It is still a live mosque and you will be able to see the blue stone decoration on the mosque due to which it got its name. The cravings on the arch and the walls are just amazing and will make you awestruck with its lively and striking architecture.
2. Malcha Mahal
Also known as Wilayat Mahal, it is a baguette located in the Chanakyapuri area of Delhi. It used to serve as a hunting lodge back in the 1920s in the Tughlak era. It was built by the famous sultanate of Delhi, Feroz Shah Tughlaq. It was later occupied by the self-proclaimed royal family of Oudh and remained out of bounds for the public gaze. But, after the death of Prince Ali Raza, the last resident of the palace in 2017 it was open for public. It is also considered one of the most haunted places in Delhi and has also attracted many ghostbusters. The palace will soon be taken over by The Archaeological Survey of India and will become more pretty and charming.
3. Majnu Ka Tilla
Popularly known as MKT among the GenZ, it is a stunning place that most of the Delhiites do not know about. The place is historically and politically important too. It is believed that an Iranian Sufi nicknamed as Majnu met the Sikh Guru Devji at this place in the year 1505. Also, when you will visit the place you will be surprised to see that it is inspired by the Tibetan culture. It is due to the fact that during the 1959 Tibetan uprising, most of the residents came here and set up a refugee camp. Today, the place is loaded with quirky cafes that serve delectable and mouthwatering food. You will also find shops that offer trendy fashion at an affordable price. Not to forget about the ‘laphing’ that is served over here and trust us it is the best laphing in the city. You will also find a Buddhist temple in the center of the place. It will make you feel like a mini- Tibet. To know more insights about this place you can have a look at this blog.
4. Champa Gali
Heard about the enormous malls of Saket and its superb architecture? Of course, you must have heard about it but ever heard of this charming place names as Champa Gali. Well, you are missing out on a lot many things if you haven’t visited this charming and appealing place. It is an ideal place for all the art, food, and shopping lovers. It is a gem that everyone needs to explore. If you are a coffee or tea lover, then you should wait to check out this place. The walls are decorated with graffiti and you may find many photographers capturing the beauty of the place. The ambiance is so serene and scenic that it forces you to spend more time at this place. Moreover, many events related to culture, poetry, and literature happen here so make sure you plan a visit accordingly.
Pro Tip: If you are a chai lover (tea) do not miss having the tea at Jug-Mug Thela.
Have a look at this blog to know about more such amazing cafes and shops at Champa Gali.
5. Bhardwaj Lake
A lake in Delhi? Yes, we have a very beautiful lake situated in Delhi that is not known to most of the people. Bhardwaj Lake is one of the finest lakes located inside the Asola Bhatti Wildlife Sanctuary on the Southern Delhi Ridge. The lake was formed because of the excessive mining of sandstone, lime, and Badarpur sand in the area. The lake is named after the mining contractor due to which the lake was formed. The lake is spread over 8 km of area. You may also find lots of butterflies and rabbits surrounding this lake. The lake is a treat to all the nature lovers. Also, the place is perfect for a photoshoot too, each and every corner of this place has something unique to offer. Spending a day at the edge of the lake is relaxing and takes away all your tension and worries.
6. Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts(IGNCA)
IGNCA is a government-funded organization that aims to promote Indian art, culture, religion, and language. It is a paradise for all the art lovers and preservers. It is located near the Central Secretariat area of New Delhi. It was established in 1985 in memory of Smt. Indira Gandhi. Some of the main goals of the organization are to serve as a major resource center for Indian arts, especially written, oral and visual source material and to conduct research on the arts and humanities, and to publish reference works, glossaries, dictionaries, and encyclopedias. The organization also organizes various conferences, exhibitions, public lectures, and cultural performances that are a treat for the eyes. It is a must-visit place for everyone.
7. Tughlaqabad Fort
It is one of the forts that many Delhiites have forgotten about. It is a ruined fort that showcases the marvelous architectural style of the Tughlaq dynasty that reigned in Delhi for almost a hundred years. The fort is symbolic of the pride and defense capability of Delhi. Many myths also surround this fort. It is said that a saint cursed Tughlaqabad to punish the arrogant ruler Ghiyasuddin. The curse was: “May this fort be inhabited by herdsmen or remain unoccupied.” The fort was completed in 4 years but it was never fully populated, and 15 years later, it was abandoned. We guarantee when you will visit the fort, you will be lured with its beauty. Also, do not miss a chance to experience the sunset from this fort as it looks extremely delightful.
8. Jahaz Mahal
Another wonder that has been skipped from our eyes is the Jahaz Mahal (Ship Palace). It is located in Mehrauli and is 5 mins from the Qutub complex. It is called a ship palace because its reflection (illusion) in the surrounding reservoir looked like a ship floating on a lake. It was built in the Lodi dynasty and served as an inn to the travelers of that time. It provided accommodation to the travelers from Afghanistan, Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, and Turkey who came to Delhi to visit the many Muslim shrines. Every October the festival of the Phool Walon Ki Sair i.e. a procession of florist is carried out with great pomp and show. Also, performers from different states of India perform dances, drama programs, and hold qawwalis. If you want to know more about this historical place then check out this blog.
9. Okhla Bird Sanctuary
Also knows as Shaheed Chander Shekhar Azad Sanctuary, it is a treat for all the nature lovers in the city. It is located near Noida on the Delhi-Uttar Pradesh state border. It is a place that will take you away from the hustle-bustle of the city and make you come closer to nature. More than 300 species of birds visit this sanctuary. You will also find lots of water birds at this place. An artificial lake is also created inside the sanctuary that adds to the beauty of the place. Not just birds you will also find mongoose swamp deers and rabbits too. Furthermore, the sanctuary has various kinds of trees, herbs and shrubs spread all across the sanctuary giving it its beautiful green cover. All the bird lovers should definitely visit this place as it also has critically endangered and vulnerable species. To know more about this wonderful sanctuary have a look at this blog.
These are some of the gems that Delhi city has stored for us and now it is the perfect time to explore these treasures and get mesmerized by their beauty and charm.