Delhi Haat – Chaupal at the Town Square

Delhi Haat or “Dilli Haat” as it is popularly called, is an interesting amalgamation of a set of people coming together to buy and sell fabrics, crafts, art, food, and small things that are cute and interesting.   There are 3 of them in Delhi but I have visited only the one near INA and as far as I have gathered from my friends and colleagues who have visited the other locations (Pitampura and Janak Puri), this one is the best.

The concept is taken from the traditional form of village haats (market) that was assembled once a week at a village site.  Here the change is that the market is a constant while the vendors keep changing every fortnight.  The authorities have put up a notice at the entrance that every 1st and 16th of the month is the time when this change takes place and therefore the stalls look deserted while the vendors are moving out and new vendors coming in  and placing their wares.  So, everytime we go to Delhi Haat, we find different things and different vendors.   There are small artisans and craftsmen from different states and different art faculties showcasing their wares.

There are two rows of shops where these craftsmen display their wares and the lane in between that leads to the end would be flocked by various other people. Sometimes you can find someone sitting there sketching a face or write names on a rice grain and box it in a glass container.  In the evenings, there will be vendors luring small children by playing and then trying to sell flutes and small instruments like ektara.

I love visiting this place, sometimes to shop, sometimes to just look around or sometime to just enjoy a bit of peace and spend the evening with family or friends.  There are some very good and interesting eating joints from different states – Momos from the north eastern states, Gujarati food, Punjabi Thali, Andhra food, dosa and idli  from Tamil Nadu, appams, puttu and kappa from Kerala.

The red brick buildings are made to give a very ethnic and traditional feel and care has been taken to give the ambience a traditional and yet premium touch.

During festivals and special occasions, this place gets decorated and various cultural programs are organised which are usually conducted in an open air theatre platform and is free for all who visit Delhi haat. But generally people flock here to look and buy things which are a little out of the ordinary.  These are people who believe in a little different, a little ethnic, a little chic and a little stylish pattern of lifestyle.

Timings : 10:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

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