sarojini nagar market, Delhi

Sarojini Nagar Market of Delhi

Sarojini Nagar Market is the all-weather all-season market that caters to the needs of the entire South Delhi.   If there is one market that can satisfy Delhiwala’s appetite for shopping, it is this market.

Sometimes I have a feeling that people come here with the sole intention of testing out their negotiation and bargaining skills.   I used to hate bargaining and would simply feel quite magnanimous in handing over the price the vendors asked for.   But some of my visits with my husband, a hardcore bargainer have made me realize that the vendors kind of look down upon people who do not negotiate because as the norm goes, they hike up the price by atleast twice or thrice the original price so that they would still be left with some margin when the deal is finally done.

However, there are fixed price outlets and wares where you can select garments in the same range starting from Rs. 100, 150, 200, 250, etc..

I have been visiting this market from the time I got married about 20 years ago and came to settle down in the south side of Delhi.   From then onwards, if I have anything to buy from children’s clothes to shoes, bags, undergarments, hosiery items, bed sheets, covers or even curtains, etc., I head to this haven.   There are even shops for buying vegetables, grocery items, household items and kitchen utensils in case you need such items.

Babu Market is another complex that lies in the same vicinity and has approximately 4 rows of shops that again caters to mostly garments with some jewellery shops and accessories and all women’s stores thrown in.
All said and done, this market offers decent products at affordable rates.   You can find things you would not find anywhere else – children’s fancy dresses for their school competition, from paalak to a fairy, these shops can change their personality.  They can even loan you these dresses for a day or two!  What else would you need.
A word of caution though – On Sundays, only those who have some really good patience, focus and crowd management skills should attempt to attack this market.   On Saturdays and Sundays, this market can be so crowded that you just need to stand at one place, the crowd will pull you to all directions.
Recently there has been an addition of a multi-storied parking plaza which has turned out to be semi-modern building in the vicinity with Haldiram’s and other food joints like McD and Subway catering to the hungry public!
Connaught Place Rajiv Chowk, Delhi

Connaught Place – The shopping paradise

With all the big brands showrooms occupying the prime space in connaught place, the market is designed for those who are looking for premium products and ambience.   Set in the old buildings built during the British era, refurbished and renovated to suit modern tastes and choices, this place is busy as well as quiet with an old world charm around it.
This place is still called by its old name inspite of being renamed as Rajiv Chowk and Indira Chowk.  It has been one of my favourite haunts and I could roam around alone along the corridors and collonades of this beautiful shopping paradise for hours without getting bored.   There is always a passive humdrum of people around.   When I don’t want to buy anything, it gives me the simple pleasure of looking around and do a bit of window shopping.   There are a variety of things that one could buy outisde of these showrooms too.  Small shops with Indian handicraft items, books, posters with beautiful quotes, little trinkets are all sold along the paths.
Most of these buildings have been built by the Britishers but there are some little buildings from the Mughal and the Indian Rajas also around.   The big roundabout of the Connaught Place covers a circle of multiple layers of buildings.  There is an outer circle, middle circle and inner circle of buildings.  Apart from the showrooms, these buildings houses offices and corporate houses of different organizations.  There are banks, restaurants, panwalla’s, coffee shops, travel agents, etc.

The offices and business houses around this place ensures a regular flow of people into this area from all around Delhi.

It is also the central part of Delhi and all roads from every direction in Delhi come and converge at this point.  In the centre of these circles is a huge round park which has recently undergone a huge makeshift from the park I knew of some 10-15 years ago.   The Rajiv Chowk Metro Station and Palika Bazaar lie below this park.

This park now has a huge big Indian Flag with a small amphitheatre built-in the centre.  People from all around come to take a little break and relax in the sun during winter days.

On Sundays too, when the market is closed there are people in huge numbers occupying this place.
This has turned out to be more than a shopping place – a tourist attraction, picnic spot and a place where one can just spend sometime with the loved ones!!
jantar mantar, delhi

The enigma called Jantar Mantar

Surrounded by huge and towering buildings, this set of architectural structures stand for some long forgotten magical spell as the name suggests!!

Jantar Mantar is the oldest of a set of unique observatories built by Jai Singh II around 1724. There are mantras and yantras that Jai Singh created amidst these structures that give accurate tables for study of time and space to give astronomical insights.

The Misra Yantra is believed to be constructed by Maharaj Madho Singh designed to be accurately measuring the longitude of celestial objects like moon and can measure close to the minute of an arc.

One of the main structures is the Samrat Yantra which is also called as ‘King of Instruments’ that measures solar time or local time of a place and the sun’s declination.

 

The Jaiprakash Yantra (means Light of Jai) is named after the Maharaja Jai Singh who invented and constructed this hemispherical sundial system used both in day and night observations. The position of the sun was indicated by the shadow of the cross wires inside this hemisphere.

It has always been an enigma to me. I have tried to understand the way these things work, but haven’t got a clue looking at the structures though!!

A video on how the sun moves across different time spheres is given at http://www.jantarmantar.org/

Lodhi Gardens, Delhi

Lodhi Gardens, Delhi

Lodhi Gardens, Delhi

 

We visited the famous Lodhi Gardens of  Delhi in the first week of November with a group of friends.  The weather was just right!   Around this time Delhi is neither cold nor hot and therefore, becomes an ideal time for picnics.   We were out to enjoy the lazy Sunday afternoon and Lodhi Gardens gave us the perfect sanctuary to be away from the busy and crowded Delhi.

Located in the heart of the city, it is near the India habitat Centre on Lodhi Road.  Delhiwalas frequent this place every morning for a jog or a walk and on weekends come back with their families to spend time away from the cacophony of the urban setup.   On weekdays, however, you can only find run-away students and young couples who want to have a little time to hide themselves away from the prying public eye.

This garden was called the “The Lady Willingdon Park”  during the British Raj which was subsequently changed to the “Lodhi Gardens” after Independence. Multiple tombs from the Sayyid and Lodhi dynasty (last of the Delhi Sultans before Mughals) are spread across this well maintained and manicured garden.  The Bada Gumbad and Sheesh Gumbad are the ones located in the centre. Mohammed Shah’s tomb and Sikander Lodi’s tomb are crumbling edifices.

The Bada Gumbad is a three-domed mosque with a very unique architecture.  The jharokha’s are quite enchanting with an old world charm.

The walk around the garden was refreshing and at the same time rejuvenating.  It took us some couple of decades back.  We visualised ourselves in that era when there were people dwelling in and around these mosques and the structures.   How would these have been decorated and how were people living in those times.   The structures were imposing and yet had a very warm and magnificent feel to it.   I imagined children playing in the front yards of the mosque.

The mosque is decorated with red, grey and  black stones with Quranic inscriptions.   The black quranic inscriptions on the walls and ceilings were decorative and imposing.

 

 

There was another tomb near the bada gumbad called the sheesh gumbad which has tombs of an unknown family.

The garden is dotted with Ashok trees and palm trees with a variety of plant species.   There is a lake too in one of the corners.

Overall, it was a time spent relaxing and unwinding in the company of friends in a serene and tranquil atmosphere!

Lodhi Gardens on Google Maps