Dilli Haat is a venue to showcase crafts, music, dance and cultural festivals of India. It is a small ethnic India in the midst of greater India.India is such a diverse country in terms of culture, race and crafts. Delhi Haat is a stage for diverse people to showcase their Artworks and culinary skills. The real India is never available in a platter, at one place. Delhi Haat is an attempt to showcase India at one stage. And it did quite well.
Dilli Haat is a join venture of Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) and Ministry of Textiles and Ministry of Tourism, Govt. of India. It was first opened in March 1994. There are two Dilli Haat in Delhi; one is situated opposite INA market and the other one is located at Pitampura in North Delhi. But because of its central location and easy accessibility Dilli Haat, opposite INA market is more popular. The INA metro station opens just few meters from the entrance of Dilli Haat. In 2003 the market became completely wheel-chair accessible.
Delhi Haat has shops representing almost every States of India. The shops are built in open traditional Indian style. There’s a charm about the spacious open market, especially in a mall dominated era. The shops here are more true to Indian essence in terms of setup and goods. It takes the form of weekly Village market but there are some permanent stalls as well. Stalls are set up on a rotational basis of 15 days and payment of INR 100 per day. The stalls for the crafts are allotted state wise. It’s like a make shift market; the shops always keep changing slightly but it brings freshness. Though the sellers keep changing, the items are almost the same. Dilli Haat is known for handicraft items. It is a generous way of encouraging local artists and preserving their art by giving them a platform. So it is more than just a market but an art hub too.
A visit to Delhi will never be complete without visiting Dilli Haat. There’s something so Indian about this place. Along with Janpath, it is the best place for souvenir shopping. If you re looking for authentic Indian goods and gift item this is the place. The Authorities ensured that there’s always a healthy mix of goods available at the stalls. Year round, the stalls are replenished with fresh supplies and sellers from different States. Jammu and Kashmir stalls are known for carpets and Machie Paipier products. Central and North Indian States like U.P, Rajasthan are known for furniture products and marble decors. They have wide range of wood and marble products ranging from daily used items to expensive decors. Rajasthan’s leather products in the form of Kohlapuri chapals and bags are popular with foreign tourist. U.P exhibits wide range of carpets as well. Gujarati embroidery bags, beaded purse, embroidery cushions with local arts and mirror umbrellas are exotic and popular. South Indian States exhibits wide range of wooden idols and statues with colorful paintings. Jewels from Hyderabad are exhibited through out the year. North East States showcase wide range of cane, bamboo, jute and wood products for almost every daily use. There are Madhubani painting stalls from Bihar as well. Most of these artists and tradesmen participate in most trade fair held around Delhi, so the items are as diverse as any trade fair.
Good and wide range of food makes Dilli Haat an idle hangout place. There are food stores from almost every states of India like Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Orissa, West Bengal, Nagaland, Assam, Sikkim, Manipur and Punjab. Lately Grillz and August Spice have come up to cater to the demand of people who favors fast food. Places like Rajasthan, Punjab, Orissa serves thali whereas Sikkim is known for momos; where as Nagaland and Manipur serve good non-veg foods.
Folk Musicians often frequent this place. You might just be lucky enough to be treated with a good performance. Rajasthani folk musicians entertain the crowd on their authentic handmade instruments. One string instrument called Ektara is available on cheap price.
Dilli Haat is a much happening place. Many foreign dignitaries from Hillary Clinton to Lady Gaga have visited this place. Cultural and musical events are also organized at the open stage, on the far end of the market, from time to time. A month long cultural programmes at evening called, ‘Festivals of India’ organized by Delhi Tourism in the month of November and December was the latest of such venture.