luxe shopping - Dilli Haat, Delhi
Written by Brian Johnston
For one-stop shopping offering a huge variety of folk art and handicrafts from all over India, look no further than Dilli Haat in Delhi.
Located in a bustling commercial neighbourhood of south Delhi, Dilli Haat is a government-run crafts bazaar that brings together craftspeople and artisans from around rural India, allowing them to display their skills and sell their wares directly to urban consumers. A haat is a village market, which Dilli Haat evokes in its traditional architecture, from thatched-roof kiosks to typical north Indian latticed brickwork, all shaded by soaring eucalyptus trees. Craftspeople and artists representing a wide range of Indian states occupy dozens of stalls, and are rotated every 15 days. Since it opened in 1994, a staggering 50,000 artisans have presented their work here, highlighting the extraordinary diversity of Indian handicrafts, and making repeat visits worthwhile. Prices are very reasonable on everything from cheap souvenirs to quality design. Among the huge range of goods are jewellery and precious stones, brassware and other metalwork, leather, silk fabrics, and stone sculpture. Look out for particularly fine rosewood and sandalwood carvings, elegant Kashmiri shawls and Madhubani painting from Bihar. More unusual items include embellished camel-hide shoes and chikan embroidery from Lucknow.
Shopping apart, visiting Dilli Haat allows you to sample regional cuisine from all over India at some 25 open-air stalls, rich with the aroma of spices.
Embark on a culinary tour without leaving the confines of the food plaza: chicken stew from Kerala in the south, kebabs from the northern state of Jammu, Goan fish curry, or a thali from Rajasthan.
Then bring a little taste of India home by picking up authentic, traditional Indian spice mixes at the spice court.