Saturday, February 5, 2011

Journey to the north...of India :)

This winter we decided to rock the northern part of India with our presence. Little did we know that it was going to be the other way round. Having spent most of our life on the coasts of Maharashtra, in a city known as Mumbai, we were yet to experience the real harsh winters of the north. And boy! Here we were trembling, quivering and shivering with cold.

Our journey started with a train ride from Mumbai to Delhi, from where we were to travel further ahead.

The first halt: New Delhi - the capital city of India.

This was my second visit to Delhi, for my kids the first one and we were going to be here for exactly twelve hours. The first thing to catch the broods' attention was the cycle-rickshaw outside New Delhi railway station . Something that the brats were seeing for the first time. We hailed two of them, boarded our luggage and ourselves onto it and took off for the Grand Godwin at Paharganj.


Most Delhiites think Paharganj is really down market. But let me tell you, it's not. The place is home to several good hotels to stay, at affordable prices and in the night the neon signboards give the whole place a very Las Vegas look. Okay, a wee bit of exaggeration. But it does look great.


This was the capital city. It had the Parliament, the Supreme court, the Rashtrapati Bhavan, the India Gate, stepwells and mausoleums, Delhi Haat and the metro. Yes! The METRO...something that would excite a seven year old boy and a four year girl.  We spent the whole day taking a few train journeys and then grabbed some chaat at Haldiram's, CP - the same place which was earlier Narula's.

Dinner was at Karim's, a famous eatery in Chandni Chowk, well-known for its Mughlai cuisine. To reach this place you can either take an auto or a cycle-rickshaw. This is where you find the hustle and bustle of India, the crowd, the grime, the various aromas of food, piping hot chai, the paranthe waali gully, sweaty rickshaw pullers, little shops selling a variety of things, the web of electric wires hovering over your head, and of course, Karim's.

The busy lanes of Chandni Chowk

At a tea-shop in Chandni Chowk

Karim's was started in the early twentieth century by Haji Karimuddin, who's ancestors, apparently,  were known as the royal cooks for the Mughal king Babur. Haji Karimuddin decided to take the royal delicacies to the common man and thus was born the famous eatery. Walk into it and you'll be greeted with the aroma of freshly ground spices emanating out of the kebabs and meat curries.

Delicious seekh kebabs

Breads and buna chicken with coriander chutney and onion slices

Gobhi ghosht

The empty vessels after a hard day's work

The food at Karim's was delicious. The meat was succulent and gravies were thick (and greasy too). 

This was my first hand experience of Delhi 6. And I hadn't even begun. Karim's is just one part of Chandni chowk. There are several other delights that still lie unexplored...