Visiting Delhi after a long time is always with a sense of adventure. You never know what to expect. The city is growing at such a fast pace that new landmarks are coming up all the time. The traffic has expanded beyond all imagination changing the concept of time required to cover a known distance every month.
So with this in mind I decided to visit two places in Delhi which I thought have escaped this frantic march of modern progress. Where hopefully time stands still and you can remember those years gone long past. One is Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi and the other Lodi Gardens in New Delhi. Ashok Bhojwani was equally enthusiastic about this idea and readily agreed to take me there and be my guide.
With sense of irony we reached the oldest place in Delhi, the Chandni Chowk by the most modern wonder of Delhi, the Metro. We boarded the Metro at the Patel Chowk station on Parliament Street and in 10 minutes we were coming out of the Chandni Chowk station amongst all the hustle and bustle of Old Delhi.
Our first stop was the old mithai shop of Ghantewala whose speciality is the Crisp and Chewy Sohan Halwa made in Desi Shudh Ghee. I remember coming here in the sixties to take this delicacy to Mumbai.
The next stop was the Town Hall. It is a yellow-painted brick and stone Victorian style building that was conceived by the British immediately after the 1857 rebellion and was completed by 1866. At present it houses the Head Office of the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. This will soon be vacated and converted into a heritage museum and library cum convention centre to preserve the cultural heritage of the old historical city of Shahjahanabad as Old Delhi is fondly called.
This part of Old Delhi is mostly made up of small lanes. The life in these lanes was depicted beautifully in the movie Delhi-6, so called because the Postal Pin Code of Chandni Chowk is 6.
Parathewali Galli is another small lane that has shops selling delicious hot parathas. We had our lunch in one of these shops where Pandit Nehru once visited according to the photo displayed in the shop.
From Chandni Chowk in old Delhi we went to another old place in the heart of New Delhi, The Lodi Gardens. This was my favourite place for walks before I discovered the KBR park in Hyderabad. So for old times sake we took a walk around the park but not before buying ourselves a Chocolate Ice Cream bar at the Gate.
You can see the photos of our Delhi Tour here