Sunday, September 23, 2012

A trip to Hauz Khaz Village-places to see, shop and eat

For Delhiites Hauz Khas Village is a tony South Delhi hot spot buzzing with budding fashion boutiques and Art galleries.You can easily spot Jimmy Choos and Marc Jacob bags and a small time Celeb or two on your trip to the Hauz Khas Village. With a quaint village feel and a cool bohemian vibe,this is the place to see and be seen in Delhi.

The history of Hauz khas predates all the avant garde designers and the fancy eateries.The Hauz Khas (meaning Royal water tank) was excavated by Alaudin Khilji (Part of Delhi sultanate,13th century) to supply water to the fourth city of Delhi called- 'Siri' a.k.a The Siri Fort. 

[Btw did you know the city of Delhi as we know it today was a result of 11 cities of Delhi clubbed together?]

The curious story of  how 'Siri' fort got its name is very macabre.(Those of a weak heart, skip & scroll down to the pictures please).

Alaudin Khiji during his reign had to fend of many Mongol attacks.The first time Mongols attacked Delhi, Alaudin Khiji was away on Chittor campaign chasing the ethereal beauty Rani Padmini. 
Second time the Mongols attacked Delhi Mr. Khilji had to stay barricaded in Siri fort for 2 whole months.The Mongols camped in an area now called as Mangolpuri in North West Delhi. 
Eventually Mongols got bored/ home sick & more importantly had to go home and choose the next-Head of the Mongolian Khanate and they headed back home.

After getting whooped twice by Mongols,Alaudin Khilji realized that to repel the continued Mongol invasions he would need to build a strong garrison & reinforce his fort .To provide water for the needs of the new city of Siri, the work of Hauz Khaz was started.

The Mongols were persistent chaps & they again invaded Punjab and Amroha and plundered & burnt Punjab and laid waste to everything in their route.This time Alaudin Khilji was more than ready for the Mongols,he sent a strong army led by two of his toughest generals Ghazi Malik & Malik Kafur to engage with the Mongols.
Mongol army was on their way back home with the loot and plunder from Punjab when they were intercepted by Alaudin's Generals who smashed the Mongolian army and brought along the Mongol Generals and soldiers to Siri Fort.
Alauddin Khilji had the generals trampled to death by elephants (as the blood of Royal prisoners could not be spilled,they were trampled!!) The Mongolian soldiers who were prisoners of war were beheaded & their heads buried under the foundation stones of the fort. Hence the name Siri Fort (Sir - in Hindi means head & hence the name Siri)-Macabre I told you so !!

Fast forward to the present-
How to get there- Your best bet is Delhi Metro-get off at Hauz Khas Metro station and take an auto rickshaw to the Huaz Khas Village Market. Else there is ample parking available and you can drive down just as easily.

Three pavilions inside the Tomb precincts with a small Chhatri in the foreground

The Tomb of Firuz shah Tughlq within the Hauz Khas Village,though the structure is very austere devoid of any decorations notice the intricate calligraphy carved in the stone entrance in the pic below.

You can't see but there are so many people in this picture. The niches were all filled with literally hundred of people.

The Huaz Khas is not accessible from within the Tomb and Seminary enclosed, you have to in to the back lanes and alleys of the Hauz Khas Village to access the main Water reservoir.

The Hauz Khas Village complex also has an old Islamic seminary as a part of the complex. After the fall of Beghdad at Mongolian hands, this was supposed to be the greatest center of Islamic studies in the world.

The main reservoir a.k.a. Hauz Khas is massive (originally 123 acres in size!!) with many ducks and fountains.
Its amazing that such a large water body exists in the center of South Delhi,so close yet so far away from all the hustle bustle of Delhi streets.

Just a cute happy Puppy playing in the Hauz Khas park Awwww ain't he a cutie :D

Within the Hauz Khas Village are very lush gardens and a Deer park, with literally hundreds of Deers and Antelopes and even Peacocks,Kidz loooove this place :)

Okay I know you Girls are now getting bored with all those histprical monuments and ducks,deers and dogs. The biggest attraction of the Hauz Khas village (HKV) are its boutiques and eateries.
HKV is littered with shops selling retro style wares, this shop retails old movie posters and antiques, definitely worth checking out.

The most common reason for fashionistas flocking to the HKV is a bevy of Designer boutiques and kitschy chic stores.

Hauz Khas is a Designer and Boutique haven, from Oogan to many budding designers have their chic boutiques here and you can find so many options for very modern Bridal or friends of the bride kind of attires.

HKV is home to many eateries and you can sample a very wide variety of food here, from Continental to Himalayan cuisine and everything in between there are so many awesome places for a cosy dinner for two. You can also check out some of the nice roof top restaurants overlooking the reservoir.
My personal favorite for very unique Himalayan cuisine is Yeti

If you step off the main arterial road of HKV and try to enter the reservoir you will be directed to dingy back lanes, with tons of kitschy boutiques and fancy restaurants and suddenly you'll see some of the most artistic graffiti right in the middle of nowhere.

Right from Gods of Rock to Superheroes you'll find them all here at home in a 13th century monument- That my friends is Delhi for you...where Past & Present languidly coexist & beckon the future together.


Hope you enjoyed this mini trip to Hauz Khas Village, if you get time do make a weekend trip here, you can sample some amazing art work and tuck in some gourmet food and regale in history :)

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  1. I have never been here but this looks like an amazing place! You know my city was named by Feroz Shah Tughlaq :)

    1. Do visit HKV, you;d love it :)
      Btw whats the name of your city? Firozabad? / tughlaqabad?

  2. Loved this post and I'm reminded of my stay in Delhi now :(..being a student of history, love visiting old monuments and of historical value..hauz khas was a fav of mine :)

    1. Awesome good to have another history buff around :)

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  4. I did a course from JD institute of fashion, which is located in Hauz khaz village. Your post and the pictures made me so nostalgic!

  5. amazing pictures! thank you for this post ^^
    I've never been to India, but this week I gave a lecture on indian marriage in the school. :D

    1. Hey Thanks a lot! Glad you liked the post:)
      Look forward to having you in India and hopefully you'll be able to see a Big Fat Indian Wedding in person soon :D

  6. Amazing post :)
    I live very near hauz khas ... My parents have been going to the Deer park for their morning walk for so many years now ... Its such a beautiful place :-)
    Ive seen hauz khas village becoming what it is today n the growth is tremendous... Its one of my fav places :-)

  7. this is def on my list to visit when I come to delhi next time!

  8. amazing clicks wanna visit this place..gawd knows wen il get a chance..:)

  9. Thats such a quirky place..loved those outfits..



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