When it comes to shopping in India, Delhi is the place. The city has a multitude of markets with a diverse array of handicrafts and other items from all over the country. The biggest and most renowned market, Dilli Haat, has been specifically set up by the government to provide a platform for artisans to come and sell their wares. It gives the feel of a traditional weekly village market (called a haat), and offers cultural performances and a variety of Indian cuisine as well.
The concept is hugely popular.
Dilli Haat Locations
There are three Dilli Haat markets in Delhi.
- The original 6 acre Dilli Haat opposite INA Metro Station (Yellow Line) in south Delhi, established in 1994.
- The 7.2 acre Dilli Haat near Netaji Subhash Place Metro Station (Red Line) at Pitampura, in north Delhi, established in 2008.
- The newest and largest 9.8 acre Dilli Haat on Lal Sain Mandir Marg at Janakpuri, near Tikak Nagar Metro Station (Blue Line), in west Delhi. It was inaugurated in early July 2014
Features of Dilli Haat Janakpuri
Dilli Haat at Janakpuri is situated approximately 30 minutes from the city center, in a commercial and upmarket residential area of west Delhi.
Unlike the other two haats, Janakpuri has been developed with a theme -- music. One of its special features is a music library, where it's possible to trace the history of Indian music through records and books. In addition, there's a dedicated museum displaying old and new Indian music instruments and other music related artifacts.
Another distinguishing feature of the Janakpuri Dilli Haat is its spaces for special cultural events and live performances. There's an amphitheater that seats 820 people, and an air conditioned auditorium with a capacity of 800 people. It's apparently the biggest modern auditorium in west Delhi and comes equipped with the latest technology.
The haat also has a large exposition hall, where exhibitions, seminars and events will take place.
Shoppers can browse through 100 different craft stalls, 74 open platform shops, and 46 air-conditioned shops. The food court has around 30 food stalls serving Indian and world cuisine. It's also air-conditioned, which is an important consideration during the searingly hot Delhi summer.
Notably, quite a bit of thought and effort has been put into making Jankapuri Dilli Haat environmentally and visitor friendly. It has substantial parking space, as well as lifts, ramps, and escalators to enable differently-abled people to easily move around. There's also power backup, proper sewage treatment and water treatment plants, and rain water harvesting.
What Can you Buy at Dilli Haat?
The craft stalls at all the haats are rotated frequently to ensure that the items on sale remain fresh and different. Popular items include bags, cushion covers, embroidered and woven fabrics, wood carvings, shoes, carpets and rugs, saris and other ethnic wear, leather items, jewelry, and paintings. Make sure you haggle to get a good price. Here are some tips.
Festivals and Events at Dilli Haat
A variety of festivals are regularly held at each Dilli Haat.
These include the Great Indian Food Festival in January, Baisaki Festival in April, Summer Festival in June, the International Mango Festival in July, and Teej Festival in August. Check local event listings to find out what's on where and when.
Dilli Haat Visitor's Information
Dilli Haat is open daily 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., including national holidays.
The entry fee is 20 rupees for adults and 10 rupees for children.
When visiting Dilli Haat Janakpuri, don't miss checking out King's Park Street in west Delhi's Raja Gardens district (around 15 minutes away) too. This inspiring initiative of Delhi Tourism has transformed urban wasteland into a cultural hub featuring traditional Indian art forms.
Want to stay nearby? You may be interested to know that one of Delhi's best boutique hotels is located in Janakpuri.