Founded in 1994, Dilli Haat remains the heart of culture in the national capital. From textiles to traditional food, the Haat (translated as a market or a bazaar) is a hub for artisans and local food vendors from all over India. From Sikkim momos to Kahwa & Kebabs of Jammu, Dilli Haat has always been the favourite haunt of Delhi foodies.
Initially, the dining at Dilli Haat involved open-air seating around small shacks. However, as a part of the renovation for the G20 summit in September, Dilli Haat will see a revamp. Among other things, the renovation will standardize the food area. With permanent roof set-ups, seating will feature new wooden and metal tables. This switch might move away from the small kiosk model, which was built around rustic touches.
&ldquoLate Pradeep Sachdeva and I, we wanted a mix of North Indian, rural and urban for Dilli Haat,&rdquo Jaya Jaitly, former Samata Party leader and a founding member of Dilli Haat, told Outlook Traveller. Pradeep Sachdeva was one of the principal architects involved in creating the blueprint. Along with Jaitly, he introduced brickwork and stone tiles inspired by Himachal and Uttarakhand courtyards. The North Indian verandah was another inspiration.
Dilli Haat's open pavilion is also a distinct feature. It was designed for tapestry and pottery exhibits, as one would find in local markets. &ldquoThese open spaces are for short-term occupancy. This way, they can be affordable for small craftsmen,&rdquo added Jaitley.
Although a final reveal is scheduled for June, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) maintains that the renovation will only make customer experiences convenient. "We've only repaired the old shops. There is no modern makeover," Promilla Dudeja, Deputy Manager, Dilli Haat INA, told Outlook Traveller. The infrastructure changes include upgraded drainage systems and bamboo ply roofs that ensure weather protection. For security, 40 new CCTV cameras are installed. The market light set-up is also to be changed as part of mindful power consumption.