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Hauz Khas Village, hipsters in New Delhi

Hauz Khas Village: hipster New Delhi!

Welcome to Hauz Khas Village, the New Delhi equivalent of Williamsburg in New York, Kreuzberg in Berlin or East London in the UK. Well, not exactly… but Hauz Khas is certainly on its way to become a hipster hot spot. You get the idea.

If you’re in Delhi and you crave trendy hang-outs, alternative cafes, artsy shops, independent art galleries or creator owned boutiques, then this is the hood you should be heading to.

Born around Muslim ruins and a man-made water reservoir dating from the 14th century, this neighborhood of New Delhi is home to an unusual mix of residential areas (they call it village), park and streets lined up with businesses.

Historical Hauz Khas Complex

Historical Hauz Khas Complex

An end of day view over the Hauz Khaz Lake

An end of day view over the Hauz Khas Lake

Ladies working on the restoration of Hauz Khas ruins

Ladies working on the restoration of Hauz Khas ruins

Hauz Khas Complex security guard chair

Hauz Khas Complex security guard chair

Soaking up the sun, between ancient and hipster times

Soaking up the sun, between ancient and hipster times

Kid observing life going by in Hauz Khas

Kid observing life going by in Hauz Khas

 

Ashray used to live in this area years ago and he remembers it quite differently that what it is today. It was always green and calm, with life rolling at a substantially different pace than in the rest of the capital. There used to be a few upper-scale restaurants and boutiques here and there, but nothing like what it is today.

Ashray in Hauz Khas Village

Ashray in Hauz Khas Village

 

Now, new [non-chain] cafes and restaurants serving international and fusion cuisine keep on multiplying. Chai wallahs have to make room for gelato carts and burger joints (yes, some of them serving beef even). Shops sell decoration items that are one of a kind and clothes that often mix Indian ethnic style with latest trends from far away.

Art, Design and Gods... in India, of course!

Art, Design and Gods… in India, of course!

Street art on an AC unit - very Indian, very cool!

Street art on an AC unit – very Indian, very cool!

Giving AC units an ethnic touch seems to be a thing in Hauz Khas!

Giving AC units an ethnic touch seems to be a thing in Hauz Khas!

Original old Bollywood movie posters

Original old Bollywood movie posters

Mother India original movie poster

Mother India original movie poster

 

The crowds in Hauz Khas are not the usual people roaming around street markets elsewhere in the city; neither they are the stereotypical Delhi Saturday afternoon mall-goers. They are young, hip and they crave something different than the usual fare across the city. Also, there is a great deal of foreigners around. Some of them might feel a little bit more at home around here. Both locals and visits need to have money to hang out in Hauz Khas – prices do tend to be higher than in your average cafe or restaurant across Delhi.

The entrance to Hauz Khas as seen from Fat Ninja rooftop bar

The entrance to Hauz Khas as seen from Fat Ninja rooftop bar

Being hipster in India involves a lot of East-West fusion

Being hipster in India involves a lot of East-West fusion

Hauz Khaz = trendy young people galore!

Young girls in Hauz Khas dress to impress, in a non-traditional way.

Hanging out in Hauz Khas Village

Hanging out in Hauz Khas Village

A&Z in Hauz Khas village

A&Z in Hauz Khas village

 

But Hauz Khas is still a village. Bars might be serving trendy cocktails during happy hour, but next door you’ll still have a chat (Indian street food) vendor selling roasted sweet potatoes or other typical Indian goodies.

Hipsters: don't you dare taking away the parking at Hauz Khas Village!

Hipsters: don't you dare take over the locals' parking at Hauz Khas Village!

I can guarantee you that these guys won't eat at Bagel's Cafe after a hard day of work!

These guys won't probably be eating at Bagel's Cafe after a hard day of work.

Some work, some play

Some work, some play

Street food vendors

Street food vendors

A colorful house overlooking Hauz Khas complex

A colorful house overlooking Hauz Khas complex

 

It is the amazing contrast that makes a stroll around Hauz Khas so entertaining. People watching at its best with an unusual opportunity to walk from hip to rustic in the space of 100 metres.

Where else in the world do you get to experience that?!


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2 Comments

  • I’m seriously not a hipster in terms of my thinking, but I do love coffee, art and urban culture. I remember hearing about Hauz Khas when I lived in India, I’ll need to go back some time and visit it properly :)

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