Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Travelogues


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 29th January 2010, 17:16   #1
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!

Day1). 4th Jan 2010:
My flight is scheduled to depart Bangalore at 0955. I wake up by 6:30 am, shower and leave for the airport at 7:00. My dad and his colleagues had booked an earlier flight. They were scheduled to leave Bangalore by Jet Airways at 0725. When I reach the airport, they are still there waiting for the aircraft to arrive from Madras. Poor guys have woken up at 4:00 in the morning to make the flight and they are still waiting!

My flight is courtesy Mr.Mallya and leaves on time. I end up reaching Delhi one hour before my dad! I wait for them in the airport and we all head out of the Delhi airport together. Dad and another colleague take a taxi and go straight to Pragati Maidan to oversee the preparations for the Auto Expo opening the next day. Me and another colleague head to the hotel in the taxi which has been sent by the hotel guys. We check in and dump the luggage in our rooms.

I just wash up and immediately leave the hotel. I have nothing to do today. I can either head to Pragati Maidan or start exploring. I choose the latter and walk down to the Metro station and buy a 15/- token for Chandni Chowk.

I have travelled on the Delhi Metro loads of times before but Iím always surprised by how clean and efficient the authorities have made it! Itís unbelievable that a metro station in this country can be this clean. The trains are also very clean. There is no graffiti on the walls, no scratches to the paint, no damaged window panes, nothing! The one difference I have noticed is that the Metro is unbelievable crowded this time! Itís the middle of the afternoon. Not what you would call peak hour, but itís packed! I hesitate to get into the train because there was no place and then I realise, ĎWhen in Rome, do as the Romans doí. When the next train arrives, I throw courtesy, manners and everything my parents have taught me to the winds and just barge in with no respect or thought to my fellow travellers and Iím in! I need to change at the Rajiv Chowk station though.
I finally reach Chandni Chowk Metro station. This Metro station is supposed to be the deepest Metro station in the world. I have been told about this feat of engineering many times, but havenít read it in any Ďreputedí publications, so forgive me if Iím wrong.

Now, before I continue, I need to outline the reasons for this trip. The Auto Expo in which we participate every year means I have a ready made excuse for this trip. And I am quite excited about the Expo which promises to be bigger than ever before! However, the main reason for my Delhi trip is so that I can explore Old Delhi. I have just finished the book ĎThe Last Mughalí by William Dalrymple and Iím fascinated by the Delhi that existed in those times. A huge part of it has since been destroyed by the British. So, I have made a broad outline of my schedule over the next few days (which will obviously be blown to smithereens).
Chandni Chowk was the centre of Old Delhi and this is where my journey begins. Iíve of course heard about the Gali Paranthe Wali and Ghantewala halwas and Karims and everything. Iím eager to stuff my face with food, but I also want to explore the narrow lanes and by lanes of Chandni Chowk.

Itís past 3:00pm and I havenít had anything to eat apart from the small snack I was served on the aircraft. Iím starving. I get out of the Metro station and soon find myself opposite Ghantewala! I walk in and buy a piece of their famous Sohan Halwa. Itís absolutely delicious. Some people might find it a little too much though. It is absolutely loaded with pure desi ghee and you can actually see the small specks of white solidified ghee! I love it! This gives me a little energy to start walking. I walk quite a distance down the main road but find nothing interesting. There are just a couple of old buildings. Everything else is new. By new, I mean British era. I am not interested in that. I want to have a look at the buildings where people from the Mughal Era lived. There are very few such buildings facing the main road. I then enter one of the narrow lanes and stop dead! I feel like Iíve entered a time machine! Suddenly, everything is silent. I canít hear the horrible honking and traffic of Delhi. Itís cool and silent. The sunlight doesnít even reach the floor I walk on. There is just enough space for 2 people to walk abreast.

There are shops all along the path. Iím surrounded by shops. 99% of them selling silks and other textiles. What is fascinating is that Iíve never seen shops like this. Itís not a normal shop which you enter and the salesman lays out his wares on the table. There is no door or anything as such. Itís a slightly elevated floor. You remove your footwear and then enter the shop. The moment you enter, you take a seat on the cushions which cover the entire floor of the shop. The owner will then show you his wares. Itís such an old fashioned way of shopping that I never imagined it still existed! In the heart of the capital of our country! I thought stuff like this was relegated to black and white movies and pictures. However, it exists and it thrives. In these small gullies where even a cycle cannot reach with ease, these tiny shops have turnovers in the region of many crores of rupees! It simply cannot be explained. I donít have pictures of these shops because I thought it will be rude of me to take pics when they are just going about their daily business.

I continue to wander around in these lanes and gullies. Itís really interesting to see how life goes on here. In this area, I can also seem some really old buildings which seem to be at least 150-200 years old! I think these are buildings from the Mughal era. The best part is that people still live here! Many of these buildings are on the verge of collapse and some have actually collapsed, but people still live here. Iím trying to imagine how business, life and everything else thrived in these areas a century or more ago.

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0006.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0007.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0010.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0012.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0014.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0015.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0001.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0002.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0005.jpg
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 17:18   #2
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

I soon find my way to the Gali Paranthe Wali. You can smell this place from quite a distance. There are about 3 main shops which sell paranthas. I went to the oldest shop. This was opened by a guy soon after the British took over Delhi. He came from a rural area outside Delhi and opened a shop selling paranthas in this narrow lane. He did very well for himself and soon called his brothers to come and help him out as well. Two brothers came and opened up two more shops near the original. The original shop has pictures of its most famous patrons. There is a pic of Nehru, Indira Gandhi and Vijayalakshmi Pandit enjoying paranthas in this shop. Apart from this, there are various other pictures of actors, sportsmen and politicians who patronise this eatery. The parantha shop next door has pictures of some VJs and other celebrities.

I call these eateries Ďshopsí only because calling them a restaurant would be a stretch! There is hardly any place to sit. The menu however is extensive. Some kinds of paranthas you couldnít even have dreamt of. And they donít make paranthas the way your mom makes them. They deep fry them in desi ghee! It sounds really yummy and I couldnít wait to try it out. You have to order two paranthas minimum. I order two paneer paranthas as I love Delhi paneer. They give you an assortment of curries and chutneys to compliment the paranthas. The paranthas finally arrive and I almost burn my finger in my eagerness to taste them! Thankfully I didnít damage my taste buds! I eventually summon enough patience to calm down and wait for the paranthas to cool down. I taste them and Iím slightly disappointed. There is plenty of paneer in the paranthas. That isnít the problem. However, deep frying it in ghee has kind of ruined the taste for me. I really like it, but I donít find the hype justified. The pricing though is fantastic. 35/- for a parantha which amounts to 70/- as a minimum amount. You have to buy 2 paranthas. It could be of different flavours if you want.

The pics below show you how the paranthas are deep fried. Also, check out their menu!


The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0001.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0002.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0004.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0005.jpg



I finish my plate of paranthas and stroll outside. There is a guy selling gol guppas and kulfi! I immediately wolf down two plates of gol guppas. The pani puri you get in Delhi has a really unique flavour. I absolutely love it. The meetha chutney is just perfect. Not too sweet, thankfully. After this, I feel the need to feed my sweet tooth. So, I buy a kulfi. Itís absolutely yummy. All milk products in Delhi are so different from anything you get in South India. I guess the milk itself is different. The Delhi paneer is absolutely superb. Every time my dad goes to Delhi, he HAS to bring back at least one KG of paneer; otherwise he isnít allowed entry into his own home!

The really amazing part is you can fill you stomach to the brim from food in this part of town and your wallet will not complain. While stuff like gol guppa is not really what you would call filling, itís still very good VFM.

After this, I exit this absolutely fantastic quaint old part of town and join the main road. Itís evening now and the sun is starting to go down, the air is starting to get chilly. All this while, Iíve been roaming around with my jacket in my backpack. I havenít really felt the need to wear it. Itís cold but wonderful. I wear my jacket and then continue walking past the Gurdwara, the Jain Temple, towards the Red Fort. The view down Chandni Chowk is really nice. You always have the Red Fort looming in the distance and itís a really impressive sight. I walk till the Red Fort and realise itís closed on Mondays. Itís not a problem for me because I had planned to come to the Red Fort on another day anyway.

I walk back to the Metro Station and this time, itís even worse than before! I realise I donít need to hold the straps provided in the compartments because there is absolutely no danger of me falling over. There are so many people packed into the tight space that there is no space to fall!

I reach Karol Bagh Metro Station and stroll back to my hotel. Itís been about 2 hours since I had the paranthas and Iím feeling hungry already! Not hungry enough to eat a proper full size meal, but Iím hungry nevertheless.

My dad and colleagues have returned from Pragati Maidan.

We order some food and then hit the sack. Tomorrow is Day 1 of the Auto Expo. Supposedly the ĎMedia Dayí. The best time to go to the Auto Expo.
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 17:23   #3
BHPian
 
Ardy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 613
Thanked: 86 Times
Default

Nikhil, that's a wonderful start to the thread. I am hooked on it now.

Look forward to more of your experience in Old Delhi and Auto Expo.

Cheers.
Ardy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 17:31   #4
BHPian
 
unni.ak's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 777
Thanked: 80 Times
Default

Great start Nikhil. Looking forward to your unique experience exploring these places.
unni.ak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 17:46   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 1,045
Thanked: 140 Times
Default

Good going Nikhil. Winters are the best time to visit Delhi if you are a foodie, though am not equipped enough to make that comment being a Vegetarian. Nevertheless the vegetables are lovely, the panneer is heavenly during this time and its no wonder that the average Delhite seem to add a couple of inches during winters not because of the winter clothing. Your Gol guppa experience reminds me of the 3 plates of Phuckas, as they are called, I downed in Kolkata a couple of weeks costing me all of Rs.15/-. Am hooked to this, keep going.
pypkmsrikanth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 17:53   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
addyhemmige's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Bangalore/Hassan
Posts: 1,549
Thanked: 465 Times
Default

Looks like you are back in Bangalore Nikhil. You have put up a nice start for the travelogue. Bring it on!!
addyhemmige is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 18:06   #7
BHPian
 
advaitlele's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Pune, Vadodara
Posts: 493
Thanked: 249 Times
Default

Nikhil, you took me back to Delhi.

I was in Gurgaon and used to frequent Delhi streets around 7 years back, and those Alu Parathas and Lassi, Gol Guppas, Rabadi and any Paneer items, i have roamed around quite a lot but have not encountered same taste anywhere.

I have not visited Delhi in last 3 years and instantly I am feeling like "I HAVE TO GO THERE" just to satisfy my tongue.

Please continue. Your observations and photos make it a great read.
advaitlele is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 18:54   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

Day 2). Jan 5th 2010:
First day of the Auto Expo. We have our stall in Hall 1E. Itís actually a hangar. As the Auto Expo has expanded significantly in the past few years, garage equipment manufacturers and suppliers have been pushed into this tent. Itís a big tent and has most of the facilities of the halls, but it is out of the way and is not very easy to work in.

Anyway, the good thing is, since this is a little out of the way, only serious visitors make their way inside. Not many people come and waste our time. Most of the people visiting our stall are serious customers or prospective customers.

Some pics of our stall.

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0912.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0915.jpg


This is the new machine we showcased at this Auto Expo. It's a completely lever-less tyre changer. It's almost completely automatic. Some of you might remember the Hunter Auto34 tyre changer which was shown at the AutoMechanika 2008 in Frankfurt.

This Rav tyre changer is very similar to that Auto34. There is a little more manual labour involved in this one compared to the Auto34.

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0917.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0918.jpg




Car-o-liner crash repair equipment



The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0924.jpg



This pic shows a truck wheel balancer along with the GSP9700.



The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0926.jpg



This is the GSP9700 Wheel Balancer with Road Force Measurement. This is used to find out if a tyre has a certain pull towards one side. Many times, pulling and dragging problems cannot be solved by alignment alone and that is where this machine comes in handy. This is in the Volkswagen approved Grey colour. This is the colour all machines in any VAG service centre is.



The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0932.jpg



This is the Hunter HS401. A 3D wheel aligner with 4 cameras running on a Windows OS and WinAlign Software from Hunter.



The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0936.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0939.jpg




This is a truck tyre changer.




The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0925.jpg


After spending a few minutes at the stall, I get a call from my cousin. He is also coming via the Metro. Iím supposed to meet him at the gate and bring him inside with a pass. I go get him and we drop off our bags at our stall. Armed with just a camera, we set off!

From here on, Iíll let the pics do most of the talking. No point in writing too much. A picture is worth a thousand words!
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 18:56   #9
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

We didn’t have any specific plan in mind. We have an entire day ahead of us and both of us have come prepared to walk for hours. We leave Hall 1E and start walking. The first display we come across was this fabulous Classic and Vintage automobile display. I’m a noobie and I didn’t know most of these cars. I just read the names on the grills and see the logo. I can recognise most of the brands, but specific models are beyond me! I love the Mercs here though. Even though I don’t know which models they are. I love them because of the charm all old Mercs have.

As I said, I dont know most of these cars. So, if one of the guys who do know can tag them, it would be great!


The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0024.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0025.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0053.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0056.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0058.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0064.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0074.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0085.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0090.jpg

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 29th January 2010 at 18:57.
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 19:01   #10
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0092.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0093.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0094.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0097.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0098.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0099.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0100.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0102.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0103.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0104.jpg
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 19:07   #11
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0115.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0117.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0119.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0123.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0130.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0131.jpg


Someone has tried their level best to ruin this classic Merc.


The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0132.jpg


Near the JBL stall, we see this Alfa Romeo 166.

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0138.jpg

The Mughals, the Auto Expo and food!-image0139.jpg
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 19:23   #12
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Mpower's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,432
Thanked: 1,682 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
This Rav tyre changer is very similar to that Auto34. There is a little more manual labour involved in this one compared to the Auto34.
words!
Nice!
Does Hunter make a machine that will balance the wheel "on the car" without removing.
Mpower is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 20:40   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
anekho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: .
Posts: 1,995
Thanked: 659 Times
Default

Excellent travelogue and narration, nikhil! I really like your style of description.
Delhi must be every foodie's dream

Cheers!
anekho is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 22:03   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Nikhilb2008's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,825
Thanked: 4,799 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
Nice!
Does Hunter make a machine that will balance the wheel "on the car" without removing.
Nope. As of now, definitely not.

@all others --- Thanks for the kind words. It's encouraging. Have a lot lot more to get through.
Nikhilb2008 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th January 2010, 22:43   #15
BHPian
 
krish3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Cochin/Bangalore
Posts: 608
Thanked: 15 Times
Default

Nice start Nikhil. I expect more on the food part :-)
krish3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Food for the hungry and Food for our thought. StarVegabond Shifting gears 18 12th October 2012 12:01
Wheelosphere at The Hindu Chennai Auto Expo Ľ The Hindu Chennai Auto Expo 2010 udayjani The Indian Car Scene 3 10th October 2010 16:54


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 03:19.

Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks