Diwali 2017 at Dilli Haat Janakpuri was celebrated by organizing a Diwali Mela organized on the weekend before the festival from Oct 13th to 15th. A lot of Diwali shopping could be done at the stalls. Especially at the stalls by NGOs who sold Diwali items made by the underprivileged and visually handicapped children. Children participated in competitions and enjoyed in the play area. And there was a lot of food and entertainment.
Dilli Haat Janakpuri celebrates all the festivals with lots of entertainment for people of all age groups. Dill Haat Janakpuri opened two years back and during every religious, national or state festivals there is all-around entertainment.
One of the highlights of the at the Diwali celebrations were the lamps and decoration items made by:
The visually impaired
Traditional artiste in villages
There was a painting competition for children for FREE!!. Children of any age group up to the 12th standard could join. And they could win prizes and scholarships.
Diwali decoration by Underprivileged Kids
There was a stall of Nidaan Foundation (an NGO) which sold Diwali decorations made by the underprivileged kids. There were little clay pots painted and decorated colourfully. One star attraction was the Diwali lamp or Diya which looked like a lotus. Priyam Mathur of Nidaan Foundation said that the Diya was made from disposable spoons. Another decoration was a wall hanging with icecream sticks and a Ganesha statue on the frame.
Two in one light and scent
This was really cute. When the electric blub is lit and the lamp gets heated then the oil, poured on the top, emanates beautiful scent. There was also the candle version instead of the electric one, where you can place a candle inside the electric bulb.
Wooden crockery from Nagaland
There was beautifully polished wooden crockery made from Teak wood. The crockeries were carved by local artisans in Nagaland. There were also trays made from jute.
Khadi wears for women
The khadi dresses are affordable with prices from the range of Rs 500 – Rs 1200. The Khadi wears are manufactured and sold by a lady entrepreneur.
Diwali lighting made by visually impaired kids
There was also a stall of Diwali items made by the students of Akhil Bharatiya Netrahin Sangh – a school for the blinds. There were beautifully carved and painted diyas. The entire Diwali decoration shopping can be done here as there are Candles, lamps, dhoop aggarbattis and pooja items.
Songs and entertainment at the Amphitheatre
All the while the amphitheatre played loud music that kept the Haat lively.
Kids play area
To keep the children entertained there are a few play items.
Overall the Dilli Haat in Janakpuri is a good place to hang out with family during the Diwali holidays. The vast expanse of the Dilli Haat has got unique architectural buildings. To beautiful landscaping and the amazing architects is a beautiful blend of nature and architectural skills.
A 300-year-old traditional Kerala house, beautifully built with stones and wood was moved,1300 km from Kerala to Delhi. The house that belonged to a traditional agrarian family, was handed over from one generation to another to the youngest son of the family. And so the house finally was inherited by Oommen George, an Architect and Artist who now stays in the US. He had no plans to stay in his ancestral home.
What he wanted to be done with the house…..
When Mr. Oommen tried to sell the house, called Meda, in Mepral, Thirvulla, he realised that everyone was interested in the plot and the wooden antiques in the house which could be sold. None was interested in restoring and staying in the house. There was only one option before him which was to dismantle the house which was in a dilapidated state.
Who came to his rescue……….
His friend and Famous architect Pradeep Sachdeva came to his rescue at this moment. Well known for his projects like the Delhi Haat and the Garden of five senses. He is also the architect of offices and hotels like Taj.
How could Sachdeva dismantle the building unscathed?
What Sachdeva did next was to get the local traditional carpenter, Narayan Achari who knew about the wood works. Commonly known as Achari, the Acharis are carpenters and they pass on their tradition from generation to generation. Narayan Achari and his local group of workers worked like professionals to systematically remove all the wood pieces of Meda and to number them and to pack them in groups.
What is unique about the traditional Kerala house?
Fifty years back in Kerala there used to be only a few pucca houses in a village, and the rest will be thatched huts. Hence the entire village had an emotional attachment to the palatial landmarks of their village. The arapura, is the wooden room which is a granary, and has a granary box (pathayam) and ostensibly built at the entrance of the house with wooden carved door, gold platings and sophisticated locking system. The arapura was the storing place for the rice and other food items.
Why are Keralites emotional about traditional houses?
Every village has some kind of traditional stories related to the tharavad (ancestral home) and to the arapura of the tharavad. In my grandmother’s childhood home, a tradition is followed even now. The preparation for the temple celebration begins from that village ( know as kara) only after the karnavar (head of the family) of the tharavad opens the arapura and gives two bottles of coconut oil to the temple authorities. ‘Meda’, it is said was located above sea level, hence the villagers found shelter here during floods.
Role of an Acharis’ in the construction of a traditional Kerala house
The acharis, have got an important place in the Kerala architecture. They hand down their trade secret to the next generation. The role of an Achari is immense in traditional Kerala house construction. In olden days they were the consultant architects, engineers, carpenter and astrologer for any construction project. Narayan Achari started mastering the skills at a very young age.
Features of a wooden room or Ara………….
Traditional Kerala house rooms of woods are known as Ara and Nira. Nira means panels. The walls, ceilings and the floors are made of wooden panels which are joined without nuts and bolts. The wooden panels are joined like jigsaw puzzles.
Achari’s role in dismantling the house…….
Naryan Achari, dexterously removed the panels and packed them in groups so that when the package reached Gurugram, the panels could be easily unpacked and joined.
Did they use new materials in reconstruction in Gurugram?
Some of the wood was unusable, so Pradeep Sachedeva made a few new panels using similar wood in Gurugram. And only the wooden rooms of upstairs was brought to Delhi. Instead of the stones used for the ground floor walls, bricks were used in gurugram.
How long was the reconstruction……
Achari and his team were brought to Gurugram where the assembling and reconstruction were done within six weeks.
What were the additions made to the traditional building?
John Bowman, a British architect created a cast iron spiral steps to the upper floor. Initially, the staircase was of wood. In addition, a bathroom and a kitchen were constructed on the ground floor. In addition, electricity and plumbing were installed.
How is the house after eight years of shifting………..
Mr. Sachdeva says the house seems to belong to the place, and wood will be fine for a long time.
Is the upkeep of the wood structure difficult
He says maintenance of the structure is not difficult and the house is cleaned and kept well maintained.
How economical is it to shift a traditional house?
Mr. Sachdeva says that shifting the house is not a costly affair.
What is the house being used as in Gurugram?
Meda is being used as a weekend home by Mr. Sachdeva and it is also used as a guesthouse.
The Garden of Five Senses, which is set on 20 acres of land, has a variety of flowers, trees, landscapes, activities and entertainment. Here are a few images captured duringTHE GARDEN FESTIVAL, 2016 at THE GARDEN OF FIVE SENSES
Every country and every city have different traditions to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Some celebrate with cakes, wines and turkeys. Different places have customs and culture unique to that area. In Kerala traditionally people prepare appam (pancake) and chicken curry; they also make stars at home. Here is a Christmas Album with pictures of Christmas celebrations around the world.
Delhi On December 25 when the Christians are celebrating Christmas at home with family and friends, the Churches in Delhi are filled with Delhites, of various faiths, who visit in large numbers. Wearing Santas clothes and Caps, young and the old pay a visit to the Churches in the Shivering Winters. They pray, light candles and have cakes, which is considered like ‘prasad’ that is given at temples.
Christianity came to Kerala in the very beginning itself, when the Apostles of Christ went around the world spreading the Good News about Jesus Christ. St. Thomas (also know as the Apostle of India) landed in Kerala in AD 52, and worked among the local population. In the past 2000 years, the Christians of Kerala have followed their Christian faith while remaining rooted in the Indian Tradition. Traditionally, celebrations mainly included fasting and prayer and finally celebrating the festival with family by having appam, curry and snacks. The most important part of the celebration is serving the food to the neighbours of other faiths, helpers and the have-nots. Children made stars using transparent colour papers and bamboo sticks. Illumination lights were used to decorate local plants like chembarathi (hibiscus), Mulla (jasmine) and Thetti (Ixora coccinea). With the advent of globalization cakes, artificial Christmas trees and stars and Santa and decorations have become part of the celebrations. Kerala Christmas Celebrations still retain some of the rustic beauty of the yonder years Christmas Celebrations.
The Christmas as we see in movies and stories is celebrated with cakes, wines and turkeys. Here are some pictures of Scotland, the Northernmost Country of the United Kingdom. The cold winters and snow give a picture perfect settings while singing Christmas Songs like “I’m dreaming of a White Christmas” and “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!”.
I saw a beautiful instagram picture posted by a friend. The picture showed a well maintained road with hot air balloons lined on both the sides. The caption said that the picture was of Shauryanjali festival – celebrating the 50th year of Indo-Pak war, held at Rajpath.
The war exhibition initially planned for 6 days, from September 15th, was extended for two more days due to the huge public response. Rajpath, synonymous with the Republic Day parades, wore the look of a small republic day celebration as there was non-stop entertainment provided by the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the CRPF. The Armed Forces Band playing patriotic and film songs at the India Gate lawns attracted huge audience, who cheered the musicians after each performance. There were also martial displays by service contingents, witnessed by hundreds on the pavilion. I realized that the hot air balloons which inspired me to the event was just a small part of the bigger exhibition which we were about to witness.
As if climbing on the top of army aircraft and going inside a bunker were not enough to make a day, an army man asked “did you visit the pavilions, you have lot to see”……… There was no queue but a huge crowd at the gates. “There will surely be a stampede when the gate opens” someone said. “No, I said, not at a military event. Military men work in adverse conditions to save lives during Natural Calamities like flood. They know how to manage crowd”
On entering the Gates there was a briefing about the 1965 war through a documentary. After which began the journey to know more about the war by visiting the 28 pavilions depicting the battles and the contributions made by Army, Navy, Air Force and CRPF.
Important locations of the 1965 war like the Indo-Pak boarder, the battle of Phillora were depicted using sand models. There were pavilions recreating the major battles. On display were some of the weapons and accouterments of the Pakistani Army that are preserved as trophies by the Indian Army – pistols, rifles, and Patton and Sherman tanks. There were busts of valiant lieutenant colonels who lead the war ; pictures of valiant soldiers adorned the walls of the pavilions.
The technical ingenuity of the Army was displayed at its best at the exhibition. They were successful in providing people with an insight of what happened during the war. At the navy pavilion there was a small water tank with a toy ship sailing. At first I thought there was nothing unusual about it; I waited for a few moment, suddenly a submarine emerged from under the water and destroyed the enemy ship. So orginal were the army men in enacting their roles that people were asking if the ‘injured soldier’ lying in the replica of make-shift war hospital was actually hospitalized.
I don’t remember any other event when the army men have come so close to the public. They were readily obliging to take selfies. There were also bunkers and cut-outs were people could take picture posing as Army men. Public was allowed to experience nearly every aspect of army activities – sitting inside tankers and fighter planes, learning about signal operation, going inside a bunker made of sand bags and so on.
I had planned only an hours site seeing at Rajpath but it took nearly three and half hours to visit all the pavilions. I left with a sense that I should have prepared for a whole days outing. And the initial plan of a hot air balloon ride was forgotten………..there will many more opportunities for a hot air balloon ride but experiencing the army life first hand was a once in a life time opportunity.
One of the must-visit tourist spots for all visitors to Delhi is the Dilli Haats. Visiting the Dilli Haat is like seeing the whole of India through a Kaleidoscope. You can experience authentic handicraft, handloom and food from different parts of the country exhibited in a single premise.
In 2014, a third Delhi Haat Janakpuri in West Delhi was opened sprawling over 8 acres of land. The wide car parking and the huge basket towers with bamboo outer cover catch the attention of the passersby. There are a 100 stall, 46 of them Air Conditioned, which are a shoppers paradise. An array of colourful handicrafts, handlooms, decorative items, perfumes, ethnic ornaments and much more provide a festive look to the shops in the Haat.
There are a number of outstanding features in Dilli Haat Janakpuri like the amphitheatre which can accommodate around 800 people and an AC hall which can hold 840 people. “The Haat which was inaugurated in 2014 has culture activities throughout the year,” says Mr Subash, an official at the Dilli Haat Janakpuri who was busy in planning Teej Festival Celebrations to be held from Aug 15-18. He says if anyone wants to open a stall of any kind of consumer goods during such events they can contact him in his Dilli Haat Janakpuri office. There is also a musical library and museum which has a collection of all kinds of musical instruments and song collection.
During holidays and on vacation, Dilli Haat Janakpuri is a perfect hangout for families and couples with kids games, shopping arcade, food, cultural entertainment and wide area to walk around.
An Indian Cultural and Food Festival was held from Aug 7th to Aug 15 by the ITDC. The evenings during the events was a colourful and festive occasion at the haat. At the entrance of Dilli Haat Janakpuri, there were bands playing mellifluous music and you could spot participants dressed in various costumes showcasing the Indian Culture. The beautiful costumes were a feast for the camera and the participants were willing to pose for the camera, As part of the event, there were food stalls from different parts of the country. The entry ticket is free for the event which is held from 5:00 -10:00 PM until Aug 15th.
One of the basket towers has a big hall where frequent exhibitions and shopping fests are held. In July there was a Mango fest in the spacious hall where Mango Planters from around the country exhibited hundred of varieties of Mangoes.
On the occasion of the Teej Festival, many events were organized at Dilli Haat Janakpuri. There were many entertainments for family, especially children. And much to the joy of the women to make the This Teej festival and Independence day was truly unforgettable as there were be special stalls for Ladies items: handlooms, ornaments, perfumes, and much more. There was also a gala of events: Teej shopping, cultural food, theme exhibition, rides, kids zone, kite festival and rain dance.
As the festive season is yet to begin you can except more entertaining and creative events at the haat, providing more than a feast for the eyes and palate but also an insight into the variegated culture of India.
Paika is a Jharkhand dance form performed by men in which many martial art forms are used. Paika dance is used to welcome guests during any occasion. The dancer carry swords and wear shields to protect them from harm. Paikas are said to a group of people who used to protect the kingdom during ancient times.
Watch the paika dance of jharkhand performance on the occasion of Independence day celebration at Dilli Haath, Janakpuri. New Delhi.
On the occasion of the Independence day of India; Indian Cultural and Food festival is being held at DelhiHaat Janakpuri. Here is a glimpse of folk dance called badhai or raai from Sagar. badhai dance of madhya pradesh