An Australian chum, Monty Sagar originally introduced me to the neighborhood last year during the rainy season, but I really didn't get a chance to explore Pahar Ganj further until this past weekend.
Because this neighborhood caters to foreign budget travelers, its a great place to find bargains. Lesa, the kids and I and two British friends all met up there to check out some of the shops.
Pahar Ganj is definitely a mess. Some of the worst public wiring can be found there. Open sewers, flea-bag hotels, cheap, but really good hole-in-the-wall restaurants are all here. The street is torn up - probably being resurfaced in anticipation of October's Commonwealth Games. We wound our way through the obstacle course of debris and crowds to what were some really great shops. Two of our favorites along the main Bazaar are "Hari Piorko International," a shop filled with bangles, bells, handcrafts and trinkets. And the more difficult to find, Setu Handloom. This second floor shop is filled with handmade bags, pillow cases, puppets - most things fabric-related. Setu negotiates fair prices and has good, clean merchandise. Evan found a really cool set of scales (with weights and brass fittings in a velvet box) at Hari Piorko and Audrey found a hand sewn "banana bag" at Setu Handloom. Lesa and I managed to gather a nice assortment of wonderful little gifts for friends and family on our upcoming trip to the US! The gals all sat in the shade and had Mehndi (henna) done on their arms and hands while Evan and I shared a cold drink. It was a hot afternoon, but we had a nice time exploring this really unique neighborhood!