There is no ideal way to explore the street of Old Delhi – you will get advised to not take your cars there, which makes perfect sense given the width of the roads, leaving you with one option of walking. Taking into account, the efforts needed to navigate through the narrow streets, it becomes tiring after a little while, especially for lazy people like me ;). Rickshaws, on the other hand, are the mass favorite – you should see these guys navigate through ease in this streets and you will be nothing short of amazed.
The same thoughts came to the minds of Siddhant and Keshav and the Heritage Rickshaw Tour at Guava Trips happened. With the exclusive access to customized rickshaws, Guava Trips promises to show you around the specialties of the erstwhile Shahjahanabad in their super comfortable and loaded rickshaws – without worrying about the issues of traffic and crowd. With a range of tours targeted at heritage and culture, food & spirituality, Guava Trips is doing a lot to make your experience better and comfortable. We experienced the bespoke Royal Heritage and Grand Haveli Tour with Siddhant and Keshav and are totally in love (with the tour, of course :D)
The tour started at the Jama Masjid, and was led by a very knowledgeable guide – who told us about the history and interesting facts – be it the in-built mats for the prayers, the centuries old shop and the 4th generation of the owner churning out soorma or the views of Meena bazaar. Among further attractions were Jain Temple, Gurudwara Sees Ganj, Khari Baoli, Kinari Bazaar, Dariba Kalan and many more. The guide had ample knowledge on every place visited and it was not just limited to that – all the time we were on the rickshaws, hopping places, there was a live narration going on with walky-talkies (beat that!).
At Gurudwara Sees Ganj, immerse yourself in the holy gurbaani, and experience the selfless service of people at the kitchen cooking the langar – devotion to humanity is what the people believe in here.
antiques for display
The specialized rickshaws have been ordered for full comfort, so keep aside any perceptions that you have for the three wheeler, they have refreshments on board (chilled water and soft drinks, yay!) in a cool box, first aid kit, pollution masks, wet tissues & slippers (for Jama Masjid) & other safety equipment. Never once during the time spent on rickshaws (about 1-1.5 hours cumulative) we felt any discomfort – the escort was prompt enough to offers soft drinks and water at each stop.
Once you are done (& dusted) with the rendezvous with culture and monuments, it’s time to soak in some history – the marvel called Haveli Dharampura – a trip back in time. Restored from the point of being a dilapidated haveli, this heritage is what it is after 7 years, about 45 lakhs and 1000 trucks of debris! Get lost in the beauty of the hotel, while you are told about the history of the place, challenges faced during the restoration and the interesting facts (hidden trasure chest to say the least!). At the terrace enjoy Kabootarbaazi (pigeon show – a legacy) and Patangbaaji (kite flying) – don’t worry, the lovely staff of the haveli gets the kite in the air, you just need to navigate it 🙂
End you trip with a luxury brunch at Lakhori – the charming in house restaurant of the haveli serving mughlai food and street food of Delhi with a twist. The food is amazing – choose anything from the menu and you will wonder at the flavors it packs – the servers are fully aware of the dishes being served – so ask for suggestions and get your dishes altered to your taste. Our personal favourites are mutton korma, aloo gobhi matar deconstructed, murgh ke paarchey.
Other tours organized by Guava Trips are The Divine Spirituality Tour, Old Delhi Street Food Tour, Akshardham Temple, Lodi Gardens, Archaeological Park, Gurudwara Bangla Sahib, Qawwali at Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah etc. and a many more to add. Visit their website www.guavatrips.com for all the details and book these tours. With the kind of experience we had with The Royal Heritage and Grand haveli Tour, we can’t wait to be a part of the other tours.
P.S. – Try to find the generator while you are at the haveli. We couldn’t, but were shown later – quite a feat we would say!
Review Credit – Abhik Dasgupta
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