Majnu-Ka-Tilla, Delhi // Tibetan Refugee Colony

Apr 2, 2016

The greatness of a city is through its heterogeneity. The ability of a city to embrace people of every kind, of every background and of every belief. Little sectors in the city with human flourishing from a completely different from the majority. One such place is Majnu-Ta-Tilla. The moment you enter the place you can get the vibes you get in McLeodGanj. Just like McLeodGanj, Majnu-Ta-Tilla is a Tibetan colony. But unlike being in the top of the mountain with cold winds blowing year around, Manju-Ka-Tilla Tibetan colony is in Delhi. Among the hustle and bustle of the busy city, there lies this quaint little place. If you land here directly. there is no way of knowing that you are still in Delhi.

How to reach Majnu-ka-Tilla: I am not sure if there are any places to park so, talking your car is not a great option. I booked a cab to reach but it was all confusing as the driver was not aware of the place. Also, it is not a properly marked place like other places in Delhi. The best option is my opinion is to go by metro. Go to Vidhan Sabha Metro Shop and take an auto-rickshaw or cycle-rickshaw.

Where in Majnu-KaTilla? It is a huge place. The place we actually looking for is the 'Tibetian Colony'. It houses small houses within narrow lanes. Most houses have cafes or restaurant os shops in the ground floor,

What to do in Majnu-ka-Tilla?
  • Eat. You get delicacies like nowhere in the city. I was even intrigued by the way the watermelon was sold in disk shapes. So, don't be afraid to give your trip a twist. Instead of trying a pastry or other things that you can get anywhere (people generally hit AMA Cafe as it is one the most popular one as per Zomato's listing). In my opinion, whenever it comes to this kind of places, simple = authentic. Modernisation always messes with authenticity as the restaurants need to modify the food to suit the taste of locals to get more sales and profit. Hit the ones which look simple. Chances are they are not even listed on Zomato. We went to Kailash Korean Kitchen and Panda Cafe - neither on them are on Zomato. Kailash Korean Kitchen has a variety of Korean food. In fact, there are few other places if you wish to try Korean food. I was in the mood for some Tibetian food. So, we head to Panda Cafe. Panda Cafe is a mix of Asian and Tibetan. I tried the Thumpka which was exactly what I needed. I also had fruit beer. If you have more time to explore then visit them all. The food is not that costly
  • Shop: If you like the clothes that you generally see on the fashionable north-east people then make a beeline to Majnu-ka-tilla. In Kolkata, we have BK market. This is the closest thing I have seen so far in Delhi. Trust me, back when I lived here, I have searched for them high and love because those clothes are my personal favorite. Unfortunately, most shops were closed the day we went (some shopkeepers campaign against the government) so, could not shop much. Keep in mind that these places are not cheap like Sarojini. Also, they might even have a fake logo of a reputed brand. As it turns me off, I like to check that before buying.
  • Another thing that you might to shop are silver jewelry or semi-precious stones. I even found a shop where the semi-precious stones are sold and a shop where you can customise your jewelry the stones. It will turn out cheaper than what the ready-made are charged. But, I had no time for that as I was leaving the very next day for Rishikesh.
  • Walk Around Did I mention that they have a monastery and Buddhist temple there? Right in the middle? Do pay a visit. If sitting somewhere and shopping till your drop is not in your books then take a stroll. Wake through the lanes. Chances are high that you will be lost there but you definitely will discover something new. 

Most important tip: Take cash. Chances of a small business taking card is low. There are some ATMs outside of Tibetian Refugee Colony but, better go prepared.

Discovering for the first time - Watermelon cut like disk! I think I have seen it all :)
Panda Cafe - between the narrow lanes behind the monastery in Majnu Ka Tilla
Chicken Thupka served with Kimchi type salad and hot sauce at Panda Cafe, Majnu-ka-Tilla
The soul touching Tibetan flavors at Majnu-ka-Tilla
It was hot and it was awesome - Chicken with some special chilies (forgot name)
Fruit Beer to wash it down. Yes, they were playing Kung Fu Panda in the TV in Panda Cafe.
The owner has some serious love for Panda
Lemon honey ginger tea for Bharti
Praying Monks?
Monastery and Buddhist Temple. Majnu-Ka-Tilla, Delhi
Precious beads for Jewelry at a shop in Majnu-Ka-Tilla
Just have a look at the variety of Turquoise
Beads and Silver at Majnu-ka-Tilla
There is Nepali food as well
Herbs? I diddn't had much time to inquire and look into them

Liked the post? I would love to visit the place again with more time on hand to explore. If you have been to the place then do let me know if you think I should add anything in this post.


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