What’s on this week? Here’s your Delhi Diary

Fab India has opened a five storey experience centre in the capital, there’s an Old Delhi Food Festival at the India Islamic Centre, the World Press Photo Awards come to the capital and there’s a whole host of other stuff on as we say farewell to spring. Get stuck in.

Tell me more about Lord Shiva

Wondering what Maha Shivratri on Friday 24th February is all about and who Lord Shiva is? Here’s a 101 introduction to Lord Shiva, the Lord of Dance, the husband of Parvati, the father of Ganesha and the God that saved the world but turned blue in the process.

Pilgrimage: The Himalayas exhibition

From massive Kumbh Melas held at sacred waters all the way through to huge gatherings in the Himalayan range, India is a place where epic pilgrimages see millions of people on the move. Gaynor O’Flynn, an artist from the UK, presents Pilgrimage, an exhibition of her extensive personal pilgrimages in the Himalayan range.

Read all about it! News to us.

Coconut Jaggery that fights pollution, service charges at restaurants that no longer need to be paid, cleaning products made from holy cow urine, the expanding Delhi Metro and the great wall of India are amongst the stories that caught our eye this week.

Lohri – The Bonfire Festival

Lohri is big. It’s bigger than Holi, the festival of colours, for many north Indians. With the sun at its furthest point from the earth, the Rabi (winter crop) harvested and the cold weather settling in, it’s time to celebrate nature’s bounty with loved ones and keep warm by the bonfire.

Today’s Gandhi Jayanti

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, also known as Gandhi ji, Bapu and simply the Mahatma, was a civil rights activist who successfully fought for India’s independence from British rule. He’s revered in India and around the world for good reason.

Holy Cow! It’s Lord Krishna’s birthday

It’s Janmashtami (Lord Krishna’s birthday) and it’s time to celebrate. Today’s blog post pays tribute Lord Krishna on his birthday with some cows facts, some cow fiction and a some cow and bull photographs. Lord Krishna, the Lord of Love and an avatar of Lord Vishnu, frequently depicted playing a flute with a herd of…

Learn the language

A little Hindi goes a long way. When I open my mouth and make some sound that I think sounds like Hindi no-one mocks me.  “Nice Hindi!” invariably comes the reply. The person then speaks to me in English and asks me what I want. I’ve found that Indian’s really enjoy the fact that I’m…

India in TV techni-colour

If I was told I had the choice of only one word to describe India, colourful might be the one I’d choose. Women, like the ladies in the photograph, wearing and washing brightly coloured saris at riverside ghats is a quintessentially Indian image. My life back in London town was black and white, but then…

Partition stories get shared

The British are leaving India.  On the 14th August 1947 Pakistan celebrates.  Mohammed Ali Jinnah, the first Governor-General of Pakistan and Lord Mountbatten, the British Viceroy, parade through Lahore . The next day, Mountbatten is back in Delhi and alongside India’s first post independence Prime Minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru.   India arrives on the world stage…

Who are you calling an owl?

Who are you calling an owl? Where I come from an owl is considered a wise creature. Telling someone that they are “a wise owl” is a compliment that’s well received. Tales and fables in many European countries and across North American have made sure that the owl has been recognised as a wise creature,…

Get to know Gandhi

Gandhi ji, also known as Bapu, Mahamta and the father of the Nation, was a civil rights activist who fought for India’s independence from the British.  He’s revered in India and around the world for good reason. Gandhi inspired millions of ordinary Indians to stand up against British rule.  His methods, non violence and actions…

Five fun August festivals

Are you ready?  I hope so.  A busy few months of festivals and celebrations is about to begin. This month there’s five dates to mark in the diary.   Namaste New Delhi’s guide will give you all the information you need to know about what’s happening, when, where and why. Here goes. Teej will be celebrated…

What is eveteasing?

I’ve come into contact with many wonderful words and phrases since arriving in India. To prepone (to bring forward) and to do the needful (to do what is requested or required by someone) have entered everyday lexicon. Another new word that’s new to me is eveteasing.  Eveteasing may sound a wonderful, but it’s not something…

Is that a naked man?

Is that a naked man? Technically not. The gentleman in the photograph isn’t totally naked.  If you look closely at his feet you can see he’s wearing a pair of black flip flops.  But apart from his footwear he is butt naked. I took this photo from behind to save him, me and you any…

Why are you doing that?

Whenever I go for a wander I always come across something that makes me stop and stare. It’s what makes living in Delhi such a special experience for me.  Most of the time I’ve got no idea what’s happening or why.  I spend much of my life confused, intrigued and frustrated.  I want to know…

Meet the Mughals

The Mughals are responsible for building many of the iconic architectural marvels that make India a massive draw for millions of tourists. The Taj Mahal, Humayuns Tomb, Agra Fort and Delhi’s Red Fort, all built by Mughal rulers, are so special that make it onto the UNESCO World Heritage list.    I don’t know for sure,…

Meet 50 incredible Indians

If you want to understand a country the best place to start is by getting to know its people. Sunil Khilnani, professor and director of the Indian Institute at Kings College London, is a man who knows a thing or two India and its people.  He’s also knows how to tell a terrific story and…

10 facts about India

“There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated…