Street food fest begins to celebrate Delhi’s 100th birthdaySweta Dutta

For the next one week one could avoid the narrow congested bylanes of Old Delhi and enjoy its speciality dishes right in the heart of the city — in Connaught Place. Delhi Tourism's nine-day food festival 'Dilli Ke Pakwan', has taken these finger licking street food items to Baba Kharak Singh Marg.

As a run-up to celebrate the centenary year of the Capital, the fest, from December 3 to 11, brings together the food and culture of Delhi on one platform.

The street bustled with activity on Sunday, when a large number of weekend shoppers and visitors took time out with family and friends to walk down from Connaught Place, attracted by the décor and live performances at the food fest venue.

"Street food is the very soul of the culture of Delhi and no celebration can be complete without the quintessential chaat, kulfi, biryani, kebabs sold in the labyrinth of Old Delhi. In an effort to showcase this aspect of Delhi, we have brought the culinary delights of the age-old shops of Purani Dilli out into the open for everyone to enjoy," said a spokesperson of Delhi Tourism.

Stalls are stacked with handicrafts and artists demonstrate pottery and bangle-making skills. Mehendi artists, sketch makers and artists who specialise in rice engravings catered to the crowd.

"Though all of this can be found in Dilli Haat, too, the atmosphere here is more festive and there is a larger variety of food stalls. Such festivals make weekend outings more enjoyable and I can already feel the festivity surrounding Delhi's centenary celebrations," said Nisha Karmapal, who strolled down from CP with her husband and kids.

On Sunday evening, qawwali singers and Kathak dancers enthralled the crowd in an open air performance. Anu Sinha, kathak dancer and organiser of the cultural shows told Newsline, "We have chalked out an interesting line-up for all the nine days. There will be performances of traditional dance and music forms."

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