Skip to Content (Press Enter)

English / Français

Insider's Guide to Delhi

From a colourful fabric shop to a hidden record store, Canadian artist Divya Mehra takes us to her favourite spots.

Divya Mehra

Photo: Dane Goulet

Winnipeg artist Divya Mehra creates colourful and outspoken pieces about the effects of institutional racism. Spanning mediums like film and sculpture, her work has appeared at MoMA PS1 in New York and Latitude 28 in Delhi, her father’s hometown. Growing up, she was struck by the contrast between the crowded city and Manitoba’s prairies, and she continues to visit every year. “I’m drawn to the electric energy of Delhi’s density.”

HP Singh

Photo: Asmita Hulyalkar

1. HP Singh

I love shopping for fabrics, and this store is filled with every type of print, colour and texture you could imagine; sometimes I’ll keep samples for my sketchbook as inspiration. It has as many levels as Mood Fabrics in New York, so I can spend hours there browsing.

Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Photo: Proban Pictures and Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

2. Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Last year, I saw an amazing exhibit that included a film about the contemporary Indian painter Akbar Padamsee at this private museum housed in an abandoned shopping mall in the Saket District. They focus on modern and contemporary South Asian art, and it’s a quiet space with wonderful air conditioning.

Chandni Chowk Market

Photo: Emad Aljumah - Getty Images

3. Chandni Chowk Market

This massive 300-year-old labyrinthine indoor and outdoor market is one of the largest in Delhi, and it can be stress-inducing, but in a good way. Stay cool by ordering a mango shake and try the world-class parathas – there’s a whole alley dedicated to the fried flatbread, and I get mine topped with potatoes and cauliflower, coconut or fresh yogurt.

2573 Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk

4. New Gramophone House

At the top of a narrow staircase, hidden at the back of a leather goods shop, is my favourite record store, where I built up my collection. It’s packed with recordings of rare poems called ghazals, devotional songs, classical Indian music and nearly every Bollywood soundtrack from the 1970s and ’80s, like Amar Akbar Anthony.