The dawn of a new academic year is upon us, which means a fresh batch of students, from across the country, will soon be checking in at the many college campuses of Delhi University. For those not familiar with this part of the town, navigating your way around can become a challenge, even if you were born in Delhi. There are no easy answers to questions like where’s the best place to eat around the DU? The best place to shop? Best hangouts? And that all important query: Where can you get your documents photocopied on the cheap?  But fret not! This handy Guardian 20 guide, product of hermetic research and expert advice, will attempt to show you your way around the North Campus.

Patel Chest

Patel Chest is a quaint little spot, that Delhi University students will swear by. Besides being home to some busy eateries, this area is the go-to venue for all your college essentials. From a variety of course books to cheap photocopiers, you’ll find it all here. The place a particular favourite among those preparing for competitive exams, since this is where they can buy a truckload of sample question papers and coursebooks at attractive prices. Not only this. If you are a night owl prone to experiencing severe hunger pangs at ungodly hours, Patel Chest, with its many paratha stalls, the place you need to bear in mind. 

Shop till you drop

Your student life is incomplete if you don’t go shopping for clothes and stuff every alternate week, as a matter of policy. And you haven’t shopped if you haven’t been to Kamla Nagar, the shopping hub of north Delhi. The market is not just popular among college goers but is also all the rage with the residents of Delhi. You’ll find both Indian and international brands here. But women’s wear is what the place specialises in. Offering everything from casual wear for women and junk jewellery, to footwear catering to every possible need, Kamla Nagar is your one-stop destination for your annual wardrobe needs. No. Make that bi-weekly wardrobe needs. 

Little Tibet 

Majnu-ka-Tila is quite galling if you visit it for the first time, what with the confusing network of alleyways here. But eventually it becomes one’s favourite hangout. It’s unusual name is the first catchy thing about the place. It is also home to a Tibetan refugee colony, known as Little Tibet of Delhi. The place got its name from a local Iranian Sufi mystic, Abdulla, who was nicknamed Majnu. If you look around, you’ll some nice Tibetan souvenirs and knick-knacks in the stalls here. The local Tibetan restaurants, too, are worth a try.

Where’s the best place to eat around the DU? The best place to shop? Best hangouts? And that all important query: Where can you get your documents photocopied on the cheap?  This handy Guardian 20 guide attempts to answer all these questions.

For the palette

When it comes to affordable eateries, G.T.B. Nagar in north Delhi can’t be paralleled. ’ The range of cuisine on offer here, everything from south Indian to Punjabi, from Chinese to European, can blow the mind of your average foodie. Some of the cafes here are really state-of-the-art. College students don’t mind spending their evenings at such joints. And there are plenty of options available, too. If you have money to spare, there are plenty of pricey restauraunts in the vicinity. On the other hand, if you’re lacking on the pecuniary front, there are affordable choices aplenty, including a wide range of street food.

Culture trail

When the fun and games are over, and you looking to get some alone-time, the DU area has a lot to offer. Take for instance, the Kamla Nehru Ridge forest, which lies east of Kamla Nagar. This is the part of Delhi that is unlike any other across the city.  It is an island of solitude and nature in this metropolis. Historical monuments abound here, such as the Mutiny Memorial, Flagstaff Tower and one of the several Ashoka Pillars. There’s also a beautifully landscaped park, endowed with flowers and greens. It is a haven for walkers and wildlife, giving them a fragment of peace and calm amid the surrounding chaos. But beware: there are monkeys in this area, and it’s best to keep your distance if you see a troop looming somewhere. Another major attraction is the Khooni Jheel, the 80-foot-deep reservoir here.

These are some of the places we could think of. But this doesn’t mean that the list comes to a close here. There are enough undiscovered gems in and around the DU, and it’s one of jobs as a fresher to explore and expand the catalogue of DU hangouts.


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