Who Built Shahi Jama Masjid and When?

After the exit from Lal Quila metro station, the first temple you reach is Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji and then Shri Gauri Shankar temple – both on the left-hand side. Walk further a little and you will reach Esplanade Road (cycle market) again on the left-hand side.

Enter the Esplanade Road and walk straight till you reach Shahi Jama Masjid on the right-hand side. The journey continues..

Bhang (cannabis) as an Offering to Lord Shiva

Raj – The cyclist. I saw him opposite the Red Fort between Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji and Lal Quila Metro Station (Chandni Chowk, Delhi).

Upon query, he enhanced my knowledge that the Bhang (cannabis) he is carrying on his cycle is an offering to the 800 plus-year-old Shri Gauri Shankar temple (built by Apa Gangadhar) nearby. Every day he peddles cycle from Yamuna bank to deliver it.

The weight of the Bhang is approx. 40 kg and it costs Rs. 500/- only.

Bam Bam Bhole – said I. The journey continues..

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji (Chandni Chowk, Delhi) – Heritage Building Built-in 16th Century

Built during the reign of Shahjahan, in red Kota stone, Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir is an ideal paradigm of Jain Sramana tradition and artistic splendor in the heart of the city, Chandni Chowk.

Within the temple premises is a bird hospital, which advocates the Jain principle of non-violence ‘Parasparopgraho Jeevanaam’, compassion for all forms of life, ‘Live and let Live.’ The complex also houses a Jain Sahitya Sadan which has a great collection of old and new literature. Despite the necessary changes to keep pace with modernization, the temple still retains its magnificence with intricate enamel work and elaborately painted ceilings.

(Source: display-board)

Nearest Metro Station: Lal Quila

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji is the oldest Jain temple in Delhi, built-in 1658 AD.

There are many VEDIS (shrines) in the temple. Such as:

  1. Lord Rishabh Dev
  2. Lord Chandra Prabhu
  3. Lord Mahavira
  4. Lord Parshwnath
  5. Goddess Padmavati (Yakshini)

And a few more..

Photography is not allowed inside the temple area.

Opening Hours:

Summer: 5:30 am – 11:30 am/6:00 pm – 9:30 pm

Winter: 6:00 am – 12:00 Noon/5:30 pm – 9:00 pm

Visitors are strictly not allowed between 12:00 Noon to 6:00 pm

Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji gates are closed between 11:00 pm – 5:00 am

Next to Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir Ji, in the same complex, there is Charity Birds Hospital where birds are treated for FREE. These birds are treated by specialist doctors. After treatment, birds are moved to larger cages and are finally released into the sky.

Fantastic tour – a thought within. The journey continues..

I visited 103 Years Old ‘Lotan Chole Kulche Wala’ at Chawri Bazar in Old Delhi

Lotan Chole Kulche Wala is situated at 2353, Chatta Shahji Rd, Chawri Bazar, Old Delhi.

The address mentioned on Google is an old one. Need an update.

Chole Kulche stall was started by Late Shri Lotan Ram Ji in the year 1918.

Earlier they had a roadside stall, but now they have had their own shop running for 3 years.

Reached Chawri Bazar Metro Station and exited towards Chawri Bazar.

Right-turn. Walking towards Hauz Qazi Chowk. Reached.

Walking further straight till I reach Shyam Sweets situated on the right-hand side.

Opposite Shyam Sweets, there is a very narrow/congested lane. Walk inside.

Leave first left-turn. Enter the second left turn. Walk a little and you will reach your destination which is on the left-hand side.

As I am a desi street food lover, early morning breakfast was the plan, especially at Lotan Chole Kulche Wala – a very famous/popular and one of the oldest Delhi street food stalls since 1918 i.e., 103 years old.

Please note: There is no sitting arrangement, yet you will find a fairly large number of people having delicious Chole Kulche.

The best is to find yourself a comfy corner to stand in & have a very famous Lotan Ji Ke Chole Kulche.

Lotan Chole Kulche Wala shop is open from 7 am till 1 pm (365 days).

Certificate of Excellence by Delhi Food Walks.

Best Chole Kulche awarded by Dettol Delhi Street Food Awards 2018.

I asked the price of Chole Kulche.

Two Kulche for Rs. 50 along with Chole. If you want to add Amul butter, then Rs. 15 extra – said the person present.

Three Chole Kulche I had for Rs. 60. It was soft, fresh, hot, and spicy. It just melted in my mouth, and every bite – I relished.

Yes, water is required as the Chole Kulche was spicy.

Rs. 10 for Aquafina chilled water bottle.

Total Rs. 70 I paid and I was satisfied with the breakfast.

Caution: Please suggest to them how much spicy Chole you want? – Normal, Medium, or Teekha (spicy).

They also serve Chole Paani (water) for Rs. 10 but I was not interested as I stay away from spicy food but still would love to say – Ultimate, Yummylicious, Mouth-Watering, Lip-smacking and one of the best Chole Kulche I have ever had in Old Delhi.

Chole is made with boiled chickpeas/secret spices and the Kulcha is made with Maida – White flour.

So if you are in-around Old Delhi, drop at Chawri Bazaar to have Lotan ji ke Chole Kulche. You will never regret it.

I name it – an iconic/heritage shop. A hidden gem. Must be taken care of by the State/Central Government.

I would suggest – try once to have an experience with our Desi Indian Food.

Do not expect that it will be a fancy shop/restaurant, but yes, little hygiene is required.

The staff is polite, and the service is quick. I highly recommend – Lotan Chole Kulche Wala.

If you walk further inside the lane, you will reach Haveli Dharampura situated at Chandni Chowk, Delhi.

The trip to Old Delhi was incomplete if I had not visited Lotan Ji Ke Chole Kulche. Now I am happy, I visited.

Knowledge was enhanced by cousin brother that Lotan Chole Kulche Wala also has a stall at Daryaganj. The journey continues..

What did I Pack for 21 days Delhi and Punjab Trip?

1st August till the end of June month, I believe it is the best time to travel to the most part of India. The weather is not too hot nor too cool. It is almost pleasant. That’s why I decided to travel via Sleeper (SL) instead of traveling via AC 2 Tier (2A).

I reserved my sleeper class train berth (10 days before the departure date) in BDTS ASR SPL (02925) as there was no confirmed berth available in other trains. Mostly, I try to reserve the Side Lower Berth which I find the most comfortable but I was provided – Side Upper by IRCTC Website.

That is also fine. Total Fare from Mumbai to New Delhi via BDTS ASR SPL (02925): Rs. 633.19/- only

The train departs (BDTS) at 11:30 am and arrives the next day at New Delhi (NDLS) at 10:40 am.

23 hours 10 minutes – Total traveling time.

1373 KM – Total Distance from Bandra, Mumbai to New Delhi.

Honestly speaking, the Garib Rath train is much much better. It’s air-conditioned and the ticket price – very economical in comparison with other air-conditioned trains and total traveling time – unbelievable. But it is always fully reserved. One has to reserve tickets way in advance.

Anyway, the question is: What did I Pack for 21 days Delhi and Punjab Trip?

I carry a Broccoli Hard Trolley Suitcase which is 22 inches in length, 12 inches in breadth, and 12 inches in depth. It is lightweight, compact, and very easy to move. Carrying for years.

And inside the Broccoli Hard Trolley Suitcase:

  1. Two pairs of jeans – one is from LEVI STRAUSS & CO. and the other is – Pepe Jeans LONDON
  2. Three branded collar t-shirts (bought from a surplus garment store at Shastri Nagar in Andheri West, Mumbai)
  3. Three Macho Brief and Three Macho Vest
  4. Grey color track pants by Nuon (Westside)
  5. One cotton handkerchief
  6. One cotton towel
  7. Navy Chappal by Hush Puppies
  8. Grey Lifestyle Shoes for Men by Power
  9. Assure Complexion Bar
  10. Toilet Soap
  11. Toothbrush (Oral-B) & Toothpaste (Colgate MaxFresh)
  12. Parachute Coconut Oil
  13. Surf Excel
  14. Cello Tiffin Carrier for homemade food (since childhood till-date I never liked train pantry food)
  15. Sony DSC-HX400V Camera, battery charger and Sony memory cards
  16. Samsung Mobile Charger
  17. Metal Chain with Small Locks for Locking Luggage

And I also carry in my purse and trouser front pockets:

  1. Aadhaar Card & Permanent Account Number Card (PAN)
  2. Driving Licence
  3. Debit Card
  4. Samsung Mobile
  5. Reading Glasses
  6. Spiral Pocket-size Note Pad
  7. Two Pens
  8. One cotton handkerchief
  9. Keys of luggage locks

And a few white poly/plastic carry bags and hair rubber bands inside the Broccoli Hard Trolley Suitcase to cover items such as Oil.

Not to forget: Rail Neer – a branded packaged drinking water from the railway platform for Rs. 15 only/-.

And a few thousand Cash in the wallet. That’s it.

If anything is left, please suggest.

21 days trip from Mumbai>Delhi>Punjab>Mumbai completed and it was one of the best trips I had in recent times.

Carrying essential items only makes a trip much more enjoyable. One should avoid packing lots of clothes and other items.

I suggest: Travel lightly and plan/book train tickets in advance. You will enjoy it thoroughly. The journey continues..