Dilli darshan is incomplete without its northern anchor. Winter is the perfect time to get a whiff of North Campus. This time, we want you to do it right. So, we have come up with a full-on guide to a day well spent in the city’s student capital. People who fail to experience a walk through this place, can never proudly call themselves Dilliwale! It can be confusing to get around over there but, there’s no room for excuses now. We have made you an itinerary for this winter and the day starts early, well, early for an off-day!
Vishwavidyalaya Metro Station
First off, ditch the traffic. The best way to start your locals tour of North Campus is to ride the Delhi metro. Get off at the Vishwavidyalaya on the yellow line and take your first breath in the air of Delhi University. Grab an environmentally friendly rikshaw or auto for a five-minute ride straight to Tom Uncle Maggi Point.
First stop: Uncle Tom Maggi
They open at 11AM. It’s always crowded and perky but, you never have to wait too long because they’re prepared for the mob. DU North Campus is not itself without Maggi. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, tea, or boredom, Maggi is perfect for any time of day in the world of students. Tom Uncle serves 50 different kinds of Maggi under one roof. You’ll never grow tired of this place, even if you stick to OG masala Maggi. It’s just that good!
Where: Near Ramjas College, Maurice Nagar Chowk
Vice Chancellor Lawns that is open for students
Now that there’s something in that stomach of yours, you can peacefully take a walk on the Vice Chancellor’s office garden. DU inclusivity means open spaces and open to the public! The lush green garden is perfect for a sunny winter morning. You’ll find students lazing around here at any given time of day. There’s also a banta wala outside the gates if the Maggi turned out to be too spicy.
Where: Faculty of Science, University Enclave
Delhi School of Economics Canteen: Mutton Dosa
That walk better make you hungry because it’s time for a city gem. Just five minutes away from Eden is Edenic food. Thin crispy rolled dosa stuffed with a mutton masala is the south Indian fusion of our dreams. It’s the perfect meal for winter mornings paired with a steaming cup of chai. D School canteen has those typical Dilliwale plastic red tables and glass doors which are always open because why bother closing?
Where: Delhi School of Economics
Sudama ki chai
Two breakfasts came and went, but that perfect cup of chai still hasn’t found its way your palms. We have Delhi’s best chai to satisfy your winter chai needs. Chai is a lifestyle in the northern city. This chai stall has been running for 30 years. The owner still serves ₹10 chai in a kulhad. Kadhak dilli waali chai keeps sleepy students alert. The conversations flowing at this stall are often more stimulating than the ones inside classrooms.
Where: Near Ramjas College, Prof ND Kapoor Marg, Delhi School Of Economics
Momo’s Point, Bungalow road
Head straight to momo heaven for the third and last edition of what can only be defined as brunch. A 10-15-minute walk from Ramjas will drop you to Kamla Nagar. Did you really think momos wouldn’t be part of a Delhi day? Tandoori momos and masala momos are great in whatever filling you choose. So, eat away!
Where: 27 UB, Jawahar Nagar, Kamla Nagar
Second hand book stores at Kamla Nagar
You just can’t leave Kamla Nagar without checking out these amazing bookstores. Students leave their books here after use so that the next batch doesn’t have to spend quite as much on them. Syllabi go on for pages on end, that whole course times 2 each year can come up to a fortune by the end of your course. Everything in North Campus comes on student discount and books are no exception. The collection is divine because the most important books for Indian history are included in DU curriculum. You won’t find such a unique collection anywhere in the world, handpicked by the country’s intellectuals. Despite that, the main attraction is their unbelievable prices!
Where: Spark Mall, Kamla Nagar
South Indian Cafe near Gwyer Hall
All this exploring must have you tired and hungry! We love the sound of that. It’s time to get off foot unless you’re in the mood to enjoy a 30-minute walk. We’re going towards Gwyer Hall but, its famous canteen is not where we’ll be eating today. Crisp medu vadas, uthappams, tomato rice and Malabar parottas are on the lunch menu. South Indian Café is a tiny little place with a couple of wooden tables. A local auto will drop you there in 5 minutes. A man from Madurai addressed as Anna runs this superb kitchen. It’s not the most popular because only real locals know him. Pro tip: there will be biryani on Thursday nights. This place is great for an affordable lunch but, save space for evening snacks! There’s one destination before that though.
Where: Near Gwyer Hall, Delhi University, Near Kamla Nehru Ridge
Walk at Northern Ridge
One of Delhi’s 6 forests is right next to North Campus. It’s home to Khooni Jheel, an 80-feet deep pond where several Indian sepoys and British soldiers, women and children died in the revolt of 1857. Now it is Delhi’s haunted lake inside a beautiful forest next to the home of DU students and Majnu Ka Tilla. In 1915, 420 acres of the area was declared as a reserved forest. Now, less than half of it survives at all.
Where: Adjacent to North Campus
Majnu Ka Tilla
Didn’t we say save space for evening snacks. Delhi’s mini Tibet is probably the best part about being in North Campus. Tibetan stores for local produce and ethnic clothing line the streets in this little town of its own. It’s home to Tibetan refugees and a beautiful little Buddhist monastery that attracts positive vibes. Tenzing aunty found a corner in the centre circle of MKT for authentic Tibetan Laphing. Her food is a drug or a tool for meditation, whichever way life takes you in ₹30. The rest of the street food is also pretty good like buff balls and Tibetan momos. Spend as much time as you like here. Check out the famous Busan for Korean food and AMA café for desserts too!
Where: Majnu ka Tilla, New Arun Nagar
Food joints at Hudson Lane
The last stop is a big one. Hudson Lane has a million cafés and restaurants. It’s a 15-minute drive from MKT. Your North Campus trail can never be whole without its biggest part. Hudson Lane is a living breathing organism. Students flock the streets, going in and out of cafés. They’re all amazing and dirt cheap for the food they serve. The most popular ones are Big Yellow Door, Woodbox Café and Chalte Firte. Apart from these, there are themed cafés and sports bars, the list is never ending. Have a hefty dinner because there’s nothing more we expect you to eat in one day.
Where: Hudson Lane, GTB Nagar
All this might seem like a lot to do and a lot to eat, but in the feel of North Campus, it’ll feel only natural once you’re there. People will direct you to these places, you won’t waste time waiting for cabs or stuck in traffic, and every moment there will feel like time will spent. Life never stops in Delhi. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. What if we could live every day like this one? Public spaces that allow full freedom of expression are a rare phenomenon in Delhi. On the face of it, there’s no difference between a picnic at Lodhi Garden and North Campus. Except that there is. Here, you can truly be your craziest self and still feel normal, like you belong. Let’s make the most of what we have. The next time you complain there’s nothing left for you to do in Delhi, hit us up!