Majnu Ka Tila: Delhi's Mini Tibet
Majnu Ka Tila, commonly called MKT by the cool kids, is also known by names such as New Aruna Nagar Colony, Chungtown, and Samyeling. Situated on the banks of the Yamuna River in the North Delhi District, the place is called Mini Tibet of Delhi because of the culture that the people living here follow.
The name Majnu Ka Tila was taken from the Gurudwara which goes by the same name. The Majnu Ka Tila Gurudwara was built in 1783 by the Sikh Military Leader Baghel Singh Dhaliwal to recall the stay of Guru Nanak Dev Ji. The area was given this quirky name by Guru Nanak Dev Ji, who was very pleased by the services of Majnu, thus immortalising the place in the name of Majnu. A local Iranian Sufi singer, Abdulla, was nicknamed Manju and he was seeking enlightenment from Guru Nanak Dev Ji during the 1500s. Majnu used to help the villagers with crossing the Yamuna River for free and this pleased Guru Nanak Devi Ji.
When Aruna Nagar was still developing during the 1950s, Tibetans came to Delhi from Tibet in March of 1959 and took refuge as the Dalai Lama went into exile to Dharamshala. It was in the year 1960, that these people were allotted land by the government, hence making them permanent residents of the place.
Upon entering the lanes of this Tibetan Colony, you can hear the faint sounds of the Dalai Lama’s preaching and the sweet sounds of the tinkling prayer bells that surround the area. Majnu Ka Tila has a lot to offer, be it food or shopping, or hotels, etc. You name it and you probably might find something more than that.
Thanks to social media, the place has attracted more Delhiites in recent years and since then, MKT has been offering something new each time. Now, it’s a hub for college students, tourists, etc to explore the very different face of Delhi.
So, what all can you do at Majnu Ka Tila?
The lanes of Majnu Ka Tila have tiny kiosks where you will find mostly everything at very affordable rates. You can buy Hippie jewelry like beaded bracelets, different types of studs, various styles of neck pieces for men and women, both starting from as cheap as ₹20. Some kiosks also offer Korean music CDs and you may also hear Korean music playing at some kiosks.
Walking up to the next stall, you may find a variety of silver jewellery. Some are basic earrings, while some huge rings with colourful stones or skulls, different types of anklets, bracelets of all types, and everything under the sun.
There are kiosks for clothes, be it for men, women or children. You can buy clothes like basic co-ord sets, different types of kurtis and kurtas, sundresses, jumpers, scarves, etc, available in a variety of colours and patterns. During the winters, you will see a wide variety of sweaters, jackets, and shawls, which are as soft as the softest teddy that you have and as warm as a winter cup of hot chocolate on a winter evening. The abundance of colours in every piece of garment is top- notch as you will definitely find something for yourself and the affordable range of everything just adds to the charm of the place.
If you are a fan of Korean foods that are a hype on the internet these days but you can’t find them anywhere near you, then look no further as you’ll definitely find almost every Korean snack like the famous Kimchi or the extra spicy Korean noodles here and a lot of other international snacks like the Flaming Hot Cheetos.
The street- food at MKT is very different from the rest of the Delhi street foods. A visit here would be incomplete without having a bite of the authentic Tibetan Momos or the Laughings, which are served sometimes dry and sometimes with cold soup, as per your liking.
The stores on either side of the MKT lanes also offer a lot of different things of a slightly better quality. You may find clothes in different styles. There are shoe stores where you may find some good quality sneakers and boots at a fairly good price and good quality. Some stores have very beautiful brass statues, Thangka paintings, different flavours of teas, handmade soaps, attar in a plethora of different fragrances, and knick- knacks like keychains, dolls, crockery with beautiful patterns and what not.
Last but not the least, Majnu Ka Tila offers an array of cafés to choose from. Each café offers different types of cuisine at very reasonable prices. A little bit of information about some must- try cafés is given below:
1. AMA Café
One of the first cafés that pulled the crowd to the lanes of Majnu Ka Tila, is without a
doubt the highlight of the place. With some tasty food, AMA Café offers books to the
diners. The ambience of the café is so welcoming and warm that one can sit for hours at
length sipping their drink without getting bored. There is a very pretty balcony on each
floor of the café, which has become one back drop for a lot of aesthetic Instagram posts.
Cuisine: Italian, English, Tibetan, Fast Food
Timings: 8am- 10pm
Cost for 2: ₹500
Address: House no. 6, 1st Floor, Majnu-ka-tilla, New Aruna Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110054
2. Nor Yak Café and Restaurant
A Tibetan Breakfast café, Nor Yak Café and Restaurant offers you a variety of Tibetan
cuisines as well as fast food that one can try at very cheap rates. The café is pretty tiny
and cute and has a very cozy ambience.
Cuisine: Chinese Tibetan, Fast Food
Timings: 9am- 9:30pm
Cost for 2: ₹700
Address: H. No. 31, Block 12, New Camp, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi,
3. MKT Hub
A newly opened Café and Bar, this is a perfect place for a Saturday dinner with friends
as the place offers live performances on the weekends. The interior of the café is very
cute and has neon signs on the walls. MKT Hub offers Tibetan dishes which one can try
at very affordable prices.
Cuisine: Tibetan, Fast Food
Timings: 12pm- 11pm
Cost for 2: ₹800
Address: GF Ida house, D-41, block 12, New Aruna Colony, Majnu-ka-tilla, Timarpur,
4. Dolma House
This is one of the oldest restaurants in Majnu Ka Tila and offers the best Tibetan foods.
The café gives a canteen vibe and is pretty small but the people who serve it here have
a big heart. It is a great place for beef lovers.
Cuisine: Chinese, Seafood, Fast Food
Timings: 8am- 10pm Cost for 2: ₹300
Address: H-No 1, Block No 10, New Aruna Nagar, Majnu Ka Tilla, Delhi, 110054
5. Yamuna Café
Located on the banks of the Yamuna River, this cutesy café offers an affordable breakfast
menu. You can enjoy the view of the Yamuna River while sipping on your coffee and
eating the best cheesecake that the place has to offer.
Cuisine: English, Tibetan, North Indian, Italian, Fast Food
Timings: 9:30am- 9:30pm
Cost for 2: ₹600
Address: D-34, East House, Majnu-ka-tilla, New Aruna Nagar, Delhi, 110054
6. Rigo Coffee House
From Thukpa to Kimchi to pizza to Kapa Maki, the café offers you a plethora of cuisines
to try. This super chic café is a good place to check out if you want to try out a variety of
different cuisines at a very affordable price.
Cuisine: Multi- Cuisine
Timings: 12pm- 10:30pm