A Classic Colony: The Champa Gali in New Delhi

by Priyanka Kaushik

Friday, January 11, 2019

Amidst the hustle-bustle of the capital city, there resides a beautiful passageway that imitates the alluring lanes of Paris. Masked under the curtain of the Said-ul-Ajab village, Champa Gali is South Delhi’s paradise for art lovers. Never in my twenty-three years of residing in the city have I ever seen such an amazing colony. Being a Delhiite, I have always heard about the capital city’s ability to surprise its visitors often. And recently, I had been surprised myself with a mesmerising colony set near Lane no. 3 of Saket’s Said-ul-Ajab village.

Champa Gali traces its inception to the year 2013 when a young graphic designer, Mr Jiten Suchede, decided to settle into a small apartment at Said-ul-Ajab village. Being a tea connoisseur, Mr Suchede always had an itch to teach India the art of preparing the perfect tea. His love for tea fueled in him the idea to design a tea stall at a handicraft mela with some of his close friends. A thela made of wooden planks, an abundant supply of tea masalas sourced from Jiten’s travel excursions, and the combined efforts of his friends gave birth to Jugmug Thela. Soon after the success of Jiten’s thela at the mela, he was contacted by major event organisers, and Jugmug Thela became a constant at India Fashion Week, India Design event, India Art Fair, and many corporate events. This inflicted in him an idea to start up a business of tea and coffee blends in Delhi, and that’s where Jugmug Thela became the first cafes to open up in a hidden lane of Said-ul-Ajab village. Soon, more like-minded people came together and converted a small isolated lane into a Parisian passageway.

Being a tea and art lover myself, I was keen on exploring the hidden beauty of South Delhi. One afternoon, while I was wandering with my special friend near Hauz Khas village, I decided to pay a visit to Champa Gali. The supposedly small visit ended up into a four-hour-long evening spent in a glittery setting with a rustic charm. Although my purpose of the visit was nothing but an artistic one, I felt like I had found a miniature of a foreign country in the heart of India.

Once you step into the gate of Champa Gali, your eyes will catch a spectacular view of the artwork painted on the wall of a cafe. It is an abstract painting of a woman with a pout face covered with a plethora of vibrant colours.

 

Mesmerising Entrance

 

How To Reach There

On a trip to New Delhi, you can devote a day to spend in Saket and Hauz Khas for a fun-filled experience. Champa Gali is based near a small lane of Said-ul-Ajab village in South Delhi. Here’s how you can reach the Parisian passageway both by road and metro.

By Road

You can travel via local buses to Champa Gali. Some buses that stop near the destination are 714, 427, and ML-82 (B). You can board the bus from Rajiv Chowk, Badarpur Border, Mehrauli Terminal, Qutub Metro Station, and many other locations in Delhi.

By Metro

Travelling via metro is the most convenient modes of transportation in New Delhi, India. But, you should know the route else you might find yourself lost. The Saket Metro Station lies on the Yellow Line of DMRC. The first-timers can take a rickshaw or auto-rickshaw after deboarding at Saket Metro Station. The rickshaw will drop you at the entrance gate of Lane 03. You have to keep walking from the gate until you reach the endpoint and from there, on your right, you will find a new world altogether.

 

What To Explore

The small, hidden street houses a mesmerising coffee roaster site, a street-style tea stall, and a wonderful design studio. From my personal experience, I am jotting down some of the best things to explore in Champa Gali.

Jugmug Thela

Inspired by India’s chaupal culture, Jugmug Thela was the first tea stall to open in Champa Gali. When I first visited Jugmug Thela, I was attracted by the wooden seating backyard covered with lots of green plantations. Adjoining it, I found a cafe that was a paradise of books and a menu filled with delectable snacks and shakes. The best part about the cafe was its perfectly-blended chai. 

Jugmug Thela clicked from the inside of the cafe.

 

Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters

If you are a Coffee fan and genuinely feel that coffee is the solution of all your problems, then Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters will soon become your favourite hangout spot. Set up by a couple, the cafe offers freshly brewed coffee in a variety of flavours. Designed in beige and blue, the cafe also holds brewing sessions every week. So, sip on espresso and learn how to make it!

Organic Espresso at Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters

Jugaad

After having a hot cup of coffee, I went to a small store named Jugaad. It was full of second-hand books, handmade trinkets, handicrafts, old notebooks, bags, and shrugs. Its owner said, “We are a non-profit store, and we sell products to help the needy.” Although the stuff was overpriced, I couldn’t resist myself from buying a beautiful handmade bag from Jugaad.

A shelf in Jugaad store

Why Was It Named Champa Gali?

While exploring Champa Gali, I kept wondering why was it named such. So, I found on the internet that during the setting up of Blue Tokai Coffee Roasters, the couple brought in lots of Champa plants to decorate its backyard. They wanted to give it a traditional rural touch. Inspired by the Champa plant decorations of the cafe, people in the neighbourhood fondly called it Champa Gali. Amusing, isn’t it?

 

Does that inspire you to visit South Delhi soon? Well, plan an afternoon with your best person to Champa Gali and enjoy a heartfelt meal at the Bistro Cafe and an organic espresso at Blue Tokai’s. And if you don’t find a partner to go with, grab a good book and head towards this beautiful passageway and spend some time with yourself away from bustling city life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

by Priyanka Kaushik

by Priyanka Kaushik

Friday, January 11, 2019

An avid reader by heart and a writer by passion, I spend most of my time reading books, exploring places, and experimenting with different styles of writing. My passion for writing emanates from my interest in literature. I feed on knowledge and thrive to brush up my skills with every task that I undertake. When not writing, I am engrossed in reading literary classics or humming old songs.

Read more at travelogueist.com

Leave a Comment...

Nipun

January 18, 2019

I\'ve been to Champa Gali. And If anyone is planning to go there then do not delay any further it\'s a place must to be explore.

Manjinder

January 18, 2019

Very gud keep it up

Sonali

January 18, 2019

Your writing is beautiful...as your writing is simple yet its simplicity became its advantage... you are amazing with words!!!!!... And am looking forward to visit such an amazing place...

Navin

January 18, 2019

Excellent article

Tanya

January 18, 2019

Article written beautifully?
Amazing place to visit ?I \'ll definitely visit this beautiful place Champa gali ?

Sushila sharma

January 18, 2019

Excellent ! ? Encouraging to explore the place through writer views.