Smithsonian Journeys India Issue

Nine Unique Gifts You Should Buy in Delhi

Smithsonian Journeys Quarterly

Delhi is a bazaar, author William Dalrymple writes, full of “riches and horrors … a labyrinth, a city of palaces … an anarchy, a press of people, a choke of fumes, a whiff of spices.” Built and rebuilt after conquests by Lodi, Mogul and British Empires, it practically exemplifies the idea of reincarnation. The city enthralls (and assails) the senses, as do its crafts—from the soft touch of a silk scarf to the scent of sandalwood soap.

Hand-Painted Craft Bottle

A discarded beer bottle is reborn as the canvas for a hand-painted tableau of Hindu myths, a feat that converts intemperance into something more spiritual. At Dastkari Haat’s craft store, buyers can also feel good about their purchase: All proceeds go to a nonprofit. 39, Khan Market (2nd floor).

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