A walk on the Buddhist side of life: Delhi’s Mini Tibet called Majnu Ka Tila
Wandering lanes, cool wind blowing in your face, faint echoes of Dalai Lama’s preaching, graceful Tibetan ladies in their traditional attire selling momos in the courtyard, vibrant colors, fresh smells, the serene soft music made by the prayer bells. A smaller, consolidated version of Dharamsala…while it may be a world not many will relate to, it does not fail to enchant!
Delhi is a goldmine for antiquity buffs, and I love it when some of our favorite spots come with a strange piece of history connected to them. Majnu Ka Tila, also known as Delhi’s mini-Tibet, is one such place. It opens up to you a small world so beautiful and exquisite that you just don’t want to leave.
To plan your perfect getaway visit to MKT, delve into the blog, and find out the best of what MKT has to offer.
I went beyond shopping, food, & a magnificent Buddhist temple, to discover some hidden architectural masterpieces. On my journey, I experienced the rich culture, fascinating traditions, met some amazing people, and has some great moments which gave us an opportunity to spend some quality time together which will make for some fond memories in the future.
So off I went, one sunny afternoon, to peruse the secrets of Majnu ka Tilla, which turns out to be a stone’s throw from Delhi University’s North Campus and is easily reached by the Delhi Metro. A Buddhist-style entrance attains amid grey, three-story structures, packed close collectively. Big buildings on either side make the narrow lane so vague it’s as if the sun never makes it here. I feel I moved into a strange world, far removed from the urban chaos of Delhi. Shops on either side sell only exotic Tibetan jewelry, Buddhist artifacts, and crockery. Ahead, the lane opens into a bright courtyard facing the monastery.
As I walk towards the monastery, the lanes open out to a little space in front of a red and yellow building with decorated pillars and flags flying atop it. This building is the office of the cultural center and the monastery stands to its left – a structure similarly designed with the same symbols, albeit taller. Like a little town square, the open space in front of the monastery and the cultural center is filled with people. There are snack counters, vegetable vendors mingling with people who have come to offer prayers at the monastery or simply sitting around.
What struck me when we reached the colony was that vibrant prayer flags were hanging from every niche and corner of these narrow by-lanes, seemingly inviting us on a mystical journey.
Each flag has a different texture and its own story. Five elements of nature – land, water, air, fire and sky merge in these flags. Powered by sacred mantras, they purify the air wherever they are hung as the wind spreads the positive energies in the atmosphere.
The Foodie Trail
STOP1. I FOUND A PERFECT PLACE FOR HIMALAYAN BREAKFAST-AMA CAFE
AMA Cafe placed in Majnu-ka-Tila is a Himalayan-themed cafe that offers a wide variety of desserts, cakes, and hot beverages. It is a charming cafe, usually rushed up leading to long waiting times especially during the weekends.
From the ambiance to the crowd to friendly staff and their menu, they provide everything in perfection. You can try anything over there and can't miss yourself expressing the satisfaction you will get.
My all-time favorite is their pancakes which are the best and best complemented with their variety of coffee.
Timings: The cafe opens from 7 am till 10 Pm. AMA Cafe is located at House 6, Majnu ka Tilla, New Delhi.
Budget: 1000 for 2 people - Value for Money. The food here tastes exactly like home-cooked food. Give Ama a try once. You will not be disappointed.
SOME OTHER FAMOUS CAFE'S IN MKT - MUST TRY
Tee Dee at Majnu Ka Tila is an authentic Tibetan affair. Although Tee Dee is a small place, it stands out for its authentic home-cooked food. The restaurant serves Tibetan and Chinese food.
The place can comfortably accommodate over 40 people and has a bright and sunny feel to it. It is done up in a traditional Buddhist manner with loads of laughing Buddhas and dragons.
Timings: 9a.m till 10:30 pm | Budget: 500 for 2 people.
Kori's cafe is one of the most famous cafes in MKT and has a wide range of dishes on their menu food is really good you can have Korean food at Kori's it has available options for vegetarians who love to try Korean food but as a cafe, I believe they could work some more on coffee and shakes.
Amazing Tibetan food to offer with great staff and the most interactive menu.
Timings: 10 a.m till 10 p.m | Budget: 1000 for 2 people.
STOP2. SHOPPING AT AKAMA HIMALAYAN HANDICRAFTS IN MKT
Akama Handicrafts in Majnu Ka Tila is a shop that has a small part of everything going on, which is why, when I chanced upon it, I felt like I found a treasure trove. Stepping into the store, you’ll see pouches, diaries, bracelets, and necklaces. They also have pretty postcards with beautiful and quirky art on them. You can also buy from their collection of Darjeeling and Assam teas and traditional silver jewelry.
The Shops opens from 9 am till 10 pm.
Akama shop is located just below Ama cafe in Majnu ka Tila, New Delhi.
STOP3. A WALK ON THE BUDDHIST SIDE OF LIFE CALLED TIBETAN MONASTERY -BUDDHIST TEMPLE AND EXPLORED STREET MARKET
It was fascinating to remark that two neighboring Buddhist temples were so different in terms of their decoration, the offerings, and how the locals worshipped. What punched me the most was the tremendous amount of color on the streets and inside the temples, we visited. The sight was worth the effort of waking up early morning.
I suggest you take someone slightly more experienced in the area if it's your first time. Though exploring on your own, too, has its charm. It is easy to make a whole day out of a trip to Majnu Ka Tilla, but make sure you don't come here on a Wednesday if you're a non-vegetarian because they don't serve meat on Wednesdays!
This walk not only connected the dots on the legacy front but also empowered me to engage in enhancing conversations with like-minded people on how Delhi is the melting pot of people and cultures from all over the world.
The veritable ‘Mini Tibet’ is indeed what it claims to be: a small sample of Tibet. It showcases a convincing replica of authentic Tibetan food, culture, and tradition.
With the extravagant adventure, efficacious vibes, and an assorted array of food and shopping at reasonably pocket-friendly rates, you know where to head when hunger pangs kick in, the next time you’re in Delhi!
How to Commute Majnu ka Tilla
- Majnu ka Tilla can be reached by the Vidhan Sabha metro station on the yellow line
- Avoid bringing your car
- The ISBT Kashmiri Gate bus station is hardly five minutes from here
Things to know
- Alcohol is not accepted at restaurants inside Majnu ka Tilla since it’s largely a suburban colony.
If you love my travel story, don’t forget to like, follow, comment in the boxes below, and share this post with your loved ones!
For the latest updates, follow us on social media:
Business Enquiry: email@example.com
Follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pebblestorytraveldiaries/
Like my Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pebblestorycom
Have a day outing to Majnu Ka Tila! Keep Travelling and exploring.
Love- PebbleStory Travel Tales by Neha