National Railway Museum Delhi

national railway museum delhi

National Railway Museum Delhi

Venu was back in town by Fri night. So we spent the weekend with family and generally lazed around. On Saturday we wanted to go out somewhere that’s kid-friendly. The National Rail Museum Delhi was national railway museum delhi suggested and so we all headed there.

National Rail Museum Delhi is located in the Chanakyapuri area of New Delhi and was fairly easy to get to – there were signs on the main highway into Delhi that pointed us in the right direction. It’s one of the first of its kind in the country and is spread over 11 acres (has more outdoor space than indoors). By the time we got there it was almost 1pm and the sun was beating down. And to our dismay we found a couple of bus-loads full of school children already in line for the toy train within the complex. But we took heart in national railway museum delhi the fact that the ride itself was for just about 10 minutes and the line was moving quickly. So thats the first thing we did. And I’m glad we did ‘cozthe ride closes at 1:15pm for an hour for lunch – if we had been even 5 minutes late, we would have had to hang around just for the silly ride. It was silly, of course, but the kids enjoyed it and there were many life-sized models of older Indian rail engines in the area the train circled. I’m sure it is much more interesting for train buffs and little boys who are fascinated with their Thomas trains. The place is designed to simulate a railway yard with a station, platform, etc.

After the train ride we walked in to the main museum building and walked around the many artifacts, models and literature placed there. It is a very small museum – just about a single floor so it was easy to cover it all quickly. There was a lot of information on the origins of the railway system in India. It was all very nice but I just wish it was better organized and better displayed. It was a little haphazard and looked like it could do with a few upgrades. By the time we finished perusing through it, the kids were very hungry and wanted to leave immediately – they are girls so I understand their lack of interest in rail engines …

India Habitat Center

For lunch, Venu and Sreeja took us to the India Habitat Center. Built in 1998, it is a gorgeous complex with indoor landscaping and many facilities for different arts exhibitions. It has a learning center, a film club, an arts gallery, a performing arts auditorium and much more. There’s always something going on there so it’s a great place to hang out and soak in the arty atmosphere. We, of course, headed straight to Eatopia, it’s famed food court. Famed because it was the first food court to open in Delhi.

After lunch, we decided to head towards Indraprastha park, which is in East Delhi. Venu and family have never been there before so they were keen on checking it out. I had seen it from the outside as we passed it en route to Akshardham and had visions of it being just as green and fantastic as the lovely Lodi gardens. But what a disappointment it was! It is nowhere as nicely maintained and in fact is hardly green. It’s a huge sprawling park so I guess it’s not easy to maintain it. Moreover, since it’s not in the center of Delhi, it’s probably neglected. At the center of the park, is a newly built Shanti Stupa. We decided to walk towards it. But we soon realized that the park is meant more for couples’ privacy than anything else. We weren’t sure if we should expose the 7 and 3 year olds to these scenes, so we immediately turned around and decided to come back home…

On Sunday, we visited more family in Gurgaon and had a great time with everybody. Since this morning, I have been feeling a little tired and low, so we stayed home and relaxed. I read Khushwant Singh’s Train to Pakistan, which was both interesting and depressing – our history is ridden with sooo much bloodshed…

The kids have been enamoured with Shayna, who, all this while, has been a quiet resident of Gurgaon and a great pastime for them. We found a dog-walker who comes to the house 4 times a day to walk Shayna and because of this, we have been able to tour Delhi without any time restrictions. And because of this, Venu and family are finding that having a well-trained dog like Shayna at home is not all that hard to handle. So they offered to let her stay with them for a while while we travelled. We were both shocked and happy. Shocked because it wasn’t expected at all; Shayna was to either travel with us or stay in a kennel in Thane whenever she couldn’t go with us. Happy because we realized that Shayna had settled in well with the family and would be far happier at home than on the road with us or in a kennel. Moreover, the Gurgaon complex where the family stays is a large one with ample space to walk her. So we agreed immediately and as a trial decided to go away for a few days to ensure that everybody is okay with the dog while we are not around….

The first place that came to our mind for a getaway was Agra. It’s close enough and has enough to see so we could hang out there for a few days before returning home to check on Shayna and the family. We booked 2AC (2nd class Air-conditioned compartment) tickets for the journey from Delhi to Agra and for overnight accommodation, we decided to figure it out once we got there. Looking forward to it …

Review : Eatopia

India Habitat Center, New Delhi

Eatopia is a compact food court in the ground floor of one of the buildings within the Habitat Center. It has food stalls serving Indian, Tex-Mex, Chinese and Thai food as well as chaat and baked goods. Needless to say, we ordered some chaat along with a thali, paneer & chicken kathi roll and tandoori chicken. It was all quite good except for the kathi rolls – they were soaked in oil and not quite edible. We ended the meal with Kulfi on a Stick, which was by far the yummiest of them all…

Rating: 7 out of 10 (Bathrooms, within the center, were plenty and quite clean).

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