Chilling Out in Paharganj

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After a hot summer, we're craving open-air restaurants, terrace parties, and long nights. No other place offers all of it like Paharganj in Central Delhi.

The late arrival of monsoons in Delhi has finally lowered the temperatures-filling the city with a smell and sound of its own. Pumped up by the cooler weather and change of seasons, After Hours Athletes in Delhi have been kicking the party back into gear.

Lately, we keep finding ourselves in Paharganj. Like Brooklyn or the East End, Paharganj has become a mecca for Delhi's hipsters and underground scene.

Until a few years ago Paharganj was famous as a hub for western backpackers - we're talking a regular part of the hippie trail. But in recent years this place has become a local hotspot. Where else could we possibly score our daily dose of lasagna, Heineken, and exotic music? In Paharganj we're surrounded by global influences in a distinctly Delhi setting; call it the best of both worlds.

On a recent weekend, we hung out with our fellow teammate Rohit and friends in the fifth-floor rooftop garden of Sam’s Cafe. The diner offers a smoggy view of the city’s skyline, and the chance to meet new teammates.

"After work, we often hang out here," Rohit told us. "This area has something for everyone: massage spas, crafts stores, cheap beer, smoking zones, continental food, western music."

The streets of Paharganj are dotted with small cafes and bars playing world music, offering low-key hangouts for Delhiites looking for an escape from the typical full-wattage Delhi scene. Lucky for us, the open-air market is alive and happening well after midnight.

Because of the mix of people—local students, young professionals, tourists—it’s become a hub of new ideas and emerging culture in Delhi. Add in cheap beer and live music, and you can understand why we keep coming back. 

Photos courtesy of Shreyes Shiv. 

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