A feast to the eyes and taste

The city of Belagavi may have much to offer at all times, but during the holy month of Ramadan is when one of its hidden jewels comes to light. Been to Belagavi during Ramadan and not visited Darbar Galli and Khade Bazaar?

Well, you have really missed out on something. The usually quiet Darbar Galli comes to life with a buzz of activity during the holy month of Ramadan. It transforms into a foodie’s paradise. Whether you are a foodie, a shopaholic or a casual visitor, a trip here will leave you wanting for more.

During the day, Darbar Galli and Khade Bazaar are like any other areas in the city market of Belagavi, lined with various shops and hotels. But at about six in the evening is when the magic begins. When you enter the area, you are greeted by the beautifully lit up streets and aromas of different foods.

First, you will come across many shops selling clothes, shoes, watches and imitation jewellery. And believe me, if you are a shopaholic, you will love it. Clothes range from affordable to highly expensive; you are sure to find something for yourself. You can see women thronging the jewellery stores and shops selling all sorts of bangles. Then there are shops selling fancy watches which will really capture your attention.

As you walk further, you will be enticed with fragrances of all kinds. Perfumes from here are a must have for some folks. You can choose to have a “custom made”, yes you heard me right, a custom made fragrance or choose from the many available fragrances. From rose to jasmine, sweet cardamom to cinnamon, and even expensive perfumes imported from the Middle East.

Treat to the taste buds
After tiring yourself out shopping, you are welcomed by an amazing extravaganza of food. Dry fruits and nuts of all kinds will mesmerise you - walnuts, apricots, pistachios, dates, dried figs (anjeer), cashews, almonds, sultanas, black currants; and not to forget the golden hued vermicelli. Then there are the fresh fruits of all types stacked by vendors on their carts which will increase your appetites instantly.

Further, as you venture through the crowd, you come across many more delights. Juicy and succulent kebabs line the shops on either sides of the street, varying in flavour and colour. So tender is the meat that it melts in your mouth. Then there is mutton biryani, chicken biryani, egg biryani and even vegetable biryani for the vegetarians, which are must haves.

Adding a twist to the cuisine, Indo-Chinese is also in great demand. Types of manchurian, noodles and fried rice can’t be left out. Samosas, kaati rolls and cutlets, are some fillers you can have if you are looking for something light. You can finish your elaborate eating spree with some mouth-watering desserts like caramel custard, pista-badam phirni, kheer, puddings and fruit salad, to name a few.

This is one of those experiences that I would love to have again and again. Even the rain does not deter the enthusiasm of the people of Belagavi. The shopkeepers are so warm and welcoming and extend great hospitality. Always remember Darbar Galli and Khade Bazaar transform into this magic wonderland every Ramadan season and trust me it’s an experience you can’t let go.

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