Delhi is a fascinating city. If you scratch below the glossy surface of swanky hotels and chic pubs, you will find some charming stories, buried in the past.
This city is replete with forgotten secrets and Miss Wanderlust was lucky to stumble across one such secret: Nestled in the heart of Delhi’s Connaught Place Market is a tiny little shop that most people simply walk by without a second glance.
The shop looks like this from the outside.
The walls are filled with glass cases containing every instrument imaginable. Alongside, dozens of sepia tinged pictures show smiling musicians with their instruments. The faces include some of the best known musicians of our times, including Pandit Ravi Shankar, Amjad Ali Khan and The Beatles.
Wait, did you say The Beatles?
Indeed! The year was 1966 – After a fairly troublesome tour of the East, the Fab Four arrived in Delhi for a one-day stopover. They connected with Rikhi Ram’s son, Pandit Bhishan Dass Sharma, wanting to buy Indian musical instruments. George Harrison, in particular, was smitten by the sitar (having already recorded ‘Norwegian Wood’ in 1965).
The Beatles bought a host of musical instruments from Rikhi Ram’s shop, including the iconic sitar, a sarod, a tanpura and tablas – and proof of their purchase continues to live on in their music, many decades since.
The next time you happen to travel to Delhi, don’t miss this tryst with musical history. Definitely a very offbeat but interesting addition to the ‘Things To Do In Delhi’ list!
That’s Miss Wanderlust at Rikhi Ram & Sons!
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