Mayur Vihar Phase II – Exploring East Delhi's Deep Underbelly

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Temple in Mayur Vihar

Your guide to Trans-Yamuna’s elite address.

[By Julia Dutta; an advertising professional, she owns the blog Xebecbooks; picture by Ravindra Nath Munshi]

If you are in a tearing hurry to reach Indirapuram, via Noida Mor, be warned. You can not arrive at Indirapuram without a massive traffic jam. Why? Because at the next traffic signal from Noida Mor, the traffic is going to Mayur Vihar Phase II.

Home to those who could not afford the more elite addresses in South Delhi, trans-Yamuna was perhaps the only way out to have a roof over one’s head in the early 70’s. Thus, grew an enormous number of buildings, most carelessly made and poorly designed, called Mayur Vihar Phase II. This stands on the other side of DDA’s Sanjay Jheel, which was reduced to a lake, by dumping soil and building straight without a foundation or a plinth in most cases.

DDA must prove the true meaning of their abbreviated name and there are no prizes for guessing that – Delhi’s Dumb Association, of course. (It is actually Delhi Development Authority) The buildings in Pocket A have water seepage problems, which reach ceiling level. But all is not unwell. There are those sturdy ones like Pocket B as well. In fact, there are six pockets in Mayur Vihar Phase II, A – F.

The best is Pocket E where the cost of a 3-bedroom flat is well over a crore now. Reason? Don’t you know? The highly publicized Commonwealth Games are just around the corner. If you are thinking of investment, this is where you should be. Buy for 1 crore and see it double in just two years.

Alas, you are not an investor. You are merely a shopper. Then, here it goes – Mayur Vihar has three large Shopping Centres, one in Pocket A, B and C. In fact there is one in Pocket E as well. But no one visits there. The one on Pocket B, is right on the road as you enter Mayur Vihar Phase II or leave from there. Watch out for Mischief Cyber Café, HDFC Bank, Sweets & Spices, and Bikaner Sweets. Subhiksha too. Also notice hoards and more hoards of property dealers. Beware. Many may pinch your pockets though.

Do not miss Virmani Hospital, where I believe more patients die than see the light of day. Mayur Vihar Phase II is ironically full of hospitals and pharmacies. Wonder why? Is it the habit of the doctors to keep patients forever sick or is it the practice of the people living there, not to give up on terrible cases of quacks. Unfortunately, if you fall sick in MV II, you had better consider yourself dead. There is an absolute dearth of good reliable doctors there.

Let that be as it may, the DDA Shopping Complex is active till late hours of the night, with the Wine & Beer shop and men with just too many beers in their belly. For that “leg” with one peg, one has to take a drive to Pocket A market. There, the tandoor runs hot -burping out one after another tandoori chicken. Enjoy.

If you have had the time to arrive early, then do visit the Ganesh Temple, which is where all the South Indian communities go to. The temple rubs its shoulders with the Ram Mandir next door but no big following there. Ganesh temple is also the hubbub of much commercial activity outside the temple. Please buy your Leo Coffee straight from Chennai at the vendor sitting right outside the temple with a spread of South Indian favorites. Do not miss the pure sweets and mixture made at the temple complex itself, during Deepavali. The finest basen laddoos, babughosha and mixture are available here – made in pure desi ghee.

Not a problem for our Bengali babu too. He does not have to travel all the way to Chitto Park during his famous Durga Pujo. The famous Kali Mandir in Pocket F has its own Durga, Kali and Saraswati pujo, complete with jatra and Bengali food spread to buy. Do not ever miss the egg, chicken, mutton rolls. They are just like what you can gorge upon at Gariahat in Kolkata.

But the prize of Mayur Vihar Phase II is the Sanjay Jheel. Built by DDA with a promise to make the visitor have the boating experience of the Delhi Fort, it is still waiting for the public to pour in. And while that is taking time, the hoodlums are having the time of their lives. Go there at dusk to walk in the vast jungle of eucalyptus trees around it, if you want your mangalsutra snatched.

Or if you want to ask a tree cutter to transport that huge eucalyptus tree he has just cut down to your house. I must warn you he might refuse because he is under the connivance of the Delhi Forest Division to cut the tree while the world sleeps. It means that the huge jungle of eucalyptus trees planted around the Jheel is not only depleting the soil but also filling the pockets of those who freely cut and sell. Don’t blame them. They are merely cashing on a crop that is after all a cash crop.

On the other side of Mayur Vihar Phase II, please welcome, Trilokpuri, the site where the Sikh massacre took place following India Gandhi’s assassination in 1984. But you are not supposed to tarry too long there. After all, those are the pariahs of Delhi, while you who lives in Mayur Vihar Phase II, is the elite in trans-Jamuna area. Never mind, if Mayur Vihar Phase I and Patparganj who are near you are also claiming the same status.

Fast Facts

Bus Routes from Mayur Vihar II to Connaught Place via ITO – 349 from Pocket C Bus stand.
Bus Routes from Mayur Vihar II to Delhi Gate – 348.
Bus Routes from Mayur Vihar II to South Ex – 543.
Many chartered busses connect you to Nehru Place, Bikhaji Cama Place and Connaught Place. There is also a regular flow of RTVs to Shastri Park Metro Station.

Sorry, but you are a Delhi Walla. You always travel by car and give back to the city what you take from it – lot of fume. And foul words.

[This article was written for The Delhi Walla]