Ever walked on the streets of a capital city and wondered if you could just for once get away from the hustle bustle and the crowd, see a new place and culture altogether, try out new delicacies, learn about the people. Well, MKT or Majnu Ka Tila is then just that place for you. This Tibetan colony in the national capital Delhi is a world of its own.
Built upon makeshift houses, the place boasts of restaurants, guest houses, retail stores of books and souvenirs, offices of home rental agents and travel agencies, and even kiosks dealing in foreign exchange. There is a small monastery and a Buddhist temple too.
Just as Aruna Nagar was developing, the 1959 uprising took place in March. Most of the residents of Majnu Ka Tila left Tibet in 1959 when the Dalai Lama went into exile to Dharamshala. Soon, a small refugee camp came up across the road on the Yamuna River bank. The land was allotted by the Government of India to the refugees in 1960.
After the India-China war in 1962, many of the refugees who had previously settled temporarily near the Indo-Chinese border also shifted to this place.
Today, the place is home to the second-generation Tibetans and is also known as Samyeling or Mini-Tibet.
The Central Tibetan Administration or the CTA which is the center of all activities in India has its Delhi branch at Majnu Ka Tila. The CTA works for the welfare of all Tibetans in exile residing in India.
Over the years, the settlement in New Aruna Nagar has emerged as a popular destination for tourists, students, and youngsters.