The shops to either side of this bustling, narrow street sell everything from textiles to kitchenware to cheap shirts. The area has a frenzied charm and magic, as visitors are forced to zigzag through an obstacle course of rickshaws, bicycles, dogs, cows and salesmen. Since the 1970s, the area has been a backpacker favorite, popular with travelers due its conveniently located budget accommodation. Hotels and guesthouses in the area are very close to the New Delhi Railway Station, providing access to the rest of India.
Cafes and restaurants specialize in global cuisines, and cyber cafés abound. The area is also home to the historic Qazi Wali Masjid, known for its intricate engravings, and arched doorways. New Delhi’s commercial areas, such as Connaught Place, as well as its historical landmarks are easily accessible from Pahar Gunj.
Literally meaning 'hilly neighborhood', the area owes its name to its proximity to the Raisina Hill, where the Rashtrapati Bhavan, or Presidential Palace, stands today. When the Lutyens' Delhi, was being built in 1920s, the area saw major development, and the old 'Imperial theatre' still stands as a legacy to that era.