JNU’s Ganga Dhaba: An eatery that became an iconic learning centre
Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Ganga Dhaba is not just a place to fill your stomachs. It is a restaurant for the mind. Asiaville finds out the ingredients that make the place special.
Jawaharlal Nehru University’s founding Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Gopalaswami Parthasarathy, had a vision that some would argue was ahead of his times -- he wanted the students to take their ideas and discussions beyond the classroom. It was his dream that ideas would be exchanged and evolved inside India’s top university.
As a part of encouraging this free-flowing stream of ideas and thoughts, open spaces were allocated in the design of the University, where students could interact.
An eatery, which started its services in 1985, is located in one such open space inside the campus. Though the original owner killed himself a few years later, the restaurant continued to run under new ownership. It got the name of “Ganga Dhaba” because the Ganga hostel was located closest to the eatery which was starting to become a favourite hangout place for the students. Soon the ideas sowed by Prof. Parthasarathy started reaping rewards as the place transformed itself to a hub for intellectual and cultural exchanges.
Today, Ganga Dhaba is synonymous with JNU and its excellence. Asiaville talked to a few prominent alumni from the university to understand why Ganga Dhaba became a popular meeting point for the students.
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