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How do I find a good accommodation near Vajiram & Ravi (Old Rajinder Nagar) as I am shifting there for UPSC (IAS) preparation?

(Image source : Education these days and my editing )

Statutory Warning : Hold your breath, lot of information coming regarding rent, food, water, electricity, climate, land lord, safety and security!!!

Before you read my answer, please lend me your 30 seconds to read the following :

  1. I stay in South Delhi from the last 22 years. I do not stay in Rajinder Nagar but I have lot of friends, relative and fellow aspirants who stay there. This answer is based on the interaction and site visits after numerous requests from fellow Quorans.
  2. I am an aspirant and not a property dealer or broker. Please stop spamming my inbox with to-let inquiries. I do not run any real estate business either.
  3. Use Just Dial or internet to find contact details of brokers. I do not have directory of brokers with me.
  4. YES, there is a liquor store near V&R (200 meters). There is no shortage of doctors, dentist, grocery stores, restaurants, malls, book stores, gyms, beauty parlours in this locality and for all budget students. The nearest cinema hall is Libery Cinema (Karol Bagh, cheap) and Satyam cinemas (Shadipur, Posh and expensive).
  5. I have put in 2 hours to write this answer. It takes time to write an honest, informative and easy to comprehend answer. Now I realize why they emphasize on answer writing practice.

Congratulations in making your mind to come to Delhi for preparation. You all are sensible, practical and brave students because you have the clarity and a vision about how to achieve your dreams. Whether you achieve it or not is another issue but the fact is you are much better than those ‘lost and confused’ souls who are still confused regarding whether to join an institute or do self study.

Preparing for UPSC is an expensive affair. First you shell out lakhs of rupees for coaching institutes and then you have to spend few lakhs in accommodation.

As you all know Vajiram & Ravi and other coaching institute like Sri Ram, Khan Study Group etc are located in Old Rajinder Nagar therefore it has been observed students prefer to stay near these institutes so that they can save time in travelling. The following areas are popular among the students to stay around V&R (within 5 – 40 min of commuting time)

  • Old Rajinder Nagar
  • New Rajinder Nagar
  • Karol Bagh
  • Faiz Road Area
  • Ajmal Khan Road Area
  • New Rohtak Road Area
  • Shadipur
  • Patel Nagar
  • Jhandewalan

I have prepared a map for your convenience because I can empathize, how difficult it must be for an outsider to search an accommodation especially when many of us are not from very financially sound background to find an accommodation.

(Source : My Laptop & MS Powerpoint)

Please zoom in the image to read the details of each locality.

IMPORTANT : No matter which area you live in, you’ll have to pay one month advance rent in addition to current month’s rent to landlord as security. You will also have to pay one month advance as commission to broker for the room he will help you in getting.

A brief description of each area :

Old Rajinder Nagar : Most expensive area to live in. Rentals would vary from 10,000 for a one BHK (minimum) to 20,000. Usually students live in groups and take 2BHK or 3BHK and share the rent. This area is nearest to the institute.

New Rajinder Nagar : Relatively less expensive than Old Rajinder Nagar. Rentals don’t drop sharply. But 5 – 15% decrease in monthly rental in the same segment. This area is accessible by walking from the institute. It generally takes 10 – 15 minutes in commuting.

Ajmal Khan Road/ Faiz Road : Cheaper in comparison to Old Rajinder Nagar. Rentals decrease by 10 – 30%. Accessible by walking. Generally takes 15 – 20 minutes in commuting.

Shadipur / Patel Nagar : Cheapest in comparison to rest all area. Rentals decrease by 20 – 40%. Accessible by bus and Metro. Generally takes 20 – 30 minutes in commuting.

New Rohtak Road : Again a cheap area to live in. Lot of hostels and PGs around. Rentals decrease by significant margin.

Jhandewalan Area : Not very decent accommodation and also little far from the institute. But still students live there to cut down cost.

Now I would mention some other attributes about this area in general. These attributes would vary from climate, security water, electricity and other issues which may appear trivial but are important to consider while renting out an apartment.

Climate : Delhi experiences worst of all climate. Be it winters where temperature drops to 4 – 5 degree Celsius or summers with temperature going as high as 45 degree Celsius. Loo also blows in summers. If you have rented out an apartment on top floor and you live without AC then only god can save you from scorching heat. You will literally get roasted in your rooms. It also rains heavily in July – August and brings you lot of mosquitoes.

Water/ Electricity : There is in general shortage of water in entire Delhi as the city has no reliable source of water. Yamuna river is heavily polluted and ground water has been exploited beyond limit. Therefore, you would face acute water shortage in this area. I have heard from friends when water don’t come from 2 days and they rush to V&R to get drinking water. The 20 Litre can is available but not financially sound idea.

There are little to no power cut. But be prepare to face load shedding in summers. There are instances when demand of power exceeds especially in june and july and therefore you may experience power cuts in these months.

The land lord would charge you extra for water which is usually Rs.500 – Rs.1000 per month. You will also have to install RO kit or Acquagurad/water purifier if you don’t wish to catch water borne disease. That’s an additional cost.

The electricity charges ranges from Rs. 5 – 10 per unit. If you have an AC and use it moderately then you will get bill of around Rs.1000 – Rs.2000 per month.

Food : There is no dearth of restaurants, dhaba etc in this area. Tamil, Kerala, Kannada, Marathi and of course North Indian food is available. There are options for 100% Vegetarian aspirant as well (I am also a vegetarian). Although I have not come across any North Eastern Restaurant.

Tiffin Service is available. No matter how tasty and home made they claim their food to be, it would start tasting like shit after few days.

Many students therefore hire a cook or maid. You can get a cook at any where between Rs. 5000 – Rs.10,000 per month for vegetarian as well as non vegetarian cuisine. You have to provide the groceries in addition to the gas and stove to the cook.

Safety & Security : Talking about Old Rajender Nagar Area and New Rajender Nagar Area are pretty safe in comparison to other areas. In my past 10 month of daily visit to this area I have not come across any incident of Rape, molestation, eve teasing etc. But beware, incidents of chain snatching are common. Last week a friend of mine from Chennai whom I repeatedly asked in last 4 months not to wear his 24 carat gold chain told me how two people on bike in morning snatched his gold chain.

I don’t know about other areas but come on who would steal Laxmikant and D.D.Basu from your rooms (unless the thief is an aspirant himself).

You can always file an RTI with local police station to know about the crime rate.

Land lords : These are the people who can make your life easy and miserable at the same time. You are lucky if you find nice, friendly land lord. But that is rare as all of them are only interested in money and they think we all are children of Ambani, Tata,Birla and Bill Gates. Many of them put restrictions like no entry of girls , or no non veg food allowed. Please don’t ask them if you can consume liquor in the rooms. Chances are you would be kicked out. Many don’t allow late night entry. Many have problems with friends coming in and the worst situation is when they have a dog which barks all day and night. Please maintain friendly relations with them and say Namstey whenever you come across them.

Thank you for your patience. If you have any doubts regarding accommodation please contact a broker.

I am not an intelligent student nor I am expert in any field. I am just a small, humble, down to earth person who loves to help people. I am open to all your doubts provided I find them convincing.

Please work hard. Your parents have put in lot of money. Don’t worry about the outcome. Trust me you all will get rewarded for your efforts, may be in different forms. Have faith on yourself and don’t get disheartened with small failures. The word FAIL mean First Attempt In Learning.

I have also written answers on motivation, you can read them to get motivated.

Happy Preparation !!


Sunny Pandey

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