Chandni Chowk is one of the leading markets in Delhi. It contains a tremendous number of varieties and diversity in the items that are available for buyers to buy. Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets present in Delhi. People from all over India even the tourist that come around the world make sure to visit here and collect some mementos. For people who really wanted to eat until their stomachs burst out of food, this is the place you need to visit.
The history behind the name “Chandni Chowk”
Chandni Chowk or The Moonlight Square was planned and established by the daughter of the fifth Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, Jahanara. It came under the provision when Shah Jahan shifted his capital from Agra to Shahjahanabad, now Old Delhi, in the mid-17th century.
Chandni Chowk was known as Moonlight Square because the market was shaped as a square and got its evocative name from the moon’s reflection in a large pond of water.
The market was designed by the eldest daughter Jahanara Begum. The market is partitioned into three parts Urdu Bazaar, Johri Bazaar, and Fatehpuri Bazaar. In earlier days, the market was famous for silver Merchants.
Many people predicted that the name Chandni Chowk is due to the trade of silver “Chandi”. Mainly the buyers are from Europe and Asia. It was the place for important people to gather and shop for expensive jewelry, gemstones, and perfumes. The original pattern of reflecting pool and shops arranged in half moon has been replaced by numerous shops selling all kinds of knick knacks.
Places to visit in Chandni Chowk
1. Monuments and Indian Religions
While passing through the streets of Chandni chowk we may come across many monuments from Red fort to Fathepur Mosque. If you looking for a place that is full of religion and beliefs this place can totally amaze you.
Chandni Chowk has the distinction of being perhaps the only trade market that also houses an equally amazing number of places of worship of all the prominent Indian religions.
Hinduism, Islam, Sikhism, Christianity, and Jainism exist side by side in the 2 km stretch between Fatehpuri Masjid to Red Fort alone. Here one can find more than seven Hindu and Jain temples, two Churches, three Mosques, and two Gurudwaras.
2. Markets of Chandani Chowk
Chandni Chowk is particularly divided into many smaller markets. Each market got its specialty and they are known for the particular commodities. Chandni Chowk is especially popular for bridal shopping, especially during the wedding season when it becomes one of the most frequented markets for lehengas, designer sarees, accessories, reliable gold jewelry as well as decorative items for the wedding venue.
this bazaar is famous for its clothes, people from small scale clothes manufacturing industries. Textile is sold in bulk and the measure of cloth is not sold in meters but in the form of yarn or than in Hindi.
Dariba Kalan is well known for jewelry and is famous for gold and silver items. Diamond jewelry is also one of the most purchased items at this market. A rare item that is also sold at Dariba is itar. A unique fragrance that is usually associated with the religion of Islam.
Kinari Baazaar is known for the vast collection of jewellery, Zardozi items such as laces and frills. The variety in the material and design of the borders for the sarees, lenghas, and suits are available.
Meena Bazaar sells traditional Muslim dresses and accessories such as semi-precious jewellery, embroidered Indian bags, etc. The designs and materials used in these traditional costumes are contemporary and suit the match the lifestyle of those residing in the nearby areas, i.e. Chawri Bazaar and Chandni Chowk itself.
Tourists whoever comes here whether they are from India or around the globe make sure to visit here. Chandni Chowk is a place is like the packets of items for a person who wanted to buy kinds of stuff for their loved ones for themselves. Well, there are more often markets to visit here to buy each kind os stuff.
3. Food Streets of Chandani Chowk
They are many more markets in India but still Chandni Chowk lies in the heart of people, especially foodies. As I am also one of the foodies, I will go and search for a place where I can find a variety of food in one place. A market without food varieties is nothing but like sleeping without a pillow. There are many famous streets for food within this market.
Old Delhi’s street food is very famous and known for its unique taste and tell-tales associated with it. The street food walk is a wonderful journey through the alleys and lanes of Old Delhi to savour the delicious food items along with the companionship of a local mate. Moreover, the walk is enriched with a few hidden treasures of Chandni Chowk.
Also, check out The Foodie Lounge for some utterly delicious food recipes to cook at the comfort of your home.
Parathe Wali Gali
Parathe Wali Gali serves the best bread in Delhi Parathas are the thicker, more delicious cousins of the plain roti. They can be plain or stuffed with a variety of meat and vegetables. For starters, you can try the regular aloo or gobi filled parathas. If you are feeling a bit adventurous then try the rabri paratha or Mirchi paratha. This street lies in the heart of Delhitians.
Shree Balaji Chaat & Jalebi Wala
Old Delhi has several places that sell aloo chaat, but the one that stands out and makes everyone’s mouth water is the Shree Balaji Chaat Bhandar stall in Chandni Chowk.
Old Famous Jalebi Wala in Chandani Chowk has been making these irresistible sweets since 1884. Their soft, juicy jalebis, prepared in pure ghee, have been attracting customers like moths to a flame for several decades. A word of advice though – don’t bite into the hot jalebis as soon as they are served to you or you might be nursing a burnt tongue for a while. The most delicious kebabs at Ustaad Moinuddin. The taste of Sparks fly, eyes meet over the coal grill and mouths water as kebabs of all kinds are being prepared for you.
Safety And Other Tips:
As usually in India, most of the shops in Chandni Chowk are closed on Sundays. However, an early morning chor bazaar (thieves market) comes into existence every day. Get there before 8 a.m. for the pick of the stuff. A book market also takes place on Sunday mornings along Asaf Ali Road in Dariya Ganj, to the south of Chandni Chowk.
For safety, make sure to be aware of pickpockets and take extra care of your belongings. Make sure to wear something comfortable not too heavy. That place is full of crowds and wearing something heavy makes a person get easily annoyed.
When shopping, haggle with vendors to get the best price. However, if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is fake products are widely sold.
At last, I want to say that, the Chandni Chowk is a place which got “ Chandni in public “ crowd of people rather than other places like the Sarojini market and many other markets which are as big as Chandni Chowk. There are many things we can do like watching Indian wrestling “ Khushti”.