A visit to the historical capital city of the Indian sub-continent, New Delhi, is a must visiting place at least once. It’s an experience of a lifetime that will not only give you a glimpse into India’s rich history but also give you lovely memories to take back. Shopping is an intrinsic part of any holiday package. One of the best spots for shopping in New Delhi is Chandni Chowk Bazaar or ‘Moonlight Square’ a half moon shaped shopper’s paradise. The market itself has an interesting history. It was built by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan and his daughter Jahanara designed it when he planned his capital city of Shahjahanabad. The Chowk was initially built in a half moon shape with the Town Hall at the center. A large pool in front of the hall used to glisten in the moonlight lending it its name as ‘Chandni Chowk’. Along the middle of the bazaar, canals were dug and water from the Yamuna flowed down to the market area. 1500 odd shops were built along both sides of the canal. In the early 1900s a clock tower, called ‘Ghanta Ghar’ in Hindi, was built where the pool once shimmered. The canals too have since been closed. The Ghanta Ghar is itself in ruins now.
The Chandni Chowk Market is the oldest market situated in Old Delhi near the railway station name old delhi railway station. Long ago traders and wholesalers of all kinds of products from all over the country used to gather at the square to sell their wares. Chandni Chowk was once a famous hub for Silver Ware and Silver merchants. This is another reason for the name. At the present time ‘Dariba Kalan’ complex in Chandni Chowk is the center for Silver ware.
Chandni Chowk once housed 3 famous bazaars each is famous for its unique wares and styles. The Urdu Bazaar stretches from Lahori gate of the Mughal Royal Palace to the Gurudwara. The Johri Bazaar comprises the shops between Chowk Kotwali to Chandni Chowk at the Town hall and the Fatehpuri Bazaar is now the stretch of straight road from Chandni Chowk to Fatehpuri Masjid. Several side streets branched out from the main street further splitting into cul de sacs. Havelis or mansions lined these streets. Of them, Dharampur Haveli has been converted into a Mughal style restaurant and is frequented by tourists to taste authentic Mughal food in Mughal style.
The famous Jama Masjid is situated at the end of the Chandni Chowk Bazaar. It is just across the square from the Red Fort.
In this day and age, Chandni Chowk market still retains its character, vibrant and lively aura. The streets where once under the Mughal royalty now congested with street vendors, peddlers and interesting eateries. All possible variety of products can be found in the bazaar.
The assortment of street food, Chaats, sweets and the aromas of local delicacies of the bazaar provide a rich experience for the foodies. Latest Indian fashion wear with intricate handwork of Zari and Chikankari are found in the cloth market. Nai Sarak is a famous street with shops selling stationery, paper, decorative items and books. And Khari Baoli market is famous for spices, dry fruits, and nuts.
Several Bollywood movies have been shot at Chandni Chowk bazaar giving it an extra charm, and these popular sites are familiar to movie-going tourists who flock here all year round.
Chandni Chowk Market Timings: 10:30 A.M – 9:00 P.M (Sunday closed)
Nearby Tourist Attractions: Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Ghanta Ghar
Must try Food in Chandni Chowk: Paratha, Aloo Chat, Non Veg