Chandni Chowk Market is one of the oldest markets in Old Delhi. The age of the market is around three centuries. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built this market and his daughter Jahanara designed this shopping street. This market is now one of the busiest markets in Delhi. The shopping street is lined by hawkers.
You will have a feel of medieval bazaar experience here because of narrow lanes, where shops are pushing for space. Chandni Chowk is also known as Monnlight Square and is regarded as ‘shoppers’ paradise’.
History of Chandni Chowk Market
Chandni Chowk market’s history is related to the foundation of Shahjahanabad. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan built Shahjahanabad as the capital of the cities he ruled. Originally Chandni Chowk was a half-moon shaped square where there was a canal running through the centre and reflecting the moon.
According to people’s belief, Shah Jahan constructed the market for his daughter Jahana begum so that she could buy from here whatever she wanted. At that time it was the place of assimilation and meeting for traders and merchants from all over the country.
While many people believe that Chandni Chowk market was named after moonlight reflection on the pool, many people think that Chandni Chowk market was named because of the trade of silver or ‘chandni’ here.
Now, the arrangement of shops as a half-moon shape was replaced by new arrangement. But the chaotic narrow lanes still bear its historical character.
Chandni Chowk market is located near Old Delhi Railway Station. The Red Fort monument is situated at the eastern side of the market. This market offers a view of Fatepur Sikri.
What to buy and See
You can buy from this market anything and everything. Chandni Chowk market offers you the opportunity to buy or sell vibrant varieties of perfumes, clothes, electronic goods, toys, candles, lifestyle goods and idols of deities.
10 Best Places to Shop in Chandni Chowk Market:
1. Kinari Bazar
- Famous for : Wedding shopping
- Opening : Monday to Saturday
Kinari bazaar is a wholesale retail market, beautiful traditional dresses for marriage ceremony. Other special events for which you can buy dresses for you and your family include anniversary, karwa chauth, engagement etc.
Kinari Bazar has a large storage for bride’s dresses, groom’s turban, jewelleries, gold and silver ornaments, beautiful garlands and other necessary things of marriage ceremony. Kinari Bazar meets the needs of all religious people. Even you can rent bridal dress from here.
- Famous For: Books and stationary items
- Opening: Monday to Saturday
Nai Sadak is well known for all types of books and reading materials. It is a heaven for book lovers, students, writers and bibliomaniacs. In addition to books, this market offers imported and affordable writing materials. The market has everything ranging from fourth hand college books to competitive exam books, general knowledge books to comics books. Writers and artists find here writing materials and art materials from foreign brands.
3. Dariba Kalan
- Famous For: Jewelleries
- Opening: Monday to Saturday
Dariba kalan is famous for gold and silver jewelleries. Additionally, hand-crafted jewellery will draw your attention. You will get 25% discount on all jewelleries than other markets in this market. The most significant feature is that the market sells a wide variety of jewelleries ranging from nose pins to neckpieces, earrings to anklets.
Not only silver and gold jewelleries, kundan and meenakari jewelleries are also available here. Besides, attars, perfumes are also sold here.
4. Chawri Bazar
- Famous For: copper, brass and paper products
- Opening: 11:30a.m. - 6p.m. on all days except Sunday
Chawri Bazar is a wholesale retail market of paper products and brass, and copper. You will get any type of papers here ranging from wedding cards to attractive wallpapers. It is Asia’s largest mandi of paper and wedding cards.
Moreover, you can purchase brass, or copper made idol of Lord Buddha, Vishnu and others. Recently, paper products are more popular than brass and copper. The Chawri Bazar remains very busy and crowded with people during market hours.
5. Bhagirath Palace
- Famous For: Lamps and lights
- Opening: 10a.m.- 8:45 p.m. on all days except Sunday
Bhagirath palace claims to be Asia’s largest wholesale market for lamps and lights. So if you want to decorate your place with stunning but affordable lights, you must come to Bhagirath Palace.
You will get here lamps ranging from steampunk lamps to cafe-type lamps, vintage chandeliers to fairy lights of 35 rupees. The prices of the lamps are economic compared to the design of the lamps.
6. Katra Neel
- Famous For: Clothes
- Opening: 10a.m.- 7p.m. all days
Katra Neel is a wholesale market of varieties of clothes. It is the destination for ladies suits, mean’s wear. You will get here all types of clothes at attractive prices. Recently, Katra Neel has become a market of handloom and gray cloth.
The merchantile association Chandni Chawk comprises of about 8000 members of which most of the members operate from Katra Neel.
7. Kucha Choudhary Market
- Famous For: Cameras
- Opening: 11a.m. - 8 p.m.
Kucha Choudhury Market is famous for cameras. It is the dreamplace for photographers because all type of cameras ranging from vintage cameras to the latest DSLR models, Polaroid to tripods are available. It is also known as photo market.
Every corner of the market is filled with cameras and its accessories. Photographers come here to fulfil their dreams purchasing excellent cameras at attractive prices.
8. Ballimaran Market
- Famous For: Sunglasses, shoes and watches
Balliraman market is famous for not only shoes but also sunglasses and watches. You will find many opticians here. Though there is no clear conception about eye-testing of this market, yet fashionable, flimsy frames of glasses, sunglasses are available here.
Moreover, you can get a variety of shoes here. Shoes vary from fancy type to formal type. Whether you buy shoes or sunglasses or watches, you will get these things at affordable prices.
9. Fatehpuri Market
- Famous For: Khoya and paneer
- Opening: 6a.m.- 9p.m. on all days
Fatehpuri Market is a dream place for foodies. Yes! You will find here foodies. A plenty of eateries namely parathas, aloo puri, Kulfi, chole bhature, and more are found here. Meet the greed for varieties of food at the Fatehpuri market of Chandni Chawk. The aroma of varieties of dishes will enhance your hunger. It is a busy market with crowded people.
10. Khari Baoli Market
- Famous For: Spice
- Opening: 11:30 AM to 6:00 PM on all days except
Khari Baoli claims to be Asia’s biggest spice market. This market is a wholesale grocery. All types of spices, herbs, nuts, and food products are available here. It is situated at the western end of Chandni Chawk. You can buy an array of spices from the market.
You will be mesmerized by the sight and smell of spices and dry fruits. Traders sit along the lane after lane. If you have a sensitive nose, you will start sneezing due to smell of chilli powder and pepper powder.
5 Useful Tips for Shopping in Chandni Chowk Market
Before going to the market, you must follow some tips so that you:
- You should keep a plenty of water with yourself so that after long walk through chaotic market you don’t get tired and thirsty.
- Before clicking a picture of shops at Chandni chawk, you should take permission of the shops. Generally, photography is not permitted.
- It is better to wear sandal because most of the shops don’t allow shoes inside their shops. If you wear sandals, you can easily remove it from your feet before entering the shops.
- Be conscious of your belongings like wallet, mobile and hand bags while walking through the market because the market is very busy crowded with people.
- Bargaining is allowed here. If you bargain, you may get the best product at attractive price.