Delhi Expedition is my journey through City of Djinns, the national capital of India. A historic city full of magical stories, mystery, culture, street food, shopping malls, forts and medieval bazaars. I am having this great opportunity to explore and feel Delhi as I live here for work. I will be sharing my experiences under this expedition series as I explore colonial-era town planning, medieval fortifications, Mughal mausoleums and dusty bazaars.
Whether you want clothes to attend a wedding, some delicious food to satisfy your tummy or looking for some electronic devices to buy, Chandni chowk is the place where you can get all this and much more together. Chandni chowk is not a new place for me, I visited it a lot many times before with my dad specially the electronics market ‘Bhagirath palace’. Huge maze of small and tight streets one connecting to another, full with multicolored lights and decorations, buyers and porters carrying boxes on their heads are some of my childhood memories of ‘Bhagirath Palace’.
Recently I visited Chandni chowk for some shopping and food. I boarded Delhi metro to Chandni chowk station on yellow line which is the best out of all public transport options available. You can drive in with your own vehicle but be prepared to face long parking queues or the worst parking full in peak hours. As I stepped out from metro station I had this sense of standing in the most famous shopping strip of old Delhi. Whole place was snarled with people and crammed with smalls stalls selling street food, posters, mobile chargers, fake branded clothes, shoes and many other things. With all this around there is a small temple of Lord Shiva standing with its own glory and myths.
While crossing through all these stalls, I heard ‘Gurubani’ coming from nearby Gurudwara. I followed directions to Gurudwara which was situated in the middle of Chandni chowk road which connects Red Fort to Fatehpuri Mosque. This road and its market comes with a deep historic background. While researching more about the place I came to know that this market has been around for more than three centuries and was built by Mughal Emperor Shan Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara in 17th century. The market was once divided by water channels and fountains (now closed) to reflect moon light from where it got its original name Chandni chowk (Moonlight Square).
After attending prayers and taking blessings in Gurudwara, I was ready to enjoy traditional Indian street food, one of the specialty that Chandni chowk offers, I tried various snacks options paneer bread pakora, stuffed chilla served with sauces and Jalebi-rabri in sweets. The best part about this place being so famous is that you can find a lot of old shops each serving authentic taste of India, few shops are even established in 19th and 20th century.
With my tummy full with delicious breakfast I started my shopping. Good thing about Chandni chowk is that it is divided into dedicated sub markets. You can visit Khari Baoli if you are spice lover. Kinari Bazaar is the best to look for zari and zarozi trimmings and tinsel. The cloth bazaar of Katra Neel offers all kinds of fabrics such as silks, satin, crepe, cotton and muslin. Bhagirath Palace is Asia’s largest market for electrical goods and also offers medical equipment and allopathic medicines. Moti Bazaar is famous for shawls and pearls and Tilak Bazaar for chemicals.
I wrapped up my expedition day with 3 shopping bags in hand and called my day off with awesome dinner at Kake di hatti which is an old famous north Indian restaurant and serves delicious vegetarian food.
I hope you enjoyed my blog and ya if you are planning to visit Delhi and shopping is something in your list then don’t forget to visit one of the oldest and busiest markets of Delhi.
Stay tuned for my next expedition…