Imagine a place in India where everything that you’ve ever come to know – the noise, smells, and sights – all come together into a tangle of shops and bazaars that’s more than three centuries old. Welcome to the shopping district of Chandni Chowk, in present-day Old Delhi.
It is said that the name Chandni Chowk means Moonlight Square. This pertains to the reflection of the moon on a large pond that used to be what is Town Hall now. Once an opulent market area for the Royal family, merchants as well as artisans from across the globe would gather here to sell their wares. They even built colorful mansions or havelis for when they needed to stay longer.
Today, it is a bustling mix of old and new, as merchants still group themselves according to specialty. Nai Sarak for instance, is a great destination to find books and stationery items. The long Chhatta Chowk street market on the other hand, is ideal for embroidered bags, hand-painted wall hangings, and curious souvenirs.
If you’re adventurous, you will find yourself surrounded by the best fabrics, perfumes, and jewelry, all at an affordable price. Not only that, you can find Asia’s largest spice market at Khari Baoli. Of course, there’s no shortage of food stalls to sample local snacks, like deep-fried parathas.
So what are you waiting for? Check out Chandni Chowk and be ready to be whisked away into a whirlwind of bargains and fun.
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