Attraction Type : Street Shopping
Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and most crowded markets in central Delhi. The market was built in 17th century by Shah Jahan, and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara. It has nearly 2,500 shops that have a common website.
Chandni Chowk runs through the middle of the walled city, from Lahori Darwaza of the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Originally, there was a canal right in the middle of the street. The moonlight reflecting from this canal is said to have earned it the name, Chandni.
Besides being a hot shopping spot, Chandni Chowk has many tourist attractions.
The first is the Shri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir, which was established in 1656. Popularly known as the Lal Mandir, it has images and statues of Jain saints such as Lord Mahavir and Lord Parasnath. There is also a bird hospital in the temple compound, which was set up in 1929.
Next to this temple is the Gauri Shankar Temple. The temple was built by Maratha general Appa Gandgadhar in 1761. It has statues of Shiva, Parvati, Ganesh and Kartikeya.
Then there is the Svetambara Jain Temple near the junction of Naughara Gali. It has images and carvings including that of Lord Parasnath.
Another stop is Sunheri Masjid, which was built in 1721 by Roshan-ud-Daula Zafar Khan in the reign of Mohammad Shah. Persian invader Nadir Shah is said to have stood on the top of the mosque on March 11, 1739 and watched the qatl-e-aam (killing of everyone in sight) he had ordered, and in which 30,000 were massacred.
Gurudwara Sisganj, built in 1783 at the place where, the Mughals killed the ninth Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur in 1675 is another place you must visit.
Chandni Chowk is a shopper’s and gourmet’s delight. The market was once visited by merchants from Turkey, China and even Holland. Chandni Chowk market is a value for money market. It is one of the best places to shop if you want to purchase in bulk. It is a popular place for buying clothes and accessories for weddings.
Dariba Kalan is famous for pearl, gold and silver jewellery, and ittar (perfume oil from botanical sources). Khari Baoli is the hotspot for spices and pickles. Kinari Bazaar specialises in wedding paraphernalia, such as glittering tinsel decorations and ornate bridal accessories. While the Katra Neel cloth market sells a wide range of fabrics, including silk, satin, crepe, cotton and muslin, Moti Bazaar is famous for shawls and pearls.
Bhagirath Palace is Asia’s largest market for electrical goods. It also has shops of medical equipment and allopathic medicines. The palace’s original name was Begum Samru's Palace, and dates back to 1806.
There is also Tilak Bazaar, a hub of shops selling chemicals.
Chandni Chowk is also famous for confectioners and food shops. The most famous is Ghantewala, which was established in 1790.
The legendary Paratha Wali Gali was known only for silverware shops, before the first paratha shop opened in the 1870s. Paratha Wali Gali is full of small eateries specialising in parathas. Aloo (potato) paratha is the favourite, but there are also parathas stuffed with crushed almonds.