Chandni Chowk is another famous destination on the map of Delhi region and is famous for its old, iconic marketplace. It is believed that the market’s origin dates back to the Mughal days. Today, it is a must-visit destination for shopaholics. Chandni Chowk is undoubtedly the busiest market in Delhi and attracts thousands of shoppers daily.
History of Chandni Chowk
Chandni Chowk is situated in Old Delhi and is believed to have been designed by Jahanara, the daughter of the great Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan during the 1650s. The layout included the famous Red Fort. The entire place was designed as a large square and made more attractive and elegant by placing a pool bang in the center of the complex. The market was named Chandni Chowk as this pool reflects ‘Chandni’ which means moonlight in Hindi. The shops were also originally designed to be placed in the shape of a half-moon but with time and addition of more small and large shops and kiosks, the shape has lost its relevance completely.
According to some historians, the name of this market was Chandi Chowk stressing on the presence of a large number of silver merchants in this place during the Mughal rule. Chandi means silver in Hindi.
Chandni Chowk Market Today
Today, the place is literally a nightmare for vehicle owners and pedestrians because of the congested traffic. There is utter chaos during peak hours because of the presence of thousands of shoppers and vehicles. However, shopaholics have little to complain as the place offers an exciting shopping experience. People can shop for wide range of items and carry home quality stuff without burning a hole in their pockets.
What to Look for and Where
The market is a hotchpotch of shops selling various types of merchandize. There are thousands of buyers seen in the market on a busy working day, haggling with shopkeepers for a bargain. The Narai Sadak is famous for books and stationery as well as musical instruments. If you are looking for silverware, head to Dariba Kalan market which is famous for ethnic jewelry and cheap imitations too. Lal Kuan is where you can find wholesale hardware stuff and kitchen equipment used in hotels and restaurants. Tilak Market is known for industrial chemical wholesale trading.
Medical professionals and lab owners prefer to shop from the Bhagirathi Palace for their requirement of medical equipment. You can also buy medicines from the many medical shops dotting the area. Shoes and optical items can be found at the Ballimaran market. The Fatehpur market has a large presence of women shoppers as the place is famous for clothing, both readymade and fabrics.
It is pretty much evident that the market has transformed dramatically over the years and is much more chaotic than the planned, well-organized look it wore some decades back. However, this has no effect on the crowds who throng to the place in thousands everyday to get the best bargains on a variety of items. The market remains closed on Sundays.
How to Reach
The best and easiest way to reach Chandni Chowk is to use the Delhi Metro railway. There are autos and buses from various areas of Delhi that can take you to Chandni Chowk cheaply and comfortably.
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