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Chandni Chowk – One of the Oldest and Busiest Markets of India

Counted amongst the oldest and busiest markets of India, Chandni Chowk is located in Delhi, the capital of the country. Chandni Chowk is always buzzing with life. The environment here is full of spirit. Waves of people can sweep you away if you remain static for a moment on the street. The amazing array of goods from wholesale bangles to biryani, paper to pearls, golgappas to gold, mithai to motor parts and all the other things make Chandni Chowk an exciting shopping zone.

Chandni Chowk – One of the Most Popular Historic Markets of India

During the day time you will experience the lively atmosphere at the colourful shops and the environment here is filled with the vibrant sounds of shoppers and shopkeepers and the same lanes appears as food streets during evening, where you can sample various tastiest and cheapest snacks from all over the North India.

Chandni Chowk
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The area is a perfect example of religious unity. This densely populated market has been around for more than three centuries and was once visited by merchants from Turkey, China and even Holland. As time continued to pass, the market of Chandni Chowk prospered and grew to what it is today. The present Chandni Chowk market is symbolical of the development through three centuries.

History of the Market

Chandni Chowk was originally built as an open octagonal space located outside Begum Bagh. The foundation of Chandni Chowk was laid by the favourite daughter of Shah Jahan, Jahanara. This place is the largest trading centre of North India. The designing and establishment of Chandni chowk was done by Princess Jahanara. The market was shaped as a square and was made graceful by the having made a pool in the centre of the market compound. Perhaps the  shimmering of the pool in the moonlight  contributed to its name Chandni Chowk. In the beginning, the shops were built in a half moon shaped pattern. Even from olden times, the bazaar has been famous for its silver merchants, silver is known as Chandi in Hindi, a slight variation of which forms Chandni. Hence it can be another reason behind the name of the place.

Chandni Chowk Market
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A couple of hundred years ago, Chandni Chowk existed as a street made of bazaars with rows of banyan trees to the centre and the silvery canal bordered by a wide platform where people relaxed and conversed. Horse driven carriages, palanquins and elephants passed through the streets. The chowk is at equivalence with the world’s best known squares such as the Tiannamen square in China or New York’s Times Square. During the Mughal era, the campus of the Walled city was divided on the basis of different guilds. Localities inhibited on the basis of specialised professions were Katra Neel, Lal Kuan, Sita Ram Bazaar and Chatta Lal Miyan among others.

At Chandni Chowk

With the passage of time the fountains of the Chowk vanished but the shops still remained and the flock of shoppers and visitors continued to grow. These small shops in the by lanes magnetize an enthusiastic shopper. Shopping at Chandni Chowk is fun as the market is divided in several by lanes and these are flooded with vibrant varieties of clothes, perfumes, electronic items, jewelleries, candles, idols of deities, furnishings and silverware.

Chandni Chowk Colourful Market
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It is must to note that you will get everything at highly subsidised rates at Chandni Chowk if you are good at bargaining.

Major Markets at Chandni Chowk

Nai Sarak and Chawri Bazaar – These markets are famous for books, stationary items and musical instruments.

Moti Bazaar – It is a bazaar which you can rely for buying shawls and pearls.

Dariba Kalan – For jewellery lovers this market is the place at Chandni Chowk.

▪ Bhaghirath Palace –  For buying medical equipments and allopathic medicines.

Ballimaran – You’ll find shoes and opticians at this place.

Kinari Bazaar – This market is famous for zardozi items, laces and fine quality of jewellery.

Old Lajpat Rai Market  – You can find a variety for electrical goods at this market.

Khari Baoli – It is a market for dry fruits, pulses, food grains, spices and saffron.

Fatehpuri – It bears different cloth markets and the various katras for textiles.

The Chandni Chowk market is divided into various lanes each of which represents a speciality of this market, for example the Paranthawali Gali is known for its variety of paranthas. Similarly there is a lane for jewellery,  a lane for textiles and so on.

Pleasure for Foodies

Delhi Street Food
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The place offers you the relishing eateries which goes on as there is a Ghantewala Halwai who makes mouth watering jalebis , Natraj is known for its dahi bhalle, the famous fruit chaat of the chaatwallah, the famous rasmalai of Bikaner sweet shop, Gianiji Ka Falooda is famous for rabri falooda, the tasty paranthas of the Paranthawali Gali and many other foodstuffs to relish your taste buds.

Also Read : Top 10 Street Foods in Delhi


The busy market, Chandni Chowk is located at the Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg in Delhi – the capital of India. The famous monument Red fort stands within Chandni Chowk.

How to Reach 

The nearest metro station is the Chandni Chowk metro station. The place can be reached via metro transit system. The Old Delhi Railway Station is the closest railway station from the fort located just 1 km away.

Chandni Chowk Metro Station

The place is close to the Inter State Bus Terminal. As for the foreign tourists, the Indira Gandhi International Airport is located at a distance of around 26 km from Chandni Chowk.


The market is open from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM (open throughout the week except on Sundays).

The Chandni chowk market is a place with a tremendous rush to sweep you away if you you remain stable for even a while, so prepare yourself before you visit the crowded market.

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About Anirudh Singh

Anirudh Singh is a passionate blogger and the man behind Amazing India Blog. He has 5 years of experience in the newspaper industry and he founded Amazing India Blog in 2015. Apart from writing and editing articles on Travel, Business and Technology at Amazing India Blog, he also contributes to other well known newspapers and online news blogs.