Navigate this bustling market district and bargain for curious antiques, intricate jewels and aromatic spices in a distinctly New Delhi atmosphere.
Chandni Chowk (“Moonlit Market”) is a hive of bazaars, stalls and historic shrines that forms an integral part of the region’s lifestyle. Try a street food dinner, bargain for local wares or just experience the chaotic and fascinating scenes of this district.
Find Chandni Chowk at the heart of New Delhi’s Old City, where it has thrived since Mughal emperor Shah Jahan established it in the 17th century. Begin your tour at Chor Bazaar (“Thieves’ Market”), which hosts stalls for electronic goods, vintage clothes and antique furniture amongst other curiosities. Find an interesting ware and test out your bargaining skills.
Amongst the bustle, visit the 16th-century Digambara Jain Temple. The nearby Gauri Shankar Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Here, spot the Lingam (phallus stone), which dates back 800 years. Enjoy the devotional chants from the Sikh temple (Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib) as you pass. Temples may require a suitable dress code for entry.
After some history, visit a candy stall and try jalebi, a delicious treat cooked in bubbling oil. Wander the streets to Dariba Kalan Road and pass stalls selling intricate silver and gold jewelry. The adjacent Kinari Bazaar is visited often by prospective couples looking for wedding garments and bridal accessories.
When you get hungry, navigate to Paratha Wali Gali and find a number of small restaurants lining the lane. Try paratha, a traditional Indian-style flatbread, which is served stuffed with potatos, topped with crushed almonds or accompanied by tangy pickles. Follow this avenue back into Chandni Chowk and continue to the Fatehpuri Masjid. This red sandstone mosque was designed by one of Shah Jahan’s wives. Around the temple, bargain for nuts, herbs and teas at Khari Baoli, the district’s spice market.
Get to Chandi Chowk by metro, cab or rickshaw from downtown New Delhi. The markets are open every day except Sunday. After visiting the markets, explore some nearby attractions like the imposing Red Fort or Jama Masjid.