The market of Chandni Chowk is very old. The origin of Chandni Chowk dates back to the Mughal era in Indian history. According to legend, Chandni Chowk market was established during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan. The legend also says that Chandni Chowk market was designed by Jahanara-Emperor Shahjahan's favorite daughter. A large 'chowk' or square with a centrally located pool was incorporated in the initial design.
The market of Chandni Chowk prospered and grew through the ages. The present Chandni Chowk market symbolizes the development through three centuries.
Chandni Chowk Video
Chandni chowk is always buzzing with life. The environment here is electric. Waves of people can sweep you away if you remain static for a moment on the street. It doesn't take a scientist to know that it is one of the busiest hubs in the entire country and in the world too. It can aptly be called a living museum.
The ruins here are ironically beautiful. It is not as much about the ruins as it is about fulfilling our inner quest of going back into time. Latest technology shops in 17th century buildings are great mismatch. But these things sparks interest and catch eyeballs. Anything can happen at the small pavement you are passing through. A car can run into a cow and vise-versa. This place does not shut any doors on anything. Here you can watch cars crawling at almost the same pace with paddle Rickshaws and people on the pavement.
Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest bazaar existing in India today. The attraction here is that you can find almost anything in a small confine. If at one corner you find painting materials at the next turn you'll find kurtas and Saris. Some shops have continued for almost a century, continuously passing down from one generation to another. And people here have tried to maintain the originality. A Parantha at the Paranthawala gully or Jellibis at the Jellibiwalla couldn't have changed too much over the years. Such strenuous effort of maintaining their trademark has only surged their popularity.
Good food and great temples make Chandni Chowk a popular place for both Delhites and tourists. Papri Chaat on the opposite side of Gurudwara, or roadside kababs near Jama Masjid defines Chandni Chowk. A visit to the place without trying such delicacies would be incomplete. Though the alleys are too narrow for comfort, there are hardly any blind ends. The whole place is interconnected by interesting webs of small alleys. Tea stands are common sight along with small pan shops.
There are different places of worship for people of different beliefs. Sis Ganj Gurudwara, Christian Central Baptist Church and Digamber Jain Temple stand on the same road. Jama Masjid stands not too far from the there opposite to the Red Fort. It's a visual extravaganza not seen anywhere. Most temples are centuries old and
Founded in1639 by Mughal Emperor, the place came to be fondly known as 'Chandni Chowk'. A canal used to run through the streets and on moonlit night, the reflection of the moon shine brightly on the serene water. Today, the place remains awake even at night. Suffused with neon and tungsten lights, the blue luminescent of the moon has waned. That's a price all modern civilization had to pay.
The Independence Day celebration at Lal Quila opposite to chandni chowk is an annual event and thousands of people flocked to watch the ceremony unfold. Chandni Chowk has also remained a place of interest for many Bollywood filmmakers. Films shot in Delhi seem to be incomplete without Chandni Chowk. Recent Films like 'Black and White', 'Chandni Chowk to China' and Delli-6 were shot in Chandni Chowk.
As you walked along, the whole street looked like a show. From coin sellers (Centuries old coins) to persistent people who sit on the roadside, digging dirt out of your ear for profession, this place is filled with characters. The least you can do to yourself before stepping into this historic place is to be prepared to get stunt.
The area of Chandni Chowk have a number of markets. The notable markets in Chandni Chowk are:
- Nai Sarak for books, stationery items and musical instruments
- Cloth Markets at Fatehpur and the various Katras for textiles
- Dariba Kalan and Kinari Bazaar for jewelry
- Dariba Kalan for silver items
- Bhaghirath Palace for medical equipments and Allopathic medicines
- Chawri Bazaar for paper, stationary items and musical instruments
- Ballimaran for shoes and opticians
- Kinari Bazaar for Zardozi items and laces
- Flea market (daily at Jama Masjid) for antiques and all kinds of bargains
- Old Lajpat Rai Market for electrical goods.
- Cycle Market for bicycles and photography
- Moti Bazar for shawls and pearls.
- Khari Baoli for dry fruits, pulses, food grains, spices and saffron
- Tilak Bazar for chemicals.