The richness and expanse of the Indian history lies shrouded in the narrow lanes of Old Delhi where the Mughal city of Shahjahanabad was situated. The entire area seems to be corroborating the heritage of the past. Under the veil of modernization is hidden a number of places which trace their history back to the medieval period. One such patrimony is the street of Dariba Kalan!
Revered as the “street of incomparable pearl”, Dariba Kalan is a 17th-century market nestled in the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk. This street connects Chandni Chowk with the affluent mosque – Jama Masjid. Dariba Kalan derives its name from a Persian word Dur-e be-baha which literally means unparalleled pearl. It is the market of exquisite jewels and oil-based perfumes.
Dariba Kalan came into existence during the time of the most royal Mughal ruler, Shahjahan. The market was especially set up for the rich to splurge in precious gems, gold, silver, diamonds and much more. It eventually developed as a major centre of trade for rare stones and the finest pearls. Dariba Kalan, however, lost its affluence after witnessing the “bloody massacre” that took place in 1739 in the streets of Shahjahanabad. The atrocious Persian invader not only murdered hundreds of civilians but also looted away all the shops.
What it offers
Despite being robbed of its glory, Dariba Kalan rose back to business and became the ever-popular jewel street of Delhi. Today this place is especially visited by tourists and foreign clients from all over. The entire lane constitutes of about 50 shops selling exclusive ornaments. The design and quality of the jewellery sold here is literally incomparable. Dariba Kalan is known for its stunning bridal collection that cannot be found anywhere else in Delhi. Besides the antique specimens of jewellery, the market is also known for its authentic Ittar or perfumes. The Ittar found here is prepared with rare oils and natural elements.
The centuries-old Dariba Kalan is the perfect stop for those yearning for elegantly stylish jewellery to splurge on. It is a heaven of jewels that mesmerizes the soul of every woman!
Location: Chandni Chowk, Delhi-6
Nearest Metro Station: Chandni Chowk
Working Hours: 11.30 am – 8 pm
Popular here: Exclusive gold and silver jewellery, precious gem stones, authentic Ittar
Popular eateries: Natraj Dahi Bhalle Wala