While for many of us Delhi might be the hometown, for others the city could have become their foster home. Whether a native or a frequent visitor, everybody claims to know the city inch by inch. However, the real charm of Delhi lies in the fact that one can never know this city completely. Delhi has an array of hidden bijou shops that makes this place mysteriously interesting. One such amazing delight is a small street called Khari Baoli. Not many must be aware of the fact that this small area in Delhi is the largest wholesale spice market of Asia.
Running since 17th century, the Khari Baoli market is nestled near the historic area of old Delhi adjacent to the Fatehpuri Masjid. The Khari Baoli step-well was inaugurated during the reign of Salim Shah, the son of Sher Shah Suri. Fatehpuri Masjid was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of the wives of the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. During his reign the market came to be known as Khari Baoli meaning a steep well with saline water (Baoli means Well and Khari is salty). Unfortunately, no traces of the steep well can be found today.
What it offers
The shops here are still run by the ninth or tenth generation of the founders of this market. Today, Khari Baoli has not only become Asia’s largest wholesale spice market but is also regarded as an important commercial hub of North India. Traders and shoppers can be found looking for the cheapest deals and bargains for spices (both local and exotic), dry fruits and other commodities. A few specialties here include chilis, unrefined pink salt, black salt, pulses, rice, herbs, dry fruits and grains of diverse shapes and colors. Some traders also have prunes, dried mulberries and dries plums bought from as far as Afghanistan and Kashmir. In between somewhere you would also come across some shops selling khoya and jaggery.
Khari Baoli is not just limited to the status of a wholesale market but it has also become a place of tourist interest. This market is definitely worth a wander to revere the sights and smells of such huge chunks of spices being sold here for centuries now. The eye-catching display of everything evokes interest and desires to buy all that is being offered. Thousands of tourists can be seen flocking the market for the Indian spices.
Location: Near Red Fort, Old Delhi-6
Nearest Metro: Chandni Chowk
Opening Hours: 10 am to 9 pm
Popular Here: Spices, Dry Fruits, Grains, Rice, Dry Plums and Mulberries