- Location: Chandni Chowk, Old Delhi, Delhi- 110006
- Entry fee: Free of cost
- Closed: Sunday
- Market Timings: 9.30 am to 8.00 pm
History of Chandni Chowk Market
Chandni Chowk market is famous for wholesale shops.
Chandni Chowk which means Moonlight Square is one of India’s oldest and busiest markets. Delhi is incomplete without mentioning Chandni Chowk. It is located in old Delhi close to Old Delhi Railway Station. Red Fort (also called Lal Quila in hindi) is very close to the Chandni Chowk market. The fort was designed and built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his daughter Jahanara in 17th century.
Chandni Chowk market started establishing when Shah Jahan founded the capital city of Shahjahanabad. He built Red Fort on the Yamuna river in the same time in addition to this.
Significance of the name “Chandni Chowk”
Once the market was separated by canals to bounce back the moonlight. The canals are not closed. That’s the reason the market got this name (“Chandni” meaning moonlight).
Old Chandni Chowk
Original Chandni Chowk was half-moon-shaped square. A lake was built running from Yamuna river through the middle of the road which is known as Chandni Chowk Bazaar these days. It had roads and shops on both sides of the lake or channel. The road has 3 bazaars which were by designed by Shah Jahan’s favorite daughter Jahanara Begum in 1650 CE.
The road was divided into 3 bazaars originally:
- Urdu Bazaar: It was the major market which connected the canal in the middle of the Chandni Chowk to Jama Masjid. This market was destroyed in the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
- Johri Bazaar: Section of the road connecting from Chowk Kotwali to Chandni Chowk was known as Johri Bazaar.
- Fatehpuri Bazaar: Section of the road connecting from Chowk Chowk to Fatehpuri Masjid was known as Fatehpuri Bazaar.
Originally the bazaar has more than 1,500 shops. The bazaar was square shaped originally with a pool in the center. The pool flickered during the moonlight which is the main reason for its name. Initially the shops of the market were built in the half moon shaped which has lost now.
In 1950s, the pool in the center of the market was replaced by the clock tower (Ghantaghar in hindi). And so the center of the market is still known as Ghantaghar. Delhi Town Hall which is a landmark building in Chandni Chowk was built by the Britishers in 1863.
Town Hall at Chandni Chowk Image Source
Historic Havelis in Chandni Chowk
- Begum Samru palace: Built in 1806 | Also known as Bhagirath Palace where Begum Samru started her dancing career in 18th century. Later she became the ruler of Sardhana.
- Haksar Haveli: Jawaharlal Nehru married to his wife Kamla Nehru in 1916 in this haveli.
- Ghalib ki Haveli: Dedicated to the Urdu and Persian Poet Mirza Ghalib
- Dharampura Haveli: Built in 19th century | Awarded for special mansion in UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation in 2017.
- Haveli Naharwali: Former president of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf was born here. Initially, it was owned by Raja Nahar Khan, hence the haveli got this name.
- Khazanchi haveli: The accountants of Shah Jahan were Khazanchi. The haveli is located at the end of the road connecting Dariba and Esplanade Road.
- Naughara Mansions: Built in 18th century | It is a road with nine constant beautifully brightly painted havelis.
- Zeenat Mahal: Built in 18th century | Known for Begum Zeenat Mahal who was the de facto Empress, ruled the Mughal Empire on behalf of the Mughal ruler Bahadur Shah II Zafar.
Begum Samru’s Palace after 1857 rebellion Image Source
Wholesale and famous shops in Chandni Chowk Market
Chandni Chowk Market is famous for its food and ethnic collection at cheaper rates. Although the market is over crowded. Still this is one of the most visited markets in Delhi.
Though there are many wholesale shops for Sarees and bridal lehengas in Chandni Chowk Market. It is advised to get the information about the wholesale shops before visiting the market. Otherwise, one can be cheated in terms of product price.
When I visited the Chandni Chowk Market for the first time, I liked a lehenga in a retail shop. The price of the lehenga was 45k. It was little expensive for me. So I dropped the idea of buying that lehenga. I moved to other shops of the market. Then I entered a wholesale shop in Kinari Bazar. I bought the same lehenga from that shop in half of the price.
Chandni Chowk Market is categorized into many small shopping streets. Some of them are given below:
Kinari Bazar is close to the famous paranthe wali gali. The market is famous for its ethnic collection. The collection includes bridal lehenga, sarees, beautiful jewelry, banarasi sarees, embroidery designs, ethnic gota patti lace work, groom accessories like wedding kurta pyjamas, turbans etc.
Wholesale famous shops in Kinari Bazar (Chandni Chowk Market)
Shringar: Designer clothing center | Address: 1220, Maliwara, Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk
K.B.C and company Pvt LTD: Clothing and accessories store | Address: Shop No.2088-89, Opposite Marwadi Aushdhalaya, Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk
G.S collection: Clothing and accessories store | Address: 2033, Gali Barf Wali, Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk
An embroidery shop in Kinari Bazar, Chandni Chowk Image Source
The word Chawri has many meanings. In Marathi language it is said to be the meeting place. During the time of Emperor’s rule meetings used to be held here. The purpose of the meeting was to resolve the disputes before reaching Emperor’s court.
This market is in the west of Jama Masjid. And it is very close to New Delhi railway station. The market opens after 11 am and closes at 6 pm.
Chawri Bazar has a good collection of hardware and metal items. Examples are jewellery boxes, pots or vases, wedding cards, home decor idols and statues. This is a specialized market of copper, brass and paperwork. The market has shops selling good quality of copper and brass utensils. This is a good place to get the wrapping bags, gift wrappers, beautiful wallpapers etc.
Wholesale famous shops in Chawri Bazar (Chandni Chowk Market)
Designer Burqa Store: Clothing store | Address: Shop no. 16, Hotel Lane, Meena Bazaar, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk
Shyam sweets: Sweet shop | Address: Shop no. 112 Chowk Barshahbulla, Manohar Market, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk
Kuremal Mohanlal Kulfiwale since 1906: Ice-cream shop | Address: Shop no. 526, near Metro Station, Chawri Bazar, Chandni Chowk
Jain Coffee House: Coffee shop | Address: Chawri Bazar, Hauz Qazi near jama masjid, Chandni Chowk
Dariba Kalan is located in the shahjahanabad of old delhi. Shah Jahan had built this. It is the jewellery market in Chandni Chowk. This market is known for precious stones, unique and beautifully designed silver, gold, diamond and artificial jewelleries in lower prices. Dariba Kalan is also known for costume jewellery shops.
Old Famous Jalebi Wala is a local popular Jalebi shop in Dariba Kalan.
Wholesale famous shops in Dariba Kalan (Chandni Chowk Market)
Gulab Singh Johrimal: Manufacturer | Address: Shop no. 320, Maliwara Tiraha Bazar, Dariba Kalan Rd, Chandni Chowk
Shri Ram Hari Ram Jewellers: Jewellery shop | Address: Shop no. 1658 & 1659, Dariba Kalan Rd, Chandni Chowk
Old Famous Jalebi Wala: Sweet shop | Address: Shop no. 1795, Dariba Kalan Rd, Chandni Chowk
Dariba Kalan jewellery shops Image Source
Nai Sarak is the connecting road between the Chawri Bazar and the Chandni Chowk market. As the name says, is the new road which connects the Chandni Chowk market. It is surrounded by old architectural buildings made by the Britishers.
This market offers the big wholesale collection of all types of books including medical books, children books, wedding cards and other stationary materials. Although Nai Sarak has many wholesale shops of wedding sarees and Lehengas with heavy embroidery work.
Wholesale famous shops in Nai Sarak (Chandni Chowk Market)
Arun Vastra Bhandar private limited: Women clothing shop | Address: Shop no. 4158, Jogiwara, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Arihant Wedding Cards: Greeting and wedding card shop | Address: Shop no. 5734, Maliwara, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Mahavir Collections: Men clothing shop | Address: Shop no. 646, Katra Hardayal, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Heer Ji Textile: Men clothing shop | Address: Shop no. 1545, New Marwari Katra, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Asiana Couture: Couture store | Address: Shop no. 652, 655, Katra Hardayal, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
College Bookstore: Book store | Address: Shop no. 1702, Roshanpura, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Madaan Book House: Book store | Address: Shop no. 4054, Dai Wara, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk
Khari Baoli is one of the oldest markets in Old Delhi. It was created at the time of the 17th century. This market is the Asia’s largest wholesale spice market in the world. The market also deals in dry fruits and other commodities. People from outside the city visit this place often for the better deal in spices, dry fruits and nuts. You can completely rely on the purity of the herbs and spices in Khari Baoli shops. The sellers sell the spices in the raw form.
Fatehpuri Masjid is adjacent to Khari Baoli. Though people don’t know much about Khari Baoli still this is one of the famous tourist attractions.
Wholesale famous shops in Khari Baoli (Chandni Chowk Market)
Lahore Dry Fruit: Dry fruit and sweet shop | Address: Shop no.6502, Fatehpuri Chowk, Khari Baoli Rd, Chandni Chowk
DilliGrocery Ram Narain Prem Narain: Dry fruit store | Address: Shop no. 403-A, Khari Baoli Rd, Chandni Chowk
Lamba Stores: Dry fruit shop | Address: Shop no. 6527, Khari Baoli Rd, Fatehpuri, Chandni Chowk
Hari Singh and Sons: Dry fruit store | Address: Shop no. 6639, Khari Baoli Rd, Chandni Chowk
Giani’s: Ice-cream and sweet shop | Address: Church Mission Rd, Shahjahanabad, Khari Baoli, Chandni Chowk
Ballimaran is the market of shoes, eye spectacles, Lenses, eyeglass covers, frames etc.
Tourist Attraction: Ghalib ki Haveli is in Ballimaran which is one of the famous tourist attractions in old Delhi. Ghalib ki Haveli was named on the Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib and was created in the 19th century. He was a famous poet. His poems are written in all over the walls of the Haveli.
Wholesale Famous shops in Ballimaran (Chandni Chowk Market)
Al-Haz Bakery: Bakery and cake shop | Address: 5080, Ballimaran Rd, Chhoti Baradari, Chandni Chowk
Swiss Optics: Optical shop | Address: Shop no. 1375, Katra Nawab, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk
Elevate Eyewear: Optical shop | Address: Shop no. 2304, Opp Sharif Manzil, Ballimaran, Chandni Chowk
Himalaya Footwear: Shoe shop | Address: Shop no. 5235-36, Ballimaran Rd, Katra Nawab, Chandni Chowk
Bridal shops in Chandni Chowk
Kamal Bhai Saree Sangam: Address: Shop no. 291, Katra Pyarelal Gali, Chandni Chowk
Anarkali Bazar: Address: Shop no. 1860, Main Road, Opposite Haldiram, Chandni Chowk
Lehenga House: Address: Shop no. 1392, 1st floor main road, Chandni Chowk
Chhabra 555: Address: Shop no. 555, Katra Asharfi, Chandni Chowk
Sudhir Bhai Saree Wala: Address: Shop no. 485, Maliwara Tiraha Bazar, Katra Asharfi, Chandni Chowk
Gorvi’s Creation: Address: Shop no. 932 Gali Pattal Wali, Maliwara, Chandni Chowk
Pakeeza Plaza: Address: Shop no. 73, 2nd Floor, Moti Bazar, Chandni Chowk
Ram Kishan Sarees: Address: Shop no. 259, Katra Pyarelal Gali, Chandni Chowk
KalaShree Regalia: Address: Shop no. 1914-15, opposite Sheesh Ganj, Gurudwara, Chandni Chowk
Paranthe wali gali
Chandni Chowk is incomplete without mentioning paranthe wali gali. It is a narrow street surrounded by small local shops. These shops offer variety of Indian breads. They offer so many varieties of paratha which you wouldn’t have even heard about them. Some of the famous paranthas in Chandni Chowk are:
- Nimboo ka paratha
- Bhindi ka paratha
- Karele ka paratha
- Matar ka paratha
- Rabri paratha
- Mix veg paratha
- Papad paratha
- Pudina paratha
The specialty of the paranthas is that these are deep fried different from the one we prepare at our homes. These shops also offer Indian snacks like samosa, chat, kachori etc.
- Cost of paratha: Rs. 40 to 80 per piece
- Toppings: pickles or Green chutney, sabzi, butter and lassi or chhachh.
- Timings: 9.00 am to 11.00 pm
Famous food shops in Paranthe wali gali
- Babu Ram Paranthe Wala:
- Address: Shop no. 1984 -1985, Gali Paranthe Wali, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Paratha (Pudina Paratha, Mixed Vegetable Paratha, Rabri Paratha, Mirchi Paratha), Lassi
- PT. Gaya Prasad Shiv Charan:
- Address: Shop no. 34, Gali Paranthe Wali, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Paratha (Pudina Paratha, Papad Paratha, Rabri Paratha, Mint Paratha), Sweet Lassi
- Kedarnath Premchand Halwai:
- Address: Shop no. 4, Gali Paranthe Wali, Maliwara Tiraha Bazar, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Sweets and street food (Kachori, Bedmi Puri, Samosa, Sweet Lassi )
- Daulat Ki Chaat:
- Address: Near Naughara Jain Temple, Kinari Bazar, Gali Paranthe Wali Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Chat made of milk and cream
- Kanwarji Bhagirath Mal:
- Address: Shop no. 1972-73, Gali Paranthe Wali, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Sweets and Namkeens
- Jang Bahadur Kachori Wala:
- Address: Shop no. 1104, Gali Bhojpura Road, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
- Famous For: Kachori
A shop in Paranthe wali gali, Chandni Chowk Image Source
How to reach Chandni Chowk Market
You need to get down to Chandni Chowk metro station. One can either hire a Rickshaw or e-rickshaw or can walk down the market. It takes just 10 mins to reach the main market by walking.
The market is always overcrowded and lacks parking facility. So visiting Chandni Chowk by car is never a good option. It is better to park the car near the metro station.
Tips for visitors
- Search for wholesale and old shops instead of brand showrooms in Chandni Chowk. The wholesale shops sell the products in much lower price in comparison to the retail shops.
- Try to bargain the products as much as possible.
- Explore the shops first and compare the items in price and quality from different shops.
- Don’t go with the agents. The agents standing outside the shops encourage the buyers to visit their shop. As a result, we end up buying expensive items from their shops. So beware of these agents.
- Chandni Chowk market is a big shopping hub, which might make you feel tired and exhausted. Make sure you have water with you.