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Introduction

Chandni Chowk is a busy area in Delhi, India, home to one of the oldest and most popular markets in Old Delhi. It literally means “Moonlight Square”.

Chandni Chowk Market or Bazaar is one of India's largest wholesale markets - Selling sarees with materials like Chikan and Zari, and other clothing and fancy accessories, food, delicacies and local sweets of numerous kinds, and even books, electronics, shoes and leather goods. 

History

Chandni Chowk Bazaar was built in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and his daughter Jahanara, who designed most of it. When first built, it was a half-moon-shaped square, and was located in front of Municipal Townhall. It is said that its reflection used to shine in the pool that is located in front of it.

During that time, a shallow water channel was also built from river Yamuna, and running through the middle of the straight road that currently is the Chandni Chowk Bazaar, with roads and shops on either side of the channel.

Layout

The Chandni Chowk Bazaar (market) today has many historical residential areas on both sides of its narrow lanes (galis). All the lanes are usually busy, crowded and noisy with the vendors and people shopping.

It begins at a short distance away from the famous monument Red Fort building. At its south, there is Bazaar Guliyan where there are more than a hundred shops selling metallic and wooden statues, sculptures, bells, handicrafts etc. Chawri Bazar is another part of this market, which sells greeting and wedding cards as well as plumbing and sanitaryware and accessories. A little distance from here is the Cloth Market that sells home furnishing fabrics.

At the west end of Chandni Chowk is “Khari Baoli” is a street entirely dedicated to shops selling different kinds of spices, dried fruits, nuts, herbs, grains, lentils, pickles and preserves (which are called “Murabbas”).

Apart from these, Chandni Chowk also consists of a wholesale market for industrial chemicals, known as Tilak Bazaar.

Additional Information for Visitors

Chandni Chowk Bazaar is open to customers from 9.30 AM to 8 PM from Monday to Saturday.

Chandni Chowk is located close to Old Delhi Railway Station, which is only 2.4 km away, and can be reached within 10 minutes by road.

Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International airport (IGIA) is situated at a distance of about 16 km from here, and takes around half an hour to reach by road.

The closest metro station is the Chandni Chowk metro station – which is connected through Yellow line and Magenta lines on Delhi metro. To reach IGIA, visitors need to board the metro on Yellow line, and get down and change trains at Hauz Khaz station, on Magenta line that connects to Terminal 1 of IGIA.

Some nearby attractions from here include: