Old Delhi has a charm that no uptown markets of the modern capital can match. Whether it’s the colourful sarees of Chandni Chowk or the book market at Dariyaganj, each has its own uniqueness that distinguishes them from rest of the shopping arena of the city. Let’s take a look at what as a shopper you can expect at Old Delhi markets.
1. Chandni Chowk
A place that needs no introduction, this market was built way back in the 17th century by Shah Jahan. Extreme rush throughout the day, vendors, sellers, customers, ethnic wear of all kind, a spree of food stalls, and a constant chirpiness, that’s Chandni Chowk for you!
- Tip: Bargain hard!
- Recommendations: Jain Cloth Emporium – V/57 – A 117 year old shop famous for its shawls and sarees, can be easily located as you head out of the metro station.
2. Nai Sarak
Located just next to the Paranthe wali Gali, Nai Sarak is the place to be if you are a student. From medieval times books to the current exam preparations, novels to medical science, books of all kind can be found here. Stationery brands such as SOLO have their origin in this very place. The search for a good saree never ends and hence, you can always move onto Nai Sarak for that perfect D Day attire.
- Tip: Remains closed on Sunday
- Recommendations: Arun Sarees – 4158, Nai Sarak, Chandni Chowk – One of the most flourishing shops in Delhi known for its bridal sarees and lehengas.
3. Khari Bowli
The spice market of Delhi has its own flavor. Take a journey of Delhi’s history and culture through its spices. Give yourself a sensory experience with the different varieties of spices laid out on the streets. Dry fruits whether usual or rare, find them all here. Find this market around the Fatehpuri Masjid.
- Tip: Watch the movie, ‘Mistress of Spice’ before landing here.
4. Chor Bazaar
Get the cheapest electronic gadgets and designer clothes at the ‘theives market’ or ‘chor bazaar’ as it is known. No more shall you be jealous of that smartphone your friend owns or the gown that girl wore at the party. Don’t expect durability of any of the items here.
- Tip: Try to reach early in the morning around 6 a.m.
5. Sadar Bazaar
The wholesale market of Delhi is full of traders from all over the country and even abroad who come around to pick up stuff ranging from bags to cloth. The stuff available is dearth cheap and it is only when you land here do you realize how much profit the showroom guy makes on each of these items.
6. Chatta Chowk
Established in the 17th century, this market was meant for the ladies in veil. In those days, the traders would leave their items and leave after which the ladies would pick and choose without being worried of a male observance. Today, it has some 40 odd shops most of which sell semi-precious jewellery, handicrafts, antiques, and embroidered bags. However, if you wish to buy silver and gold jewellery head to Dariba Kalan
7. Dariba Kalan
This street is located in Chandni Chowk itself and is known for its jewellery, silver, gold and diamond. While most of the shop sell authentic stuff, some also deal in costume jewellery. These shops also make shields and trophies. It is here that you’ll find the sale of a variety of fragrance, also referred to as attar (itar). Tip: Do not return without having jalebis at the Jalebiwala located in the street.
- Recommendation: Hare Ram Hare Krishna Jewellers, MM Jewellers.