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A Day in the Chandni Chowk Market, Delhi

01 Chandi Chowk Market (17)

One of the oldest markets in Delhi — and perhaps the busiest in all of Asia — is Chandni Chowk, which is close to Delhi’s Red Fort.  The market was, in fact, originally designed in the 17th century by Mogul Shah Jahan (who was later to build the Taj Mahal) so that his favorite daughter would have a place to shop near their home in the Red Fort.  The shopping area originally had around 1600 shops, but has been completely rebuilt over the centuries and is now an extensive and expansive market area.

Chandni Chowk’s market is known for is its great variety and authenticity: food (especially street food and sweets), clothing (sarees, suits), electronic items, shoes, books, jewelry, car parts — almost everything you want can be found in this market and generally at a very good price.

Propane tanks, Chandi Chowk Market

Propane tanks, Chandi Chowk Market. These old battered tanks are everywhere and provide much of the cooking fuel in India

I visited the area for most of a day because it truly is the heart of Delhi.  I had a guide with me who was very helpful in understanding the tremendous variety of merchandise that was offered for sale in this area.

We wandered dozens of lanes and streets and because I really wasn’t interested in car parts or books printed in a language I can’t read, I asked the guide to focus on food items.  Food is always interesting to photograph and I find food markets to be endlessly fascinating.  Of course there’s more we saw along the way besides all these colorful treats.

Fireworks for sale, Chandi Chowk Market

Fireworks for sale, Chandi Chowk Market

It was approaching a National Holiday in India, the name of which eludes me, but fireworks are popularly used on this holiday and they were quite plentiful in the market.

(Click on thumbnails to enlarge, right arrow to advance slideshow)


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