It is a medley of shops, shoppers, vehicles, pull-carts, horses, street vendors and tourists. It is a potent mixture of old havelis (private mansions) that are heritage buildings, new constructions which are concrete monstrosities and finally new extensions to centuries-old architectural marvels.
There is an onslaught on your senses by a cocktail of automobile fumes, aromas of Indian spices and perfumes, cooking oils and masalas; a cacophony of car horns, cycle rickshaw bells, hawkers’ vocal cords and blaring music and a mish-mash of electrical cables, sign boards and decorations. Whatever it is, Chandni Chowk is a one-of-its-kind market.
Chandni Chowk means Moonlit Square. It is one of the oldest Delhi markets in the walled city of Old Delhi, which was called Shahjahanabad in the 17th century. The walled city including Lal Qila or Red Fort was established in 1650 AD by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. It was designed by his daughter Jahanara Begum Sahib.
Chandni Chowk is the main street that runs from the Lahore Gate of Red Fort to the Fatehpuri Masjid. Earlier a canal ran through its length and served as a waterway. The moonlight reflected in the canal waters lent an ethereal feel to the place. The canal no longer exists.
If you are a tourist, the Delhi shopping experience is incomplete without visiting Chandni Chowk market.
It is a fairly cheap place to go shopping in Delhi.