The early morning hours in Old Delhi's mesmerizing Chandni Chowk (Moonlit Market) are quite peaceful. The incessant rush of tourists and traders has not started yet. One can spot fitness enthusiasts making their way as azan (Islamic prayers) from the famous mosque, Jama Masjid, begin. The market was established in the 17th century by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and was designed by his daughter Jahanara. In close vicinity, the Red Fort stands tall and serves as a reminder of Indian history and the rich artisan tradition of the Mughal empire.
In earlier times, Chandni Chowk was divided by canals that reflected the moonlight. Today, most of these canals are occupied by owners of small shops and kiosks. Reaching Chandni Chowk is quite easy. The market is accessible from the Indira Gandhi International Airport, railway and metro stations. Cabs are easily available too. However, the most popular mode of transportation is a rickshaw. Hand-pulled rickshaws were seen a few years ago, but they are now replaced by electric rickshaws.
Whenever in Chandni Chowk, do visit Chor Bazaar, a market for second-hand and stolen products. From electronic goods to branded clothes, gym equipment, and much more, the possibilities are endless. This is a great market for great bargain deals. Make sure you use your bargaining skills to the hilt.
This market is ideal for wedding and festive shopping. It is quite a sight to be in this market with colourful adornments visible in shops around. The market is also popular for festive textiles, vivid laces, and fabrics with rich embroidery.
If you are fond of jewellery, this is the place to be at. Fine pieces of silver jewellery will take your heart away. You can also get jewellery customized according to your liking. Along with that, household silverware and silver utensils are also available. Once here, do not miss the delicious Indian Jalebi - a piping hot sweet delicacy.
Welcome to Asia's biggest spice market. The rich colours, aroma, textures of these spices will entice you to start exploring rich Indian flavours. If you love spending time in the kitchen, this is the ideal place for you.
From Chandni Chowk, let's head to Red Fort, another monument that encapsulates Indian history, just 1.4 km away. Every 15th August, the prime minister of India hoists the national flag to commemorate Indian independence from Britishers. The red sandstone walls, owing to which the fort gets its name, stand tall at 33 m, and they are quite a beauty to admire today. In 1618, the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to New Delhi, and the same year the foundation stone for the Red Fort was laid. The emperor is also known as the founder of the world-famous Taj Mahal in Agra.
The fort combines Indian, Persian, and Timurid architecture features and is known for its stunning architectural excellence. The fort has an octagonal structure and several gates such as Lahori, Ajmeri, Kashmiri, Mori, Turkman, and Delhi gates. Also, some important structures inside the premise include Diwan-i-Aam, the Diwan-i-Khaas, the Moti Masjid, and the Nahr-i-Bashisht (stream of paradise).
In addition to being a splendid piece of architectural marvel, the fort also attracts people every evening for a sound and light show. A one-hour show of light and sound, explaining the fort's rich history, is held inside the fort premises. Do not miss this truly memorable experience!
Delhi will never fail to surprise you with its diverse and enriching experiences, whether it is a rich historical personality or its tryst with yummy flavours, shopping experiences, or cultural influences from different countries and regions. It is an experience to be here and relive these amazing moments. Old Delhi's mesmerizing Chandni Chowk and Red Fort await you!
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