Chandni Chowk, the bustling heart of Delhi, is a treasure trove of diverse experiences. From opulent wedding attire reminiscent of Sabyasachi and Manish Malhotra to aromatic spices and cutting-edge electronics, Chandni Chowk offers it all. Whether you're a seasoned shopper or new to the area, this guide will introduce you to the magic of Chandni Chowk while also shedding light on the impact of its recent redevelopment on the real estate scene.
Chandni Chowk's rejuvenation has sparked a wave of interest among real estate investors. The market's revival has not only restored its former glory as India's most renowned commercial hub but also created a favorable environment for real estate investment. For years, this locality grappled with overhead wires, aging structures, dilapidated roads, congested pathways, and relentless traffic jams. However, the market's new facelift is set to attract a new wave of commercial investors.
One of the compelling reasons to invest in Chandni Chowk is the exceptional blend of high returns and low risks it offers to investors. Reports indicate that commercial property rentals witnessed a staggering 32% year-on-year increase, reaching 4.39 million sq. ft. in the April-June period of 2022. In the coming years, Chandni Chowk is poised to welcome around 40 lakh discerning shoppers.
The Omaxe Group, recognizing the potential of this transformed landscape, has launched Omaxe Chowk, one of Asia's largest wholesale markets. Strategically located near Chandni Chowk Metro Station, this multi-level space offers commercial shops starting at Rs 65 lakh, with a minimum size of 550 sq ft.
Chandni Chowk, situated in Old Delhi or Purani Dilli, holds a storied past. Constructed in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it was originally known as Moonlight Square. The market was designed by Jahan Ara Begum, Shah Jahan's beloved daughter. Chandni Chowk was initially shaped like a half-moon square, with the moon's reflection glistening in the adjacent water pool, situated in front of the Town Hall. This pool remained near the clock tower until the 1950s.
In its early days, the market gained fame as a hub for silver traders, drawing merchants from various corners of the world, including China, Denver, Turkey, and more. This historical association is why Chandni Chowk is sometimes referred to as 'Silver Street' in English.
While Chandni Chowk is renowned for its shopping offerings, it's also home to several iconic attractions:
1. Red Fort (Lal Qila): Located near Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort served as the primary residence for Mughal Emperors. Its construction commenced in 1638 when Shah Jahan decided to shift his capital from Agra to Delhi.
2. Urdu Park (Lahori Gate): Situated between Jama Masjid and Gurdwara Sis Ganj Sahib, this lush green park provides space for local professionals like masseuses, ear cleaners, and head massagers to offer their services to visitors.
3. Jama Masjid (Masjid-i Jehan-Numa): One of India's oldest and largest mosques, it can accommodate 25,000 devotees in its courtyard. Shah Jahan built this mosque in 1656, just 200 meters from Chandni Chowk.
4. Sri Digambar Jain Lal Mandir: Opposite the Red Fort, this is the oldest Jain temple in Delhi, dedicated to the 23rd Tirthankara, Parshvanath. It is known for its red sandstone construction.
5. Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib: One of the nine historical gurudwaras in the country, established in 1783 by Baghel Singh to commemorate the martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur. It is open 24/7 and offers langar.
“Chandni Chowk, where history meets shopping, and where the charm of Old Delhi comes alive.”
Chandni Chowk is a shopper's paradise, with dedicated markets specializing in various goods. Many of these shops offer wholesale prices, making it an economical shopping destination. Here are some of the markets within Chandni Chowk:
1. Kinari Bazaar: Ideal for wedding shopping, it offers decoration items, varmalas (garlands), clothing borders, trimmings, and textiles for wedding functions like sangeet and mehndi.
2. Chawri Bazaar: Known for wedding cards, you'll find a wide variety of wedding invitations here, with customization options.
3. Nai Sarak: A hub for books, stationery, and educational materials, it caters to students, book enthusiasts, and exam takers.
4. Dariba Kalan: Famous for its jewelry, especially silver jewelry, Dariba Kalan also offers gold, diamond jewelry, silverware, and traditional Indian perfumes (Itar).
5. Khari Baoli: Asia's largest spice market, Khari Baoli offers a wide range of spices, herbs, and dry fruits, making it a must-visit for culinary enthusiasts.
6. Bhagirath Palace: Known as the "market of lights," it specializes in chandeliers, lamps, light bulbs, and lighting fixtures.
7. Fatehpuri Market: Offers a variety of products, including milk-based items like khoya and paneer, clothing, fruits, wedding items, and prayer accessories.
8. Ballimaran Market: Renowned for affordable footwear, this market also offers sunglasses and eyewear frames at budget-friendly prices.
9. Chor Bazaar: A treasure trove of second-hand goods, including cameras, phones, shoes, gym equipment, and branded clothing, making it a haven for bargain hunters.
10. Katra Neel: Known for fabrics of all kinds, including cotton, brocade, silk, crepe, georgette, and satin, along with designer suits, lehengas, and Indo-western attire.
11. Kucha Choudhary Market: A haven for photographers, offering vintage cameras, polaroids, DSLRs, and camera accessories.
12. Krishna Market: A paradise for ladies looking for suits, fabrics, and salwar kameez, with a wide range of options for all occasions.
Chandni Chowk is a sensory delight, offering a vibrant mix of shopping, history, culture, and cuisine. Whether you're hunting for treasures in the markets or exploring the nearby historical attractions, a visit to this bustling neighborhood is sure to leave you with lasting memories of Old Delhi's charm.