Chandni Chowk is one of Delhi's busiest and oldest marketplaces. Located in the walled city of Old Delhi, which is now central northern modern Delhi, it got its name from the canal which used to run down the middle reflecting the moonlight; 'chaandni' in Hindi means 'moonlight.' The street was a wide boulevard running between houses from the Lahore Gate of the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. The walled city was laid out in 1650 by the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan and includes the Red Fort of Delhi.
These days the area seems like a congested traffic nightmare and quite challenging in its chaos and crowds. But you can find food, saris, jewelery, books, shoes, electronics and who knows what else in the surrounding narrow streets. The buildings along Chandni Chowk are interesting - there are many different religious buildings co-existing harmoniously in the area including famous Jama Masjid mosque of 1644, a Hindu temple and a Christian church. The houses reflect the historical function of the area, falling into three basic types: the Haveli or mansion, the Kucha, an area of grouped people such as Maliwara where all the gardeners lived, and Katra, a residence of craftsmen in the same trade.
We had a wonderful experience on our Delhi tour. Our guide, Ashish, was able to share the history about India overall and each site specifically. He was lots of fun, spoke excellent English, and engaged in very informative discussions throughout the day. He knew a great place for us to have lunch - the best Indian food we've ever had. Our driver was also wonderful and navigated the complexities of Delhi traffic with great expertise. We couldn't have been more pleased with our experience.
Very informative and a great way to see all the 'must see' aspects of Delhi in an organised fashion without an overload. There was just enough places to see without feeling it was too long and the guide was excellent.
The tour was great! It was just me and another guy, plus the guide, Ashish. Ashish was really friendly, helpful, and extremly knowledgeable about Delhi and Indian history. We went through the narrow streets of Chandni Chowk, to Jama Masjid and to a Sikh temple, and we had an awesome lunch.
Get to the market entrance by taxi or autorickshaw. Alternately metro stop Chandni Chowk. Don't forget that bargaining is part of the shopping experience so be prepared to haggle.