Every bride on a budget knows where in Delhi the lehenga dreams come true, without breaking the bank—Chandni Chowk. But this place has so much more to offer than just lehengas. If you’re ready to brave a mind-boggling crowd and walk A LOT, most of your trousseau shopping can be done from here. BUT if you are being dragged to the market for no reason, let food be your motivation. There’s delicious, spicy food waiting to be gobbled up at every corner of this busy market. Brace yourself for a happy chaos.
Here are some famous streets and bazaars of Chandni chowk and their specialities:
As the name suggests, this market has all sorts of kinari (borders) in delicate lace, brocade, heavy thread work, blingy stones and what not! The prices for these borders start from a humble 2 digit number and goes all the way to 4-digit figures (No kidding! Lace worth Rs.9000 is not a myth). In this very narrow but colorful street you’ll find acrylic rhinestones clothing gems in all colors possible. With these trinkets one can easily transform any old, boring outfit into a new one. It’s like a candy land for DIY enthusiasts. Apart from finding borders in abundance here, a number of shops sell fancy trousseau packing trays, shagun envelops, knick-knacks for decorations, money garland (which I imagine are more colorful than ever thanks to the blue & yellow notes) and a lot of colorful torans. This street will lead you to a sort of Y-point. Take a right and you’ll find yourself in the famous Parathewali gali.
DO NOT miss having jalebis from the Old Famous Jalebi Wala. This street has all kinds are gold and silverware but I’d say the gem of Dariba is this sweet shop. Fried in ghee(clarified oil) and soaked in sugar syrup, this dessert is quiet different from the usual thin and crunchy jalebis.
Moving on, you’d find a lot of junk jewellery to silver/gold jewellery, silverware fit for the kings and what not right here in this tiny lane. Fancy a silver mirror similar to what you saw in a period movie or want a pooja thali set decorated with elaborate minakari, this is the place to go. Also, if you’re into boho jewellery, have to check out these silver jewellery shops.
Shoes!!! Yes, this street has a row of shops selling beautiful shoes. Unfortunately most of the shopkeepers are wholesalers and only a few deal in retail. My cousin found her Cinderella-ish shoes to go with the lehenga at a fraction of the price at this street.
Keep walking into the lane and you’ll see a lot of optical stores and bangle shops as well that offer plethora of options. A heavy-set of assorted bangles would cost you way less than it would at Hanuman mandir. #TriednTested
College students often hear about this street because there are a number of booksellers here who deal in second-hand books. It’s easy to spot Nai sarak as it’s right opposite the historic Town hall which is a lot of photographers’ muse. Apart from books you’ll see shops selling sarees, shawls and even fabrics. Shops like Banaras wala have rolls and rolls of fabrics in silk, cotton, lace, etc. Food fact—You’ll find the most amazing chole kulche on this street.
A visit to the largest spice market of Asia will change the way you see spices. The mall culture has its own comfort but nobody can take away the charm of a bustling market. Khari baoli can be an overwhelming experience for many. Even if you don’t have to buy anything, I’d say you must visit this place and see how long you can stay without sneezing ;p You’ll find here known-unknown condiments, dry fruits in various price ranges, and an unmatchable vibe. Chaina Ram Sindhi confectioners and Giani’s are right around the corner if you get hungry while shopping.
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