As one of Delhi's oldest markets, Chandni Chowk is a chaotic shopping street with narrow lanes offering the full Indian bazaar experience. The main road and surrounding market areas are the perfect place to find the best street food, spices, and bargains in the city.
Chandni Chowk is filled with markets such as Chawri Bazaar and Kinari Bazaar selling everything from jewelry to textiles and paper products. You can also find restaurants like Paranthe Wali Gali and Ghantewala Halwai serving delicious street food such as parathas and samosas.
- Chandni Chowk, meaning Moonlight Square, was initially a square with a pool in the center that shimmered in the moonlight.
- Jama Masjid and the Red Fort are some of the nearby attractions around Chandni Chowk.
- Paranthe Wali Gali is famous for its vegetarian parathas (Indian bread) with lemon, chili, nuts, carrot, potato, and many more types of fillings.
- Photography is not allowed at many of the shops in the market as the owners are worried that other people will copy their designs.
Chandni Chowk: the Legendary Bazaar of Old Delhi
Situated in Old Delhi between the Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid, Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in the city. This legendary bazaar was built by Emperor Shah Jahan and was once the central gathering place of traders and merchants from all over India.
A Half-Moon Shaped Square
Chandni Chowk was constructed in the mid-17th century by Emperor Shah Jahan and was designed by his daughter Jahan Ara as part of Shahjahanabad, the extravagant capital city of the Mughal empire. When it was built, Chandni Chowk was the gathering place for traders and merchants from all over India.
Chandni Chowk means 'moonlight square'. The area was given this name because it was initially laid out as a town square with a pool in the center that shimmered in the moonlight.
The shops were arranged in a half-moon pattern around the square. The market was believed to be arranged this way so that Jahan Ara could easily buy whatever she needed.
Chandni Chowk retained its elite status into the early 18th century and was known as the place where important people gathered to shop for expensive jewelry, gemstones, and perfume.
Streets and Stalls
Chandni Chowk is the starting point of several streets that extend from it and are called kuchas or wings. Each kucha in Chandni Chowk contains several neighborhoods with many Havelis or traditional Indian mansions.
The tangled lanes of Chandni Chowk also house many shops and stalls offering a staggering range of products from books and clothes to electronics and consumer goods.
While there are many different amazing shops in the market, travelers can find perfumes and jewelry at Dariba Kalan, fabric and saris at Katra Neel, and Asia's largest spice market at Khari Baoli.
Decorations for Indian weddings can also be found at Kinari Bazaar, books and stationery at Nai Sarak, and hardware and paper products at Chawri Bazaar.
Seeing Bangkok with ease
In Bangkok, our tour guide, Ying, was wonderful. She navigated all the sights with ease, gave us interesting tidbits on Thai culture and history, helped us pick the right food at all the restaurants, and was just a pleasure to be around. We had a great time, and it was so nice to not have to worry about any of the details.More
Diane Elkins, Nov 2023
Thailand -insights, no stress and amazing team
My husband and my Thailand trip was fantastic, stress-free and educational thanks to the amazing team coordinated by Albee at Asia Highlights. The whole team was incredibly accessible, responsive, sensitive to our needs and lovely to work with. End-to-end, the trip was truly remarkable and the knowledgeable and dynamic tour guides and drivers made it especially memorable!More
AndrewsFamily, Oct 2023
Informative & Thorough / Thanks Sharon!
Sharon the advisor that helped me was so thorough & informative and explained the details of the tour including questions about visas and what is included vs what is not included in the tour packages. I would recommend them to explain tour packages that would fit the schedule of your pending travels.More
Chris, Sep 2023
Easy, fast responses
I worked directly with Monica in Asia Highlights. She was incredibly helpful and answered all of my questions quickly. Working with her made the whole process easy and we are so excited for our trip!More
Diana B, Sep 2023
Stress free Thailand
Alisa has organised our 14 day Thailand holiday for 2024 for my family & I. She has been very accommodating & super quick with all of our requests & we cannot wait for a stress free holiday! Thank you Alisa!More
Alana Mitchell, Sep 2023
Family Trip to Thailand-Cambodia
All of our guides were very nice and knowledgeable, but we have a special mention to our guide in Cambodia, Chan, he was very kind with us and it was very amusing. He went the extra mile for us. We really enjoyed our holidays!More
José Antonio Carrillo de la Pl, Sep 2023
Asia Highlights and Sharon
Asia Highlights, specifically Sharon, has been wonderfully helpful as we get ready for a 2024 excursion to Thailand. We are beyond excited, and much of that has to do with the personalized attention that we have experienced with Sharon. She has been extremely responsive, obliging, and focused as she helped us design a tailor made itinerary. All of our questions have been addressed, our needs have been met, and the path has now been set for a very exciting trip.... thanks to Sharon.More
Marcy Hoenig, Sep 2023
I was planning a trip to Thailand to…
I was planning a trip to Thailand to especially see the Lantern Festival this year for our birthdays!! It’s been on our bucket list, but we were completely lost on how to go about planning for our trip. We’ve never really booked tours before but Alisa was extremely helpful, knowledgeable, flexible and efficient in providing all the information we needed to make our decision on the best tours and tickets to purchase. Thank you so much!!More
https://www.trustpilot.com/reviews/64d9a5a4657e4b39f768a21e, Aug 2023
I would definitely recommend Asia…
All of our guides were wonderful (Mr. Bank - Bangkok and Ms. Kai in Phuket & Khao Sok plus antoher guide who assisted in Koh Samui). Sharon took care of tours, private drivers, flights and hotels within Thailand and our trip went off without a hitch. The hotels were great and the transportation always arrived on time and with a clean,More
Guinevere Provance, Aug 2023
WOW! I’ve traveled Asia some & I must say Sharon & Asia Highlights made this trip so much more enjoyable and easyMore
Stephen Hollis, Aug 2023
Alisa has has been great to work with
Alisa with Asia Highlights has has been great to work with. Very friendly and responsive.More
Ana Rausch, Aug 2023
Using Sharon right now to book our…
Using Sharon right now to book our upcoming trip to Thailand. She has booked everything that we asked for. Has answered all of my inquiries, which has been many! Looking forward to having a great girls trip in ThailandMore
Tracy, Aug 2023
Thailand, Singapore, Bali
In Thailand, Tanny and Nori(Suparp), were both incredible! They were both fun, funny, and full of knowledge and made sure we got the full experience. They went the extra mile and always made sure we had cold bottled water and towels to cleanse our hands. In Singapore, Nicole was an absolute gem. She was so kind and knowledgeable and guided us in the right direction to make our day as enjoyable as possible. She helped us choose a top notch local lunch and coffee spot in China Town and taught us so much about the country! In Bali, Emon was an absolute joy. He was very knowledgeable and kind and absolutely made sure we were feeling comfortable and was willing to be flexible with us. He was fun to converse with and made our time traveling between destinations so enjoyable! I cannot recommend Asia Highlights enough! Accommodations, travel arrangements and guided tours were all a breeze.More
Cassi Thunker, Jul 2023
Very supportive ! I have received eticket for Sky Lattern Festival very fastMore
Chi?n Nguy?n Ng?c, Jul 2023
My experience in Chang Mai with Asia Highlights
I greatly enjoyed my experience with Asia Highlights for a trip I booked to Thailand.All of my interests were catered too. My guide in Chang Mai Gemma was excellent.I truly felt the soul of Thailand culture and Buddhism.More
Richard, Jul 2023
A pleasure to plan with
Well, this has been a painless and pleasurable process to find such a wonderful company. I had specific dates and places to be and Sharon worked with me diligently to refine the schedule and costs to suit my travel needs and budget. She informed me of a special tour on the dates I am to be in Thailand and I added that to my previous plans.More
Chris Williams, Jul 2023
Large multi-generational holiday in Thailand
The holiday was wonderful. Our guides, Mr Monchai (Bangkok), and Ms Tipagorn (Tippy) (Chiang Mai) were exceptional. Travelling in a large multigenerational group with many children requires patience and our guides truly understood that. Mr Monchai and Ms Tippy shared their extensive knowledge of the many wonderful places we visited, and were flexible to take us to additional places along the way based on discussions. While everyday was busy, having them greet us with patience and a smile truly made this a memorable holiday. The hotels we stayed at were equally wonderful and went above and beyond to celebrate not only my parents 50th anniversary but also celebrate 2 milestone birthdays that occurred. We will cherish this holiday for many years to come. We hope to use Asia Highlights again.More
CL, Jul 2023
I never used a travel agent in my life
I never used a travel agent in my life, but Sharon for Asia Highlights did a phenomenal job helping planning and coordination a family vacation. The best part of working with Sharon was that she maintained an open line of communication and provided answers to my question well within 12-24 hours. Additionally, Sharon was flexible and customized our vacation to my families needs. Overall great experience.More
Antione Barry, Jul 2023
Great company to plan a trip to Southeast Asia!
Sharon Haung has been wonderful to work with! Very patient and accommodating. Responds immediately given time change and is prepared, prompt, and professional.More
Debi Hinerfeld, Jul 2023
We took a 15 days trip (10 days Vietnam and 5 days Thailand …
It was an amazing experience the guides and drivers were there awaiting for us at each airoport for a transfer to the hotels also on time for all the tours all the guides were so lovely , very experienced and spoke very good English , one of the days on tour in Thailand I lost my phone in a temple in Bangkok mr chai went out of his way in a middle of thousands of visitors and managed to find an bring it back to me I found that amazing , also while on a trip I contacted Jason li out tour organizer few time via whatup and he replied and helped on the spot I recommend asiahilights 150% The quality of the service hotels the guides the drivers outstanding From start to finish ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT ????More
SIMO el ghobar, Jun 2023
Historic Monuments around Chandni Chowk
Around Chandni Chowk, there are also other popular attractions. Some of them include Jama Masjid, the Red Fort, the Central Baptist Church, and Fatehpuri Masjid.
Jama Masjid is the largest mosque in India and was built by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. This iconic mosque took 13 years to construct and can accommodate more than 25,000 devotees.
The mosque is made from red sandstone and white marble and houses several relics of high religious significance including an ancient transcript of the Quran printed on deerskin and relics from the Prophet Mohammad including his footprints, sandals, and hair.
The Red Fort
The Red Fort is a magnificent fort and palace that was built from red sandstone and covers over 250 acres of land. The fort is immense and is also embellished with floral inlays and artwork from India, Persia, and Europe.
The Red Fort is a great example of Islamic and Mughal architecture with its tall turrets capped with pointed domes. The construction of the Red Fort took almost 9 years to finish and the structure served as the royal residence of the Mughal emperors from 1648 to 1857.
Other Nearby Attractions
Aside from Jama Masjid, there are also many other religious buildings in the vicinity of Chandni Chowk.
The Central Baptist Church, which is one of the oldest churches in Delhi, is located on Chandni Chowk road. The church was established in 1814 and has been well maintained with its original motifs and carvings.
The Fatehpuri Masjid is a 17th-century mosque located at the western end of Chandni Chowk. The mosque was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum, one of Emperor Shah Jahan's wives who was from Fatehpur Sikri.
5 Main Bazaars of Chandni Chowk
The narrow and busy streets of Chandni Chowk are home to many stalls and shops that sell all kinds of knick-knacks, jewelry, and textiles. You can find almost anything you could want at the 5 different markets and bazaars along this street.
1. Dariba Kalan
Dariba Kalan is renowned for its jewelry and specializes in the sale of silver and gold items. Hand-crafted jewelry such as Kundan, Meenakari, and filigree jewelry in both traditional and contemporary designs are some of the most popular items here.
The best part about shopping at this market is that the cost of the items is usually around 25% less than at other markets.
2. Chawri Bazar
Chawri Bazar is a specialized wholesale market of brass, copper, and paper products. This is the go-to place if you are looking to get wedding cards printed in bulk. Items such as jewelry boxes, vases, pots, and oil lamps are also available here.
The market can be reached by taking the street near Jama Masjid's western wall.
3. Kinari Bazar
Kinari Bazar is a great place to go shopping for an Indian wedding and is known for its vast collection of jewelry, embroidered fabrics, and lace. Additionally, you can also buy beaded items, decorated envelopes, adornments for idols, and festival decorations here.
The bazaar can be reached by taking the Dariba Kalan road and turning right at the fourth alley or take Paranthe wali Gali street just after the Ghantewala Sweet Shop.
4. Khari Baoli
Known for being Asia's largest wholesale spice market, there is no flavor that you won't find at Khari Baoli. Here, you can also find all kinds of nuts, herbs, rice, and tea.
The market is located near the Red Fort on the Khari Baoli road next to Fatehpuri Masjid which is at the western end of Chandni Chowk.
5. Fatehpuri Market
Fatehpuri Market is a wholesale market that sells Indian dairy products such as khoya and paneer. This congested market is also home to many street food stalls selling famous dishes such as chole bhature (spicy chickpeas in bread), kulfi walas (frozen dairy dessert), and aloo puri (spicy potato gravy).
Aside from selling food items, Fatehpuri Market is also known for selling religious items and materials required for wedding rituals.
3 Famous Restaurants and Street Food Stalls in Chandni Chowk
One of the best things about Chandni Chowk is all the restaurants and street food stalls that serve delicious Indian dishes. The most famous ones are Paranthe Wali Gali known for their vegetarian parathas, Ghantewala Halwai famous for their traditional Indian snacks, and Annapurna Bhandar is known for their Bengali sweets.
1. Paranthe Wali Gali
Paranthe Wali Gali is famous for its vegetarian parathas, or Indian flatbread. There are tons of fillings that you can choose to put inside your paratha including lemon, chili, cashews, almonds, carrots, paneer, and potatoes.
The parathas at this restaurant are also served with sweet yogurt, mint sauce, sweet tamarind sauce, potato curry, and sweet pumpkin mash.
2. Ghantewala Halwai
The Ghantewala Halwai is one of the oldest traditional sweet shops in India. It has catered to emperors, dignitaries, locals, and tourists and was around even during the time of the Mughal Empire.
The shop sells traditional Indian snacks such as samosas and spicy kachoris. Some of the popular sweets sold in the shop include ladoos (sweet syrupy balls), kalakand (sweetened solid milk), and halwa (dense cakes).
3. Annapurna Bhandar
If you like Bengali sweets then Annapurna Bhandar is the best place to go. This shop is located across the road from the Sikh temple, Gurudwara Sis Ganj. Here, visitors can enjoy a delectable range of Bengali sweets and samosas.
Heritage Tours of Chandni Chowk
The best way to see Chandni Chowk is on a heritage tour. During the tour, you will get to explore the busy markets selling spices, dried fruit, jewelry, and beautiful saris in the narrow bustling side streets.
Your tour will start from your hotel where our guide will pick you up by rickshaw and take you to Chandni Chowk. Upon arrival, you can stroll the streets and do some light shopping or try some tasty street food.
Afterward, you can also visit the market's nearby attractions including Jama Masjid and the Red Fort. Travel through Old Delhi on a rickshaw ride to reach attractions and fully take in the craziness of this ancient bazaar. Your guide can show you around, give you advice about what street food to try from which shops, and share interesting stories about the history of the area.
5 Safety and Etiquette Tips
1. Keep an open mind when visiting and be prepared to experience some culture shock. The chaos of the markets is sometimes overwhelming for visitors. There will also be a lot of noise, smells, and sights to take in.
2. Wear comfortable shoes because exploring the market will require a lot of walking and make sure to dress conservatively.
3. Get permission from shop owners before you take a picture. Photography is not allowed at many of the shops as the owners are worried that people will copy their designs.
4. Beware of pickpockets operating in the area. You should take extra care to keep your belongings safe and secure.
5. When shopping, don't be afraid to bargain with vendors to get the best price. Fake products are widely sold in the market so if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Explore Chandni Chowk with Asia Highlights
Want to experience the incredible sights and sounds of one of Delhi's oldest markets? Visiting Chandni Chowk by yourself can be very confusing and overwhelming, especially for the first-timers. If you would like advice about planning your trip and finding incredible guides, then Asia Highlights can help. Let us arrange your itinerary for you so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest without having to stress about the small details.
Why Travel with Asia Highlights (98.8% positive customer reviews among 10,000+)
- Unique experiences tailored to your interests: Enjoy a premium trip that goes beyond the typical tourist attractions.
- Hassle-free travel and peace of mind: Every aspect of your trip will be carefully planned and organized by your 1:1 travel consultant.
- Experienced and knowledgeable guides: Your guides will be local and love to work for travelers' smiles.
- 7-Day India Golden Triangle Tour
- 8-Day Diwali Festival in India Golden Triangle Tour 2024
- 9-Day India Tiger Safari and Golden Triangle Tour
- 9-Day India Golden Triangle with Varanasi
- 11-Day India and Nepal Tour
- 11-Day India Holi Festival Tour 2024
- 14-Day Rajasthan Tour Package for Westerners
- 14-Day Romantic Honeymoon Trip in India
- 14-Day India, Nepal, and Bhutan Tour
- 2-Week Luxury India Tour
- 21-Day India, Nepal and Bhutan Tour
- India Itineraries 2024: from 5 Days to 1 Month
- 2 Weeks in India 2024/2025: Top 4 Itineraries
- How to Plan a Trip to India 2024/2025: 7 Easy Steps for You
- How to Plan an Awesome Family Trip to India in 2024
- Plan an Awesome Trip to India, Bhutan and Nepal (6 Tips)
- How to Plan an India and Nepal Trip 2024/2025
- How to Plan a Trip to India for Holi 2024
- A Complete Guide to Experiencing Diwali
- How Much Does a Trip to India Cost?
- Is India Safe to Travel? Women & Kids (Tips for 2023)
- Best (and Worst) Times to Visit India 2024, Rainy Season?
- Best Times to Visit the Taj Mahal？Expert Tips in 2024
- Weather in India in January: Is It a Good Time to Visit? Where to Go
- Weather in February in India: Cold and Warm!
- Weather in India in March: Good for Travel or Not?
- Weather in India in April: Temperatures and Where to Go
- Weather in May in India: a Good Time to Go?
- Weather in India in June: the Monsoon Begins — OK to Travel?
- Weather in July in India: Too Wet to Travel?
- August Weather in India: Still Rainy? (5 Places to Go)
- Weather in September in India: Rainy or Not?
- Weather in India in October: Best Time for Pleasant Weather
- Weather in India in November — Dry Season Travel
- Weather in India in December: 7 Best Places to Visit in India in December
Get Inspired with Some Popular Itineraries
At Asia Highlights, we create your kind of journey — your dates, your destinations, at your pace. You can have any trip tailor made for your travel.