Historically,Delhi has been regarded as one of the important trading centers in Northern India. The markets range from the centuries old Chandni Chowk to the glitzy malls of today. Localities like Sheikh Sarai and Yusuf Sarai, derive their names from the ancient trading towns of this economic hub. Today, in place of market towns, there are shopping complexes, hubs, wholesale markets scattered all over the city. If you want to take a break from visiting New Delhi’s numerous monuments and museums, check out the city’s famed shopping circuit. There are a wide variety of goods available such as jewelry, carpets, handicrafts, precious stones, silks and silver ware – all synonymous with India. The more popular shopping areas are Connaught Place, Dilli Haat, Khan Market and Chandni Chowk. If you do not like bargaining, head over to Baba Kharak Singh Marg, near Parliament Street where famous handicraft artifacts of different states of India are sold under one roof at government-controlled prices. Markets and shopping areas in Delhi have their own distinct feature, ambience and specialty distinct features that bring out the charm of this historical city
Dilli Haat – Located opposite the INA market, Dilli Haat is an open-air food plaza cum craft bazaar run by the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation. There are a total of 62 stalls in Dilli Haat selling handicrafts and the stalls are allotted on a rotational basis (maximum of 15 days) to craftsmen who come from all corners and states of India to sell their wares. The vendors only have to pay Rs.100 ( 2 USD) per day for rent and this goes a long way to ensure that visitors get to buy authentic wares at prices that have not been overly inflated by high maintenance costs. In addition, it provides encouragement to craftsmen and artists from all over the country with the aim of sustaining and preserving the rich cultural heritage of India. This food and craft bazaar is a treasure trove of Indian culture, handicrafts and ethnic cuisine, providing a contemporary ambience of a traditional “Rural Haat” or village market.
This photo of Dilli Haat is courtesy of TripAdvisor
The bazaar is not only artistic with its decoration and architecture, but also recreational in nature where visitors can have a good time and unwind after a long and tiring day of sightseeing and shopping. In addition to an international food plaza, there are 25 food stalls serving up delightful local foods from the various regions of India;the momos from Sikkim or the Bamboos hot chicken from Nagaland, Kahwa and Kebabs from Jammu, Pooranpoli from Maharastra or the Gujrati Dhokla. There is also a souvenir shop selling an assortment of small gift items, an open stage for cultural programmes and a playing area children can play in. Opened from 10.30am to 9pm daily, the bazaar charges an entry fee of Rs.20 (40 cents) for adults and Rs.10 (20 cents) for children.
Connaught Place – Often abbreviated and referred to as CP, Connaught Place is one of the largest financial, commercial and business centers in New Delhi. When it was first built, this sprawling circular market was the largest of its kind in India. The area is instantly recognizable on any map of Delhi, being the big circle in the middle with radial roads spreading out in all directions, kinda like spokes on a wheel. Connaught Place can be described as consisting of two rings, the inner ring are made up of Blocks A to F while the outer ring is from Blocks G to P. Visitors can find sporting apparel, clothing, accessories, jewelry, lifestyle products, luxury brands, prestigious watchmakers and tailors where one would be able to get specifically measured shirts, trousers, jackets, suits, kurtas and sherwanis. In the outer ring, there’s a wide variety of handcrafts, clocks, and electronics available for shoppers to choose from.
Tip: If you have your heart set on a particular item but the price is out of your budget, fret not – another shop may carry the same item for a lesser price. You just have to be willing to make the effort to look for it.
Khan Market – Named in honour of Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan (popularly khown as Frontier Gandhi or Badshah Khan), this classy and posh market is a favourite of the expat and diplomatic community in New Delhi. Located at the heart of this bustling metropolis and close to India Gate, the market is in one of the greenest pockets of the city and lies on the Khan Market station of the Delhi Metro (Violet Line). Khan market was originally the land allocated to the immigrants from the North-West Frontier Province after the partition of India. Today this up-scale market is a popular tourist destination in New Delhi where visitors can find excellent book shops, up-market boutiques selling household furnishings, opticians, grocers, tailors, brand showrooms, lifestyle stores, etc. There are also a couple of boutiques selling up-market household furnishings. There are also a number of popular cafes, restaurants, bakeries that are frequented by diplomats and celebrities.
Chandni Chowk – Built in 17th century by Shah Jahan, this is one of the oldest and busiest markets in India. The name means moonlit square or market as this market was once divided by canals to reflect moonlight. Chandni Chowk is located in the walled city of Old Delhi between the Red Fort and Fatehpuri Masjid. Unlike the modern malls with air conditioning or shops with plush interiors in posh markets, what you see is what you get at Chandni Chowk. In the Mughal era, Chandni chowk was particularly famous for its fountains and shops. Today, the fountains are gone but it still remains as one of India’s largest wholesale markets.
This photo of Chandni Chowk is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Be prepared to jostle and squeeze with hordes of shoppers as they check out the shops in the narrow lanes of Chandi Chowk. The market is divided in several lanes, with each selling a specific type of product from clothing, perfumes, electronics, jewelry, to candles, deities statues, furnishings and silverware. Shopping here can be rather chaotic but the rich history of the market and the lively atmosphere generated by vendors and shoppers make it all worthwhile. In addition, the market offers everything that shoppers would need or want. Furthermore one great thing about this market is that shoppers get to buy all goodies at highly subsidised rates. Due to the bargain prices, this wholesale market is very popular with retailers. Items are bought in bulk and then often sold at almost a hundred per cent profit in other parts of the city. If you have the time and energy to look around for great bargain, we highly recommend visiting this place!
Tips for shopping at Chandni Chowk 1. Pay attention to your belongings and valuables. Be very aware of pickpockets. If you are carrying a backpack, carry it at the front. Ladies should always have a hand on their handbags at all times.
2. Beware of touts and bootlegged products. Don’t follow touts into a alleyway or dodgy looking shop. The bootlegged products are inferior and usually made with poor quality materials.
3. Shopping here will fetch you great bargains. To get the best deal, don’t forget to bargain!
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