Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Traveler's Guide to "Shopping in Chandni Chowk", Old Delhi

Chandni Chowk's speciality is the variety of its markets and their Indian-ness in everything starting from authentic Indian food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1,000 kinds, to sarees with chikan and zari work. The narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk area has many wholesale markets lined with shops selling sarees sourced from all over the country. However, this part of Delhi is much more congested than the rest of the city, although it is a must visit place to experience the real incredible India. You should well consider the pros and cons of shopping in Chandni Chowk before you indulge in this retail experience that the oldest market of Delhi offers.

Pros (advantages) of Shopping in Chandni Chowk
  • Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest bazaar existing in India today. The attraction here is that you can find almost anything in a small confine. If at one corner you find painting materials at the next turn you'll find kurtas and sarees. Some shops have continued for almost a century, continuously passing down from one generation to another. And people here have tried to maintain the originality.
  • It is quite an experience to shop here. It's worth coming for the spectacle as much as the retail therapy.
  • Chandni Chowk as a matter of fact is a vast area divided into several markets, each specializing in different items. The Kinari Bazaar of Chandni Chowk is where beautiful Indian traditional dresses are found.
Cons of Shopping in Chandni Chowk
  •   Visit this market only if you have lots of time. If you like something, do not buy it at one go. Make sure to compare and bargain with the shopkeepers. Only bargaining can fetch you a very good deal or else they will try to trick you. It is best to be accompanied by a local in this case, since they can communicate better with the shopkeepers in the local language i.e in hindi and that fetch you a good stuff.
  •   Being one of the oldest and busiest markets of Delhi, this part of the city is very congested with traffic and the narrow lanes are all crammed with shops. Though the alleys are too narrow for comfort, there are hardly any blind ends. The whole place is interconnected by interesting webs of small alleys. There are many chances that one might get lost inside the alleys.It is always better if you manage to get yourself accompanied by any of your local friend staying in Delhi, so that you don’t get lost.
  •   Beware of pickpockets, touts and duplicate products.
  •   Be prepared for a bit of cultural shock or surprise once you are in Old Delhi. The whole area there looks like a live show which is incredibly Indian.

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