Early mornings at Old Delhi (Purani Dilli) is a tranquil affair. A stroll across these nearly deserted lanes will take you back in time. It is a fascinating experience to observe the unusually quaint and serene morning scenes at an otherwise chaotic marketplace and when it is teamed up with mouth-watering food and this wondrous exploration transmutes into an indelible experience.
Availability: This tour is available every day, last minute bookings also accepted.
Private Tour: This is a private tour provided with Air Conditioned Car. (No other guest will join this tour).
Pick-Up Service : Pick-up from hotel anywhere in New Delhi / Gurugram / Noida and also from New Delhi Airport. Wheelchair Accessible.
Trip Location: Old Delhi
Duration: Same Day (Half Day)
Live Guide: English, Spanish, Russian and German.
Think of old Delhi bazaars you know. You have heard of Chandni Chowk for sure. The food there is awesome. You probably know the names of a few bazaars here and there. Do you know Chandni Chowk area today is a huge marketplace? It is a shopping paradise of Delhi and a trading hub for a large part of India. Having said that, it is not easy to navigate the narrow crowded lanes of old Delhi bazaars to reach your desired market. Allow me to introduce you to some of the most interesting bazaars of Chandni Chowk – some of the best places for shopping in Delhi.
Khari Baoli – Largest Spices market in Delhi : Let me begin with the most aromatic of the old Delhi bazaars. Khari Baoli is probably the world’s largest spice market. Travel and culinary professionals have not done justice to this market that has spice all around. All you need to do is walk around and see the piles of spices neatly lined in shops. Full spices like red chilies can be seen in sacks outside the shops. The costly spices like saffron would be in small boxes matching their price tags.
Dariba Kalan – The Silver lane : This is the lane for women who love silver jewelry. Big and small shops are full of silver shops selling mostly jewelry but also things like utensils and idols of gods and goddesses. The shops may look small but you ask anything and you would find it. Besides the silver shops, you can also look for shops selling precious and semi-precious stones. You can get strings of stones like lapis lazuli, malachite, corals, tiger’s eye and rose quartz. Take your pick from short and long strings. I found them dirt cheap compared to the prices you pay in shiny showrooms. They sell pearls as well, but having lived in Hyderabad would not really recommend Delhi for pearls. However, if you are not going to Deccan anytime soon, pick your pearls also here. While in Dariba Kalan, also check out shops selling handmade perfumes at shops like ‘Gulab Singh Johri Mal Shop’
Meena Bazaar – Bazaar you have heard of but not seen : This Meena Bazaar is the famous Meena bazaar of the Mughal era. It is the name adopted by a famous upmarket textiles/garments brand of Delhi that you can find in most malls. It is the name that inspired songs like ‘Dilli Shehar ka sara Meena Bazaar lekar’. I assume the name Meena came from the Meenakari work that was done on lacquer bangles. In fact, it is still done in parts of Rajasthan & in Hyderabad. I remember a light & sound show at Red Fort used to re-create the sounds of Meena Bazaar with tinkling bells & bangles amidst the laughter of women. Meena Bazaar is located right between Jama Masjid & Red Fort.
Nai Sarak – For the brand new Books : The Nai Sarak has nothing Naya or new about it. Once upon a time, this road was famous for nautch girls. If you can crane your neck and look at the balconies you may be able to visualize the ultra faded image of a lively past. Today – this is the place where wholesale books are sold – mostly textbooks. Traders here are least interested in retail customers as they are looking for bulk buyers. Retail customers are a nuisance or an interruption in a busy business day. I remember picking books on my first visit here at a fraction of the price. Nai Sarak is the lane bang opposite town hall in Chandni Chowk. Or take the Delhi Metro to Chawri Bazaar and walk to Nai Sarak.
Sita Ram Bazaar – Fashion Jewelry : This is a bazaar closer to Turkman gate – one of the few surviving gates of Shahjahanabad. Go here for artificial or fashion jewelry – carved out of beads of all sizes and colors. Some of them are even carved out of animal bones.
Kinari Bazaar – Most Colorful of Old Delhi Bazaars : I call it is the Bling lane of Delhi, the most shining and shimmering lane you can ever visit. A lane that kind of runs parallel to Chandni Chowk and lands you at Paranthewali Gali at the end. This is where you get all the nick nash that you use to decorate your dresses or your homes. It is heaven for tailors, dress designers, costume designers & fashion designers. For a casual traveler, it is looking at the piles of laces, colorful borders that would sit on a Sari or dupatta, buttons, and patches. Women have a high risk of getting lost in this lane.
Experience the soul of Old Delhi by walking down the historic lanes of Shahjahanabad. We will start with a brief history about the iconic Lal Quila, which was the residence of Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal. After that we will briefly explore the Jain and Hindu religious architectures along the narrow lanes of this street market. This will be followed by a visit to a Sikh worshipping site called Gurudwara to understand the basic tenets of Sikhism and to discover their community kitchen services from close quarters.
After a little sightseeing, we will start our culinary adventure with the famous Aloo Tikki or shallow fried potato patty on the street of Chandni Chowk and enjoy a scrumptious meal of Parantha i.e. Deep-fried stuffed flat Indian bread from the iconic centuries-old lane called Gali Paranthe Wali. After that, we will take a little sneak peek into the vibrant and colorful market which is the hub of wedding shopping. Post this, we will go exploring a 17th-century street market full of Silver jewelers present since Mughal times, where we will try the Samosa and Indian version of Pretzel called Jalebi at an almost 150 year old eatery.
After the satiating meal, we will take a short tuk-tuk ride to Asia’s biggest spice market to have a look at a variety of both local and exotic spices followed by a visit to a 24-hours flower market. Here we will take an invigorating tea break. This whole experience is quite surreal.
Finally we will dive into a lip-smacking array of succulent Kebabs, Korma, butter chicken and luscious rice pudding in the lanes historic lanes in and around Jama Masjid, Delhi’s biggest mosque. From there, we will head towards our final stop to indulge in different flavors of Kulfi or the Indian version of Ice-cream at over a century old Kulfi shop.
Free Cancellation up to 1 day(s) before the date of activity. Late cancellation or your non-arrival will result in the full cost of your booking being charged.
• Face masks required for travelers in public areas.
• Face masks required for guides in public areas.
• Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff.
• Social distancing enforced throughout experience.
• Gear/equipment sanitized between use.
• Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized.
• Regular temperature checks for staff.
• Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons.
SD 22 Near Prateek stylome
gate Number 3
Sector 45, Noida UP 201301