Chandni Chowk Market Shopping Guide | What To Buy | Where To Buy

Attention! This is to call all lovers of shopping who dream of new outfits and all contrasting as well as matching accessories to go with them every second. Chandni Chowk Market in Old Delhi is paradise in the disguise of a market heavily loaded with products such as renowned spices, dried fruits, classic and affordable silver jewelry to add just the right amount of edge to each attire, beautiful saris, rejuvenating essential oils and useful stationery. What adds cream to the cherry cake is that there are also Indian sweets and authentic dishes served to those who relish food and know that life is all about bargaining, purchasing and eating. Imagine recreating your wardrobe in the vicinity of the historic Jama Masjid and Red Fort which have been pivotal monuments since centuries. Personally, I would recommend you to drop in at the Chandni Chowk market early as it gets crowded as the day progresses which also proves how worthy it is. The wholesale prices have been a major crowd puller, and the count of visitors is literally in thousands in the shimmering area where only top quality items reach the shelves on display. Have you heard of Mary Poppins' bag which carried everything? 

Well, to make it clearer for you, Chandni Chowk is exactly like a magical case that has everything you name. What are you waiting for? Read ahead to find out what to buy, where to buy, how to buy and dial your bestie's number right now with your Chandni Chowk shopping guide in your hand. A classic Arabian Night like market awaits to enchant you and you can definitely feel its spell not letting you break away anytime soon. Also having features in Bollywood films such as Kabhie Khushi Kabhi Gham and Chandni Chowk To China, it is every movie buffs final shopping and visiting destination. Also, read about places to see in Chandni Chowk here.

Here's a quick list of shopping at Chandni Chowk Market:

  • Kinari Bazaar, OP Jawahar Lal, Chhabra 555, Katra Neel
  • Nai Sarak
  • Bhagirath Palace
  • Dariba Kalan, Multan Enamel Mart Jewellers, Navin Abhushan Bhandar
  • Ram Gopal and Sons, Hari Singh and Co., Neelem Jewellery
  • Gulab Singh Johrimal
  • Khari Baoli
  • Chawri Bazaar

Kinari Bazaar, OP Jawahar Lal, Chhabra 555, Katra Neel (lehengas, bridal wear, saris, zari borders): 

Weddings are occasions marked by joy, laughter, love and also tears. It is that special day of one's life when each one in the family wants to look the best, be it the bride and groom themselves or their distant aunt who received an invitation just in the nick of time. There is a huge variety that awaits customers and is bound to leave them confused. The prices vary depending on the material which includes georgette, raw silk, net, chiffon, crepe and also velvet to name a few. It is advisable to keep an open mind as it often happens that we leave home to buy a particular design but return with something even better. All price ranges are available which also breaks down the class factor that is so prevalent in our society. There are sequinned patterns, heavily embellished and layered skirts and blouses, 'gotta-Patti' work, flamboyant combinations of hues which will make all heads turn and will enhance you in all the festive photographs as well as beaded and Swarovski stitched and cloth pieces which can be tailored as per your requirements. Also, since marriages involved two parties, classy menswear can also be grabbed at Katra Neel. 

Note: The collection at Kinari Bazar can also be rented which includes flared ghagras, studded sherwanis, garlands (varmalas), bridal veils and sehras which as essential turbans. There are also little lit shops of creative envelopes used for gifting cash, potlis for carrying essentials and yet looking chic, and ornamental gift wraps which provide an impressive impression. Since Chandni Chowk is open from 10 am to 7 pm, be up early and get, set, go. Let the tinsels of the Chandni Chowk lehenga shops dazzle and light up your eyes and make your once in a lifetime evening memorable for generations to come! Get your hands on the lookalike of Manish Malhotra and Sabyasachi creations. 

Nai Sarak (books and stationery): 

Shopping at Chandni Chowk.

Image Credits: Patrick Rasenberg .

Are you fond of reading? Does the smell of old books fascinate you more than the latest coffee joint on the block? Do you prefer printed pages over movies and also feel that Harry Potter, or as a matter of fact, Game of Thrones, seem to be more interesting when just words instead of visual? Well, if a room, rather streets, full of hardbound and soft sheets sound like heaven to you, Nai Sarak in Chandni Chowk is just where you ought to be to find inner peace. This street was built later when compared to the other favourite of the complex and thus the name which translates to 'new road' in English. Indian as well as overseas authors have successfully stood the test of time and continue to find buyers. There are also books in foreign languages as well as Hindi. It can also be said that the Nai Sarak in Old Delhi's Chandni Chowk can be seen as a parallel that can be compared to College Street of Kolkata, West Bengal, where is believed that if you cannot find a book here, you cannot find it anywhere. You'll be thrilled to buy the collection which ranges from playbooks for toddlers to textbooks for medical students of the higher levels. 

Note: Where there are books, there is stationary. Well, you must have a keen eye to spot out the stationery shops in case you need to visit one. Their above average paper texture and other pens will take no time to become your favourite. Also, there is a shop or two that deal in musical instruments, and the high quality is unmatched. An old one from the historical marketplace is definitely going to be one's prized possession which can be preserved to be vintage in the future. Jeffrey Archer to Roald Dahl, Ruskin Bond to Agatha Christie, they are immortal in literature. Read a detailed note on  Chandni Chowk Market here.

Bhagirath Palace (electronics):

An engineer in the making? Intrigued by tools, types of equipment, and gadgets? If such is the case, this is the apt location for you to hang out and spend your time exploring what's new in the market. Find all goods here at throwaway prices and deal that no one can resist. It is also a good idea to take home a few to practice file work and experiments on them. Also, a hotspot for those moving into a new house or building their dream home after years of toiling and planning, the fancy lights like wired bulbs, garden lights and lanterns, chandeliers, and other necessary electronics are all available. Hardware is an essential aspect of each residence and to complete a lavish lifestyle, this hardware store in Chandni Chowk is a treat. A necessity these days is the inevitable mobile phone which connects people across continents within seconds and makes instant messaging and calling possible. And, you have guessed it absolutely correct that there are also computers, laptops, televisions, air-conditioners and coolers that can be picked. The 21st-century demands being at par with latest technological and scientific developments and this is just another means to achieve that goal. Pen drives, meters and power cables too have outlets. 

Note: Do not fear that the products sold may have faulty or duplicate parts as these electronic shops at Chandni Chowk are licensed and provide bills and appropriate invoice at the time of purchase which you shouldn't forget to procure. However, it is still suggested to be street-smart and cautious. Remember, items seen with one's own eyes and felt physical are always more reliable than online and virtual shopping. Get spare parts too of old or damaged things at home. 

A few stores namely chosen for dainty mosaic lights are Crystal Lights, Shree Ji Light, JP Lights, Electro World and Samir Electricals. 

Dariba Kalan, Multan Enamel Mart Jewellers, Navin Abhushan Bhandar (silver jewellery): 

Although there are numerous shops such as Jankidas and Ratan Chand Jwala Nath, this Jeweller's street has been in service for not just years but decades. One can fill up their shopping baskets with elaborate wire work in silver, silver frames and mugs, little idols of Hindu Gods and Goddesses and plates and trays that as also in the same which are used during festivities. Shri Ram Hari Ram always surprises first-time tourists with silver chairs! The jewellery which is priced at a discount of at least twenty five percent when compared to other shopping areas in Delhi consists of earrings (studs and danglers), nose-pins, anklets shining like the moon, and also handles which tinkle against each other as one moves. Multan Enamel Mart Jewellers as essentially exporters dealing in bracelets, finger rings and earrings. Gift items, trophies, and keepsakes are also obtainable. Silver antiques such as dinners sets, crockery and cutlery, tea sets and gold plated silver objects are a huge buyer-pleaser in these silverware shops in Chandni Chowk. Getting the royal palace and Maharaja feels already? You'll surely wish for a lifestyle like that once you enter these places. It is next to impossible to leave empty-handed. There is also a small section on Meenakari and Kundan ornaments, precious and semiprecious stones, birthstones, diamonds and gems, essential oils and perfumes. 

Note: Though shopping in Chandni Chowk commences at ten each morning, please note that these lanes and markets begin working at 11 and may go on till 7:30 pm. No point reaching early and waiting. Instead what I'll advise is that reach early and shop for daily wear clothing, shoes, sunglasses from the Ballimaran market or even handicrafts and other gift collections to get your perfect OOTD (outfit of the day) and present in hand.  

Ram Gopal and Sons, Hari Singh and Co., Neelem Jewellery (costume jewellery): 

A grand celebration coming up in the family where all your relatives are going to be but you have already adorned every jewellery set your possess in your almirah before and do not wish to repeat? No problem! This is exactly when we'll get you to your fairy godmother, these costume jewellery shops in Chandni Chowk where you can buy jewellery that look like the twin of an expensive collection at way lower prices. In case you do not wish to invest in look-alikes, you can also rent them for a certain number of days and then return them to exactly where they belong. Even if you're a bride who cannot spend too much on the ornaments, we totally understand that you too want your wedding to be a memorable one with you looking the best and unique. With the sales staff always on the lookout to extend a helping hand to those potential shoppers who cannot fix up their mind on one, there is a wide melange of imitated gold, kundan, glass work, studs and diamond work in bangles, long and intricate necklaces (also chokers), double layers of dangling earrings as well as simple yet elegant ones, nose rings and nose pins (also called nathni), maang-tikkas and borlas, and fancy anklets which may not be visible to the naked eyes each time but elicit a cheerful sound. Now that you have all facts right at your fingertips, you know just how to smartly divide your expenses. 

Note: It is always more sensible to save money in your accounts for the future, times of emergency and old age. Blowing them off in futile pursuits should be avoided. No one knows what the days ahead hold in store, but better safe than sorry is my motto. 

Gulab Singh Johrimal (Essential oils, perfumes and ittar which is also known as attar): 

The location is just as fancy as the name. This market, named after the founder, has become a landmark and recognised locale for all tourists and loyal customers looking for scents, aromas, particular soaps that nourish and leave their skin supple and much more. I'm sure you realise how important it is to smell good, to have a healthy outward appearance, to feel good about oneself and apply only trusted products that enhance your confidence. And to meet your needs here is just the stop you should have known about. The perfumes are not imported from any foreign land and then sold with a profit margin. Instead, these natural perfumes are created (thus explaining their freshness and longevity) in-house and also qualify as timeless gifts which are not only material but also symbolic of an exchange of tradition and transgenerational cultures. For those who have a slightly high budget, there is an offer to choose from sandalwood and floral ittar which are made with contrasting properties to suit the conditions of different seasons. Essential oils from plants such as lemongrass, tea tree rose, rose, lavender, jasmine and peppermint are a few to point out from the one hundred available. You really are spoilt for choice, and that's when you wish you were a multi-millionaire so that you could just buy all of them. Last but not the least, the warm hospitality of the staff never fails to assist the confused souls in picking their favourite room fresheners, incense sticks for the religious ones and fragrant potpourri assortment. Voila! They also have their website that you can browse through in advance. (Warning: It'll only tempt you more, and I can say that without batting an eyelid because I literally went through the same.) 

Note: Wish to go out after sunset in order to avoid the extreme Delhi temperature? You're lucky! Gulab Singh Johrimal welcomes consumers till 9 pm. 

Khari Baoli (spices and dry fruits): 

Shopping at Chandni Chowk.

Image Credits: Jon Connell.

Functioning since the 17th century, Khari Baoli is often regarded as the continents largest wholesale spice market which also deals in tea, nuts, sugar and rice grains. There are not only visitors who drop in but also chefs and traders from states such as  Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, and Madhya Pradesh. As we all know, man's three necessary requirements are food, clothing and shelter which cannot be ignored or overlooked but one can definitely cut down on the expenditure and yet enjoy superior quality consumption. Spices from Chandni Chowk are famous worldwide and what's even more attractive is that there is a scope to bargain and get the best deals in an area where there is already very low margin kept on excellent and edible products. Though the South Indian state of Kerala enjoys unparalleled expertise in the field of herbs and spices, Chandni Chowk in Old Delhi is another leading market in the same. Katara Tambaku with its genuinely high grade of herbs and Sadar Bazaar with distinguished ranks of consumer goods are nothing less than a boon to mankind. Amlas to chillis, plums to nutmegs to cardamoms and cloves, you get all it all here (including rare exotic spices and mixtures). India isn't eminent for its cuisines without a valid reason. 

Note: The market is open only from 11:30 am to 6 pm on all days of the week except Sunday. Even the shopkeepers need a day off after all that booming business. Chandni Chowk metro station is the nearest from where one can hail a rickshaw. 

Chawri Bazaar (cards): 

This is right where you must be to get wedding cards printed. Remember all the fancy detailed cards with prints of Lord Ganesha and Radha-Krishna adorned in glitter that came to your doorstep for all these years? Well, head to this destination and finalise your card with fonts of different sizes, colours playing a trick on those who see the card, and subtle abstract backgrounds that motivate one to not just put away your card after reading the date and venue but actually to save it as a blueprint for their future needs. A card is often the first impression you create on a lot of other individuals since you obviously haven't met each one on the guest list personally. The fine textures of velvet, plain paper, handmade paper, embroidered card borders and pop-up cards all are made affordable thanks to the wholesale rates on bulk orders and purchases.

Note: Do not be disheartened to see the long queue because only what's worth it is in demand. As per sources, Bedmi Puri and Nigori Halwa are a super favourite for breakfast in the region. The trendy mason jars too are a commodity sold in this market in Chandni Chowk. 

India is a land of diversity marked by vivid colours, ethnic jewellery, mouth-watering spicy food and dreamy fairytale outfits such as different styles of lehengas which are free flowing but also incorporate western cuts, saris which are actually considered and recognised as the most elegant ensemble as well as chicken Kari and zari work which are famous across the globe. Also, read about Chandni Chowk Famous Food here.

Chandni Chowk, also referred to as the 'Moonlight Square', is a wholesale market which was once the most magnificent but through changing times have also played a great role in altering it, it still hasn't lost its charm and continues shining in gold, silver, decorative materials,  delicacies such as the fancy jalebis that are fried in pure ghee, knowledge in the form of books and other electronics, and also leather products to name a few. The list can literally go on and on. Writing about it is in itself a means to mentally drift off into the exotic and pristine location which can be cherished only by those who are able to perceive its beauty. Big brands, without doubt, attract many for sure but this hotspot in our capital is a league apart and cannot be compared to any other. Keep it number one of your list when thinking of a site to shop till you drop and eat till you cannot even move to greet. How cool is it to have street vendors as well as big stores all in the same vicinity that work with complete harmony and provide a treat to customers. It is true that your feet may start hurting buy the number of outlets and sellers will not cease. Dress comfortably, wear shoes with soft soles, tie up your hair to avoid going crazy and sweaty in the Delhi heat and with your sling bag and water bottle, you will be the trendsetter. Remember, to carry a bag with a zip as you never know the kind of people in the crowd, and we take no guarantee. Better safe than sorry!

Do let us know what you got and how fun it was or drop in clicks from cameras from the Kucha Choudhary market.