Chandni Chowk

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Chandni Chowk
neighbourhood
Chandni Chowk is located in Delhi
Chandni Chowk
Location in Delhi, India
Coordinates: 28°39′22″N 77°13′52″E / 28.656°N 77.231°E / 28.656; 77.231Coordinates: 28°39′22″N 77°13′52″E / 28.656°N 77.231°E / 28.656; 77.231
Country India
StateDelhi
DistrictNorth Delhi
MetroNew Delhi
Languages
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN110 006
Planning agencyMunicipal Corporation of Delhi
 
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Chandni Chowk
neighbourhood
Chandni Chowk is located in Delhi
Chandni Chowk
Location in Delhi, India
Coordinates: 28°39′22″N 77°13′52″E / 28.656°N 77.231°E / 28.656; 77.231Coordinates: 28°39′22″N 77°13′52″E / 28.656°N 77.231°E / 28.656; 77.231
Country India
StateDelhi
DistrictNorth Delhi
MetroNew Delhi
Languages
 • OfficialHindi
Time zoneIST (UTC+5:30)
PIN110 006
Planning agencyMunicipal Corporation of Delhi
Chawri Bazar in the Chandni Chowk area in 2006

Chandni Chowk (Hindi: चांदनी चौक, Urdu: چاندنی چوک‎), originally meaning "moonlit square" or "moonlit market", is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, now in central north Delhi, India. Built in the 17th century by the Mughal emperor of India Shah Jahan, and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara, the market was once divided by canals (now closed) to reflect moonlight, and it remains one of India's largest wholesale markets.[1] [2]

History[edit]

Procession of the Emperor Bahadur Shah II on Chandni Chowk in 1843
Painting of the Golden Mosque (Sunehri Masjid) in the 1850s, by Ghulam Ali Khan
Chandni Chowk in the 1860s
Procession of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra as Emperor and Empress of India, 1903 Delhi Durbar

The history of Chandni Chowk dates back to the foundation of the capital city of Shahjahanabad when the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan established the Red Fort on the banks of the River Yamuna beside his newly founded capital.

Chandni Chowk, or the Moonlight Square, was designed and established by Princess Jahanara, Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter, in 1650 CE. The bazaar, which was shaped as a square, was given further elegance by the presence of a pool in the centre of the complex, which shimmered in the moonlight, a feature which was perhaps responsible for the nomenclature of the marketplace.[3] The shops of the complex were originally built in a half-moon shape, a pattern, which, however, is lost today. The bazaar was in the time of Shah Jahan famous for its silver merchants, which could also have an important role to play in the nomenclature of the Chandni Chowk as silver is referred to as Chandi in Hindi, a word which could have been slightly deformed to form Chandni Chowk.

Chandni Chowk was once the grandest of the markets in India.[4] The Mughal imperial processions used to pass through Chandni Chowk. The tradition was continued when Delhi Durbar was held in 1903. Delhi Town Hall was built in 1863 by the British.

Chandni Chowk runs through the middle of the walled city, from the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort to Fatehpuri Masjid. Originally, a canal ran through the middle of the street as a part of the water supply scheme. It was initially divided into three sections:[5]

Even though today Chandni Chowk appears choked with congestion, it retains its historical character. The following terms are generally used to describe the buildings and the streets:[8]

It is a famous market known all over India. Google India helps Delhi's iconic Chandni Chowk market go online. They approached each of 2500 stores and even have opened common website for all the shops.

Overview[edit]

Lal Jain Mandir and Gauri Shankar temple in the background
Gurudwara Sisganj

On both sides of the wide Chandni Chowk are historical residential areas served by narrow lanes (gali).

Religious buildings[edit]

With the most famous mosque of Delhi, Jama Masjid, built in 1650 in the vicinity, it is an unusual street that has several famous religious shrines, belonging to coexisting religions, lending the street a genuine cultural harmony. Starting from the Red Fort, the street has:

Haveli[edit]

A haveli on Chandni Chowk in 1858 (picture by Felice Beato)

Some of the historical mansions include:[10][11]

Shops[edit]

Chandni Chowk's speciality is the variety of its markets and their Indian-ness: from authentic Indian food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1,000 kinds, to sarees with chikan and zari work. There are many narrow lanes with shops selling books, clothing, shoes and leather goods, electronic and consumer goods and whatnot. The area, even more so than the rest of the city, is very congested. This is also a good place for window shopping. It is the location of the original Haldiram's. A particular local delicacy are the jalebis, which are fried in pure ghee (clarified butter).

As one moves from part of Chndni Chowk to the other, the lanes and bylanes house the biggest wholesale markets of Delhi.

Restaurants and eateries[edit]

Food shop on Khari Baoli Road

Chandni Chowk is home to several famous restaurants/confectioners (halwais).[18]

Depiction in media[edit]

Chandni Chowk was featured in the 2001 Bollywood film Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham where the leading lady Anjali (Kajol) and her sister Pooja (Kareena Kapoor) lived. Though portrayed as a neighbourhood populated by a lower-class population, Chandni Chowk is shown to be a rich, cultural hub.

The 2008 Bollywood movie Black and White starring Anil Kapoor, Anurag Sinha, Shefali Chhaya, and Aditi Sharma is set in Chandni Chowk.

The 2009 Bollywood movie Chandni Chowk to China starring Akshay Kumar, Deepika Padukone, Mithun Chakraborty, and Ranvir Shorey features some scenes depicting the city.

The 2009 Bollywood movie Delhi-6 starring Abhishek Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor, Waheeda Rehman, Om Puri, Atul Kulkarni and Divya Dutta is set in the ancient Walled City of Old Delhi and centred around Chandni Chowk.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Delhi - 100 years as the Capital". The Hindu. 1 February 2011. 
  2. ^ "Pin Code of Chandni Chowk Delhi". citypincode.in. Retrieved 2014-03-09. 
  3. ^ http://www.chillibreeze.com/articles/ACulinaryCruise.asp
  4. ^ http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1600_1699/shahjahanabad/chandnichauk/chandnichauk.html
  5. ^ Encyclopaedic Survey of Islamic Culture: Growth & Development By Mohamed Taher, Anmol Publications, 1998
  6. ^ Old Delhi Clock Tower built in 1857
  7. ^ http://www.hindu.com/mp/2007/03/26/stories/2007032600070200.htm R. V. Smith, The mystique of clock towers, The Hindu, 26 March 2007
  8. ^ The Havelis, Kuchas and Katras of Chandni Chowk
  9. ^ "Gauri Shankar Temple". 
  10. ^ Havelis of Old Delhi/Text by Pavan K. Varma and Sondeep Shankar. Reprint, First published in 1992. New Delhi, Bookwise, 1999
  11. ^ Itihas ki dastan hain, Dilli ki havelian http://epaper.hindustandainik.com/blog/uploaded_images/historical_monument_resembles_delhi_haveli-765785.jpg
  12. ^ "Collect Britain has moved". Collectbritain.co.uk. 2003-11-30. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  13. ^ "SOLO::International Office Accessories- Files, Folders, Conference Files, Expansion Cases, Teaching Aids, Business & Laptop Accessories, Desktop Accessories, Sheet protector, Document & CD Cases, Digetal Pen, Business Card Holders, Execcutive Notebooks, Separators, Certificate Files, Clutch pencils & leads". Solo.in. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  14. ^ "SHIPRA ORION STATIONERY CO. in Delhi, Delhi, India - Company Profile". Tradeindia.com. 2012-03-01. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  15. ^ "Divasa, Chandni Chowk, North Delhi, Delhi NCR | Lehengas and Sarees". Bigindianwedding. 2013-10-16. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  16. ^ "Arun Sarees - About - Google". Plus.google.com. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  17. ^ "Nandlal Sarees in Nai Sarak, Delhi | Saree Retailers". Justdial. 2013-02-21. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 
  18. ^ Chowk and cheese http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2008/sep/280908-Features-Sweets-roza-Chandni-Chowk.htm
  19. ^ http://www.tribuneindia.com/2002/20021110/spectrum/eat.htm K. R. N. Swamy, Frozen paranthas posing a challenge to Paranthewali Gali fare, The Tribune, 10 November 2002
  20. ^ "Annapurna Bhandar Mithai in Chandni Chowk,Delhi/NCR.Annapurna Bhandar Restaurant in Chandni Chowk,Delhi/NCR". Timescity. Retrieved 2013-12-30. 

External links[edit]