Chandni Chowk Delhi

It is now time to charge into the claustrophobic hustle and bustle that is Chandni Chowk (Moonlight Crossroads), the onomatopoeic quality of the thoroughfare's name being undoubtedly apt. Shah Jahan's daughter Jahanara laid out the street to form the processional thoroughfare for her father's new city in 1648.

Chandni Chowk stretches westward from the Red Fort to the Fatehpuri Mosque. Chandni Chowk was originally tree-lined and a water channel ran through its centre. Shops are closed on Sundays and the many public holidays, but the smaller entrepreneurs then take over, selling from the sidewalk and the street's vivacity is maintained. Alleyways run southward, accommodating specialized bazaars which should not be missed.

Cycle rickshaws ply along Chandni Chowk itself but most of the side streets are best explored on foot. Visitors are recommended to employ a guide who knows Old Delhi well to conduct them for an hour or two through the maze, otherwise much will be missed.

Also on the point in Chandni Chowk, there stood a gate which gained the name Khuni Darwaza (Gateway of Blood) when, in 1739 the bodies of victims of Nadir Shah's massacre were piled against it.

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