In this thirty-fourth archive story by Kristian Bertel, we are walking into the Chandni Chowk area of Delhi in India.
Read the background story of this archive photo by the photographer.
Taking a rickshaw ride through these streets of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, India is absolutely crazy. There are so many rickshaws, bikes, people and the streets are filled with every possible market. It is a good look at the daily life that has been around for centuries and the photographer definitely added it to his list of things to do in Delhi whilst being here.
Taking a rickshaw ride through these streets of Chandni Chowk in Delhi, India is absolutely crazy. There are so many rickshaws, bikes, people and the streets are filled with every possible market. It is a good look at the daily life that has been around for centuries and the photographer definitely added it to his list of things to do in Delhi whilst being here.

Chandni Chowk (Delhi) in India

You need to have a strong heart to brave Chandni Chowk, it is certainly not for the faint hearted, do visit the parathe wali gals for some lip smacking parathas and chaat, most of the time you will be stuck up in long traffic jams here, you get eveything under the sun here so do ensure that you shop here. Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in Old Delhi, India.

Congested area of Delhi
Chandni Chowk is located close to Old Delhi Railway Station. The Red Fort monument is located within the market. It was built in the 17th century by Mughal Emperor of India Shah Jahan and designed by his daughter Jahan Ara. The market was once divided by canals, which now are closed to reflect moonlight and remains one of India's largest wholesale markets. The market's history dates to the founding of the capital city of Shahjahanabad when Emperor Shah Jahan established the Red Fort on the banks of the Yamuna River beside his new capital. Chandni Chowk, or the Moonlight Square, was designed and established by Princess Jahanara, Shah Jahan’s favourite daughter, in 1650. The bazar was shaped as a square was given elegance by the presence of a pool in the centre of the complex. The pool shimmered in the moonlight, a feature which was perhaps responsible for its name. Shops were originally built in a half-moon shaped pattern, now lost. The bazaar was famous for its silver merchants, which also have contributed to the name as silver is referred to as Chandi in Hindi, a slight variation of which forms Chandni. The pool in the chowk was replaced by a clocktower, Ghantaghar until the 1950s. The center of the market is still referred to as Ghantaghar. Chandni Chowk was once the grandest Indian market. Mughal imperial processions passed through Chandni Chowk. The tradition was continued when Delhi Durbar was held in 1903. Delhi Town Hall was built in 1863 by the British.

Bazar of people in India
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. It was initially divided into three sections. Chandni Chowk's speciality is its variety and authenticity with food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1,000 kinds, sarees with chikan and zari. Narrow lanes host shops sell books, clothing, electronic, consumer goods, shoes and leather goods. It is the location of the original Haldiram's and brands such as Gianis. A particular local delicacy are the jalebis, which are fried in pure ghee which is clarified butter. The Cloth Market, supplies home furnishing fabrics, including ready-made items as well as design services. Nai Sarak is the wholesale market of stationery, books, paper and decorative materials. It house folder stores. It also offers bridal Saris and Lehengas. Lal Kuan is a wholesale market for hardware and hotel kitchen equipment. It is adjacent to Tilak Market which is a wholesale market for industrial chemicals. Dariba is the market for silver and gold jewelry.

More archive stories

India is a land full of stories. On every street, on every corner and in the many places in India, life is rushing by you as a photographer with millions of stories to be told. In the archive story above, you hopefully had a readable insight in the story that was behind the photo of Chandni Chowk in Delhi. On this website of Kristian Bertel | Photography you can find numerous travel pictures from the photographer. Stories and moments that tell the travel stories of how the photographer captured the specific scene that you see in the picture. The photographer's images have a story behind them, images that all are taken from around India throughout his photo journeys. The archive stories delve into Kristian's personal archive to reveal never-before-seen, including portraits and landscapes beautifully produced snapshots from various travel assignments. The archive is so-far organized into photo stories, this one included, each brought to life by narrative text and full-color photos. Together, these fascinating stories tell a story about the life in India. India, the motherland to many people around the world, a land of unforgetable travel moments. The archive takes viewers on a spectacular visual journey through some of the most stunning photographs to be found in the photographer's archive collection. The photographer culled the images to reflect the many variations on the universal theme of beauty and everyday life in India. By adding these back stories the photographer's work might immensely enhanced the understanding of the photographs.