It’s like a movie unfolding around you, a whirl of architecture and food, history and business…
Exploring Chandni Chowk by night gives you a chance to understand the real spirit of Delhi. It’s like a movie unfolding around you, a whirl of architecture and food, history and business. At night, it’s less crowded so there’s more opportunity to engage with locals and after sunset, Chandni Chowk glows and glitters with store lights. There’s a maze of different streets to discover that specialise in everything from silver and spices to saris and glass bangles. If you want to buy something, we can help you haggle, which is a ritual in Old Delhi.
We start the tour around 5.30pm and explore on foot, discussing the evolution of Old Delhi. You’ll see various businesses and have the opportunity to sit with people and hear about their lives. We might meet the ear-cleaning-man, who wears a red hat and carries tools to remove wax from people’s ears – it’s a great photo opportunity. I also love to take pictures of the chai vendors swirling tea in their metal pans. As we walk, I’ll point out religious landmarks like the Sunehri Masjid and Gurudwara Sis Ganj Sahib, a Sikh temple with a community kitchen.
The highlight of the trip though is always the food. We have dinner at Karim’s, a restaurant that serves Mughlai cuisine. It was set up in the 1940s by Karim, a chef who served in the kitchen of a Mughal emperor and wanted to introduce this food to ordinary people. The dishes have a Persian influence and include lots of bread and kormas, all cooked in an open kitchen. Afterwards, we wander around the street food area where you can sample desserts like bread pudding and mango ice cream. You’ll get to try everything from samosas to chai – food is a very important part of experiencing Old Delhi.