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India: Chandni Chowk

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Chandni Chowk | India | Asia

[Visited: June 2003 and several times before]

Across the street from the Red Fort lies Chandni Chowk, an area completely dedicated to shopping, trading and eating. While the Red Fort offers tranquillity, Chandni Chowk is its opposite. It is an enormous area, packed with all sorts of shops, bazaars, people of all kinds. The main street offers all kinds of shops, and it overflows with all kinds of traffic. But you can also dive into the alleys that branch off on all sides. Wherever you go, it bustles, boils, is full of sounds and smells, in one word: it is exciting!

Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Chandni Chowk street scene, New Delhi

Apart from walking around to take in the wares of the silversmiths, bicycle repair shops, washing machine outlets, wedding dresses, food outlets, and almost anything else you could think of, it is also great to just stop somewhere and let the frenzy go by. I stood on the central reserve of the road from where you get a close view of the traffic. The serious, sweaty faces of the bicycle-rickshaw drivers driving with heavy loads behind their backs, women walking by with their colourful saris whirling behind them like a flag, cows walking the street, salesmen trying to lure you into their shop.

Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Street signs in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Crossing the street brings you back to the sheer excitement of the shouts of salesmen, a boy pushing a heavy cart warning people in his way, people negotiating over a deal. As soon as you go into the narrow alleys, the hustle diminishes. Here, you can find small, quiet shops selling silver, an old lonely man selling mangoes on the street, monkeys running on the roofs. Chandni Chowk also boasts a temple and a mosque, among other sights, but the main attraction, according to me, is the endless theatre of every day life that unfolds right under your eyes.

Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Mango seller, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Carrying load, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Standing out in the crowd in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Cyclist, motorcycles, rickshaws, New Delhi traffic
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Cycle rickshaw in New Delhi traffic
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Chandni Chowk market scene
Picture of Chandni Chowk (India): Overloaded bicycle in Chandni Chowk, New Delhi

Around the World in 80 Clicks

Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Chandni Chowk (India). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Chandni Chowk.
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