In the heart of Delhi lies Old Delhi, the walled city  founded as ‘Shahjahanabad’ by the Mughal emperor Shahajahan. Today, Old Delhi is a bustling place, a  symbolic heart of metropolitan Delhi and very much a separate world and a vibrant living history.
Old Delhi is also home to some of the most famous landmarks in Delhi – Chandni chowk(the oldest commercial market running since 17th century),Sisganj Gurdwara, Jama Masjid, Red Fort, Chawri Bazar and many more
I have been to some of these places many times and simply loved the vibe of these areas, not to mention the yummilicious street food available here!!
But since a long time, I wanted to tour the inside of Old Delhi, beyond the markets and into the bylanes, into the small gullies and see Delhi as it was many years back, see the growth of Delhi(indeed as many great institutions were born here)….but never got around to it, coz it’s impossible not to get lost without someone who truly knows the insides of this incredible place….
My wish was fulfilled some time back when I joined a  food walk through Old Delhi…and the experience was wonderful. I share here some wonderful moments and experiences of our walk in Old Delhi.
Our walk started at Chawri Bazar and passed through Jama Masjid, Dariba Kalan, Kinari Bazar and ended in Chandni Chowk.
Chawri Bazar, today is a specialized wholesale market of brass, copper and paper products. Back in the 19th centruy, it was popularly known for its dancing girls and courtesans frequented by nobility and rich alike. 
Being a traders market, it also has all the typical delhi street food stalls, which sell totally heavenly stuff!! 
After having some of the yummy street food(we had chaat, gol gappe, daulat ki chaat, fruit sandwich and kulle di chaat…quite a lot actually!!), we headed to the Jama Masjid.
Jama Masjid is the principal mosque of Old Delhi in India. Commissioned by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan and completed in the year 1658 AD, it is the largest and best-known mosque in India. It lies at the origin of a very busy central street of Old Delhi on the Chawri Bazar Road
We reached here just in time for sunset, and it was a lovely experience…wind blowing gently, the crowds, the birds..I was glad that I was finally here!!
We then proceeded to walk into the residential area of Dariba Kalan, into Kinari Bazar. This portion of the walk was filled with lovely discoveries, the small gullies, the old houses and some surprises…
One of discoveries we made was the origin of the legendary Delhi college St. Stephen’s , which started here in   Sheesh Mahal, a  haveli in Dariba Kalan.

Our final stop was Chandni chowk, which is one place I have been to often….it is one place every delhi bride-to-be(or groom-to-be) visits for trousseau shopping. This place also has some historical monuments such as Sisganj Gurdwara, Digambar Jain Temple and Red Fort. 
Since this was a food walk,  it ended with some yummy street food again!!
And talking about food, boy did we all hog!!…and here’s how!!
Ofcourse, I would be going to Old Delhi again and again  for the food and the shopping!! It happens to be one of my favorite places in Delhi after all!!
There are a number of individuals/tour groups conducting walks through old delhi. I took the walk with Rahul Nainwal of Viawalks, found his walk to be the perfect mix of food, history and fun!!

Join the Conversation


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Old delhi is my and i go der often to get taste of real delhi which is vanishing.
    All pics are captured beautifully.

    Joining ur blog πŸ™‚

  2. I felt like I was there through your lovely photos. Must be exciting, browsing through a busy bazaar and seeing the old buildings. So much history there!

  3. Mouth watering post πŸ™‚

    Sigh! it's been so long since I went there. All planning and no action.

    And for someone born and brought up in Delhi, I've yet to visit Chawri Bazaar. *Epic shame*

  4. Wow all these pictures are so beautiful! I haven't been to India since I was child I want to go back so bad, and see places like Old Delhi which I haven't seen yet!

  5. Beautiful photography! And awesome writing to complement it!

    The daulat ki chaat etc. must have been awesome; isn't it? Delhi fiid (especially in stalls) is to die for.

    You've found the newest fan of your blog πŸ™‚

  6. I LOVED this- although now I am completely in love, with the accompanying visuals.

    Can I say how much I loved the photographs?

    I remember taking a few myself, but after a while, I put it away *gasp* and just let myself get aborbed into the place.

    Best thing I ever did. πŸ™‚


  7. The areas selected for a walk are one of the best which has all old time charms. Whenever I go to Delhi, I enter from Chandni Chowk relishing everything. Yes its is a shoppers paradise. Your lucid way of telling about it was also relished.

  8. LOve it! I've done Old Delhi myself a few times but I think I want to join a walking tour next time. Sounds like fun, and the food makes me hungry. Always ready for street food. Must ask Mr PAB to do a walk soon. Thank you for this beautiful post. I β™₯ heritage walks!!

  9. I want this now!! Seems like the perfect way to spend a perfect day in a city full of history. I reallly must do this the next time I am in the capital. You look like a happy puppy eating the chaat :))))


Enjoy this blog? Please spread the word :)

Follow by Email