Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk information

Delhi , India
Getting there
Metro: Chandni Chowk
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Old Delhi’s main thoroughfare is a chaotic shopping street, mobbed by hawkers, motorcycles, stray dogs and porters and offering the full medieval bazaar experience. In the time of Shah Jahan, a tree-lined canal ran down its centre, reflecting the moon, hence the name Chandni Chowk, or 'moonlight place’.

In the cluster of temples at the Red Fort end of Chandni Chowk, the scarlet Digambara Jain Temple (remove shoes and leather items before entering) contains a fascinating bird hospital established to further the Jain principle of preserving all life. Only vegetarian birds are admitted, though predators are treated as outpatients.

Nearby, the 18th-century Sisganj Gurdwara marks the the martrydom site of the ninth Sikh guru, Tegh Bahadur, executed by Aurangzeb in 1675 for resisting conversion to Islam. The western end of Chandni Chowk is bookended by the mid-17th-century Fatehpuri Masjid , named after one of Shah Jahan’s wives; it offers a rare moment of tranquility after the craziness of Chandni Chowk.

Small green buses shuttle between Digambara Jain Temple and Fatehpuri Masjid (₹5).