Chandni Chowk means moonlit square! It is a very large, historic market in Old Delhi. It was established in 1650 under the Mughal Emperor of the time. It is very congested and you still see many, many day laborers walking up and down the streets with large loads. Motorcycles and bike rickshaws fill the streets.
Our goal at Chandni Chowk on Saturday was to find a saree for each of us! It was a success!
These were my two favorites. What do you think?
*I ended up with the black one*
:) It's so pretty!
This is the Saree that Sarah bought :)
This was a designer Saree that the guy wanted me to try on...I think I liked the one I picked better :)
So begins our adventure...told by pictures.
We took an auto from our apartment to the metro at Central Secretariat and rode over to Chandni Chowk. They have a women's only compartment here in the metro :) One of the first times I felt privileged to be a woman (not really, but it was cool :))!
First view of the streets in Chandni Chowk.
Riding in our first bike rickshaw.
It was really hard for Sarah and I to watch our young Indian man exert all energy to carry us a few blocks to our final destination. It was hot and humid - I can't even imagine what that would be like. And we paid him barely a dollar (50 rupees) to take us. As we rode through the streets, we watched the other laborers carrying stuff up and down the street - welcome to India. It was intense shock therapy. Very humbling.
I would encourage you to click on these photos and look at them a little closer!
Can you see the history in this beautiful market?
Although it is very dirty and congested, there is something very remarkable about its winding, side streets and excessive amounts of shops.
This is where our experience turned bad. We ate some chicken and Sarah and I are now both very ill. Sarah is much worse off than I (I have higher immunity because of my autoimmune disease and I recently suffered from salmonella) so we are praying for her quick recovery. Anyway, it was a very sketchy little restaurant in the heart of dirty old Delhi (we wanted to go to Karim's but it was closed for Ramadan).
This is the Jama Masjid - the most famous mosque in Delhi built in 1650 - it's beautiful! We didn't go inside.
Sarah and I.
It was at this time that we went shopping for Sarees - it was so fun...for the most part. Until we encountered the little-too-friendly salesmen. And I let both of the men get away with it - It was very inappropriate. But what an experience! I love all of the vibrant colors and the air of anticipation that fills the Saree shops. Everyone should own a Saree :)
This picture basically sums up Old Delhi/Chandni Chowk.
The town hall.
*Warning: some of the next images are of a more sensitive nature*
This is Gurudwara Sisganj - built in memorial of some Sikh martyrs and now functions as a Sikh temple.
This is a dumpster right by the road.
Right by the metro station.
The children dress up and come beg for money.
After Chandni Chowk, we went and explored Connaugiht Place and Janpath Market before we headed home. It was a fun-filled, exhausting day with our beautiful friend, Anita-ji!
I love INCREDIBLE India!
My heart was touched by the people, the history, and the culture. I feel so very humbled.