Khari Bawli (Khari Baoli) Market
The Khari Baoli Market [also spelled as ‘Khari Bawli’], is located at the crowded area of Lal Quila (Red Fort) and situated at the western end of the main Chandni Chowk Road in Old Delhi. It is known as the largest wholesale spice market in Asia and one will find a number of unique spices and condiments of high quality and reasonable priced nuts and herbs in this Market place. Numerous Shops are fringed on either side of the lanes that is really congested due to its wholesale prices and abundance in availability. Besides the spices, one can also find a wide range of several household commodities such as soaps, a variety of rice produce and sugar to name a few.
Khari Baoli Market was established around the Fatehpuri Masjid [Mosque] that was built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begum who was one of the wives of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan. Khari Baoli is a ‘Salty Step well’ that was constructed during the Mughal Emperor’s reign wherein this salty water well was used for bathing animals. This step well was constructed along the same time when the Lahori Gate [a fortified gateway situated on the western end of the Red Fort] was built. Lahori Gate is one of the 14 Gateways that surrounded the fortified city of Ancient Delhi named ‘Shahjahanabad’. The road stretching through this gateway led to Lahore [Now in Pakistan] and hence the name was derived. However, today this road remains buried under the modern and newly constructed market area and a part of the Lahori gate is visible whereas there is no trace of the Baoli only its dilapidated state which has managed a slight restoration work.
Later, in 1936, a Minister named Chowdhary Chhotu Ram of the Punjab province rolled a law that cancelled all the debts of the villagers and hence a number of Aggrawal traders lost their businesses and hence migrated to Delhi. They settled in colonies like Kamla Nagar, Model Basti, and Shakti Nagar and opened their own shops in areas around the walled city in Old Delhi such as Chandni Chowk, Chawri Bazaar, Dariba Kalan, Khari Bawli, Nai Sarak, Naya Bazaar and Sadar Bazaar.
Khari Baoli Market homes many shops that are still known by their serial numbers such as ‘21 Number Ki Dookan’ which means ‘Shop Number 21’ that is run by the 10th generation of its founders, whose ancestors established this shop way back in the 17th and 18th Century AD.
Khari Bawli is an ancient market place that attracts a number of renowned chefs and cooks owing to the range of spices, nuts and various herbs available here at wholesale rates. Besides this, it is also flanked by several other market zones such as the ‘Gadodia Market’ situated on its southern side and was established in the 1920s by wealthy merchants. This market also homes a number of spice shops. GB Road and the famous Sadar Bazaar are situated on the other end of Khari Baoli.
Public DTC Buses, auto rickshaws and taxi cabs can be hired from any corner of Delhi to arrive at Khari Baoli. The nearest metro station is the Chandni Chowk metro station where one can de-board and then hire a rickshaw to arrive at this market place.
Khari Bawli Market is opened from 11:30 AM to 6:00 PM on all days except every Sunday.