Khari Baoli in Chandni Chowk, Delhi, is Asia's largest spice market and its fame is still as it was during the 17th century. This market came into existence during the Mughal period. Baoli literally means a stepwell, and 'Khari' or 'Khara' means salty, with Khari Baoli meaning saltwater well. Now you must be thinking that this is the market, but how is its meaning, then let me tell you, at that time there used to be saltwater well here, but now it has become a treasure trove of spices. If you have been here, then you yourself will have an idea that one by one, indigenous and foreign spices are sold here. Let us tell you some interesting things about this market.
History of Khari Baoli
Before the origin of the market, it was known as Khari Baoli or Bawdi, which was built by Khwaja Abdullah Lazar Qureshi in 1551 during the reign of Salim Shah. Later, religious buildings were built including the Fatehpuri Mosque built-in 1650. This mosque was built by Fatehpuri Begum, or Maharani Begum, one of the wives of Emperor Shah Jahan. However, now there is nothing like a stepwell left here, and a spice market has opened in its place.
The shops here are run by the ninth or tenth generations.
Khari Baoli is Asia's largest spice market, where you can buy both indigenous and foreign spices. Hundreds of traders and buyers gather in the market every day to trade spices. Also, sometimes there is so much crowd here, that there is no place to even step foot. Here you will also find shops of names that were started during that time, such as shops number 15, 13 with rice, etc. Amidst all this, the spice market of the shops here is now being run by the ninth or tenth generations.
Best time to visit Khari Baori -
The market is open every day except Sundays and operates from about 10 pm to 8 pm in the evening. But, some markets here are open till 10 pm. The best time to visit here is between November-February during the winter season, as the temperature remains cool during this time.
How to reach Khari Baoli of Chandni Chowk -
The nearest metro stations to reach here would be Chawri Bazar and Chandni Chowk. From there you can walk to the spice market.
What else to see in Old Delhi -
After visiting the spice market, you can also go to the places around Chandni Chowk. The Red Fort here will be very close to Old Delhi. It used to be the palace of the Mughal royal family when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. You can also go for a walk in the Jama Masjid built by Shah Jahan. Karim is also a good restaurant for delicious food.