Chandni Chowk

Old Delhi, India

Contributed by Project for Public Spaces

An amazing array of attractions on a street that is the spine of one of the liveliest districts in the world.

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Why It Works

The word "chaos" doesn't do justice to the amazing array of attractions in Chandni Chowk, a network of streets that forms the transportation spine of Old Delhi. Here, in Northern India's largest trading center, everything is for sale and everyone is out on the street. Elephants rub ankles with scooters, and the air is filled with a mixture of succulent aromas and sour odors. Exciting, but not for the faint of heart.

This is Northern India's largest trading center and can be found at, and surrounding, the main street in Old Delhi.

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History & Background

The name Chandni Chowk literally means 'Moonlit Square' - the square was designed in front of the Red Fort by the Mughal Emperor Shahjahan's daughter Jahanara sometime around 1650CE. A main feature of the square was a pool at its centre, which supposedly reflected moonlight towards the Fort.

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