Chandni Chowk is one of the oldest and busiest markets in central north Delhi, India. The area is in the historically important Shahjahanabad (Old Delhi) and was a famous and dominating square during Mughal times. It is between the Lal Qila (Red Fort) and Fatehpuri Masjid. The most famous mosque of Delhi the Jama Masjid (Friday Mosque) in the vicinity, Jain Mandir and a lot of small temples, the whole area exhibits a genuine cultural harmony.
Today the Gurudwara Sis Ganj commemorates an extremely significant event in Sikh history, the execution of Guru Tejh Bahadur on the orders of Aurangzeb in 1675, which had a profound impact on the future direction of the Sikh religion. Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru undertook the supreme sacrifice for the protection of one of the most fundamental human rights — the right of a person to freely practice his or her own religion without interference or hindrance. Today, we tend to take this freedom for granted – but in 1675, when all of the Hindus of Aurangzeb's Moghul Empire were being threatened with conversion to Islam at the point of a sword Guru Tegh Bahadur bravely challenged the Emperor telling him that if he could accomplish his conversion to Islam all of the Pandits of Kashmir would willingly become Muslims. Guru Tegh Bahadur's victory, at the cost of his own life, and his brave companions' lives, forestalled Aurangzeb's plans of a forced mass conversion.
Chandni Chowk Today
Chandni Chowk's speciality is the variety of its markets and their Indian-ness. From authentic Indian food, delicacies and sweets of more than 1000 kinds, to sarees with chikan and zaree work. There are lots of narrow lanes with many shops selling books, clothing, shoes and leather goods, electronic and consumer goods and what not. The area, even more so than the rest of the city, is congested. This is also a good area for window shopping. It is the location of the original Haldiram's. A particular local delicacy are the jalebis, which are fried in pure ghee (clarified butter).
- See the Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadar for more details.