If New Delhi is the cosmopolitan side of Delhi, Old Delhi is the heart, where the attraction lies in it’s vintage chaotic life. Walking through Old Delhi is like transporting yourself back in time, to the era of Shah Jahan who first laid foundation of this vivid sprawling city. Old Delhi or Purani Dilli as it is lovingly called by the Delhiites was first designed as a walled city of Delhi by Mughal emperor Shah Jahan as his new headquarters. In 1648, the construction was finally complete and city remained the heart of Mughal Empire until 1857, when it fell into the hands of the British. During this time, Mughals built many memorable monuments across the city, bestowing on us a wealth of architectural art that even today is a source of inspiration. Central to Old Delhi was the Chandini Chowk market and Jama Masjid, surrounding which much of the day-to-day excitement happened. Today, the reign of Shah Jahan may have gone but his Purani Dilli remains the heart and soul of Delhi.
When one usually talks about Old Delhi, they limit themselves to Chandini Chowk. However, Purani Dilli is so much more than that. Chandini Chowk is just one facet of Old Delhi. This ancient market is a sprawling network of narrow lanes choked with shops, decades-old houses and tiny eateries that have been around for a long time. From bridal clothes to handcrafted paper, Chandini Chowk sells everything under the sun. What you will get will be extremely pocket-friendly and stunningly exotic. Your hunt for spices will take you towards Chawri Bazaar. This is where you can restock your spice pantry for highly cheap prices. Not many people know but Old Delhi is home of famous Urdu poet, Mirza Ghalib, whose poetic work is still inspires artists. His heritage haveli silently stands in the nook of Purani Dilli bearing the patina of time, a site unknown to many visitors.
Carry your tripod to the majestic Jama Masjid and capture the sun bouncing off the ancient red stone corridors. This holy monument is a place of great tranquility and mesmerizing beauty. Navigate the lanes behind Jama Masjid to sample authentic Mughlai food. Shah Jahan’s Old Delhi remains one of the most fascinating parts of Delhi city and deserves a tour of it’s own. It retains the old-fashioned vibe handed over through the times of Shah Jahan. Through this Shah Jahan Tour, you will be able to peek through a window in time to the era of Mughal grandeur reflected through imposing architectures, traditional practices, generations of merchants and stories left behind by the ancestors. We will introduce you to that hole in the wall shops you would have otherwise missed; mind-blowing gastronomy locals swear by and guide you through the jungle of architecture of Old Delhi studded with color and life.
Every person with wanderlust has Delhi on their list and for the right reason. This culturally diverse city is known for it’s ancient heritage, colorful noise and rich background. Plan your visit soon, for this city has a lot to offer.