Ten-Second Takeaway

Waking up at 6am on a Sunday might seem like a laughable idea, but once you reach the once famed and now mysterious chor bazaar, Delhi, you won’t be laughing any more.

Delhi From The Heart

The sheer crowd and bustle behind the Red Fort at the crack of dawn rendered us completely speechless. chor bazaar sells varied but massive amounts of clothes, shoes and much, much more. It has been said that this market is one spot in the city where one can find anything under the sun.

Starting from heaps of clothes to hoards of hardware and tools, chor bazaar completely awed us with its variety and prices. If your bargaining skills have to be honed, then a visit to these lanes is a must.

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What will you find here? Everything in this market is either damaged, second hand, stolen or surplus, and one must have the eye to differentiate. You will find some ultra cool shoes, which may or may not be export surplus, and slightly damaged {or not} leather stuff from brands like Woodland, Clarks, Steve Madden, Zara, and Trafaluq {at INR 400 approx.}.

We were completely floored by the leather boots and tie-ups {including brogues, Oxfords and boat shoes}, but it must be said that you will have to sift through a lot for sizes. Men’s shirts and kurtas are sold by the dozen, and the variety is amazing {Van Heusen and Allen Solly on one hand, unheard of rip offs on the other}. Also expect to find wallets {INR 50 onwards}, watches and perfumes here.

Lanes Not For The Latecomers

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Inside the lanes, you will find old fans, scores of shops selling spanners and screwdrivers {hardware heaven, if we may} and sports goods. Cricket bats, balls, shuttle cocks and skipping ropes; you will find them all. For those looking for cheap house furnishings, we even found a couple of carpet traders.

And since this is Old Delhi, you cannot miss out on the food. Even at 7am, you will come across hawkers offering chicken biryani, pineapple salad, fresh juices and bread pakoras.

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Darya-Ganj Dreams

If you ask us, we’d suggest you stay a bit longer and explore the adjacent Darya Ganj Sunday book market that starts opening up around 10am—make it an adventurous Sunday!

PS: Do wear comfortable clothes with deep pockets. We suggest you carry your money in your jeans and not carry wallets or purses. There is a lot of jostling so the chances of pickpocketing are high {yes, we see the irony}. Also use public transportation, since finding parking is a hassle.

Photos: Kasturi Roy/LBB