Snarled by traffic, crammed by shops selling silver jewelry, saris, blouses and mannequins dressed in lehengas, marking the entrance to stores filled with excited women shopping for a shaadi – Delhi’s most famous shopping street is characterized by drama, pandemonium and an old world charm quite lost in the otherwise buzzing metropolis.
No visit to Delhi is complete without a visit to Chandni Chowk, a name that we’ve heard while growing up in India, thanks to Bollywood. And of course I decided to check out this epic place. Since we were staying in Dwarka, we decided to start off the day early, and thank God for that. Because you need a lot of time to take in the charm that Chandni Chowk has to offer. And more so because the traffic jams in the narrow lanes will have you covering a distance of 1km in 45minutes (we of course decided to run it, since we love our workouts and what not *eyeroll*)
10:30am saw us at Chandni Chowk Metro Station , a station oh-so crowded even at that hour. It took us 10 minutes to cross the metro gates, and another ten to make it to the main street (the entrance to which was a tiny by-lane which reminded us of the lines leading up to Vaishno Devi)
Since the boy and I are both not interested in shopping, we decided to head straight to Paranthe waali gali. And boy oh boy, that food coma was great, and HOW! Here’s what we devoured over 2 hours.
Gobi, Paneer and Rabdi Paranthas
Deep fried paranthas stuffed with paneer and gobi. It took a great effort to say no to the next round. The shops usually ask you to order a minimum of 2 paranthas which come in a plate with chutneys and vegetable gravy. High on calories and satisfaction.
Rabdi paranthas are a work of art by God himself. One bite into this and you have rabdi oozing out, falling all over your fingers and sliding down from the sides of your mouth.
Because it’s been so long since I tasted some authentic desi sweets.
Mutton Seekh Kebab Roll at Karim’s
Overrated AF. It takes you 20 minutes to get to Jama Masjid from Chandni Chowk on foot. Once you reach, you stand in line to get a seat. Once you get your seat, you wait for the waiter to take your order. After which you wait for 20 minutes to get a roll. ONE ROLL. Which you gobble up in 2 minutes. You need to eat the rolls at Olympia in Pune to know how average this place is. 150 bucks for one roll, extremely meh IMO.
While Chandni Chowk was quite an experience, getting out of it was will always stay with us. A blow-by-blow account of what went down:
3:20pm- stuck in the by-lanes leading out of Jama Masjid. We decide to walk it down to the metro station which was 1.6km away.
3:40pm- still a kilometer away from the station.
4:00pm– reach the metro station which is crowded AF. Realise we can’t us the metro because I am losing out on time (had to be in Okhla at 5:15pm) (For some odd reason I decide it is the boy’s fault that I am late)
Change in the washroom at the Metro Station quickly and head out to catch an Uber (while he patiently waits)
4:25pm – After canceling an Uber, we finally get a guy who’s at Kashmiri Gate (we are at the Delhi Railway station entrance ) We assume Kashmiri Gate is the other side of the station so decide to walk it down. Realise we were wrong.
4:45pm – We’re back at the railway station gate and are waiting for our Uber. (I think by this time the boy is simply scared of me, hence he hasn’t yelled at me)
5:15pm – After all the sweating, fighting and crying we manage to get into our Uber. I obviously am really late, so I change in the car. Make up et all.
5:45pm – Finally crossed the 100mt road leading out of the railway station and on our way to Okhla.
6:40pm – Reach the venue of the Amazon India Fashion Week. 2 hours late :)
Kids, next time you’re planning to visit Chandni Chowk, keep aside an entire day for this. Also, wear closed shoes, you might decide to walk it down after seeing the traffic.
Can’t help thanking God that we’re both runners. And the fact that he can tolerate me at my worst.