You will be picked up from your hotel in Delhi and our guide will escort you in an air conditioned vehicle to Old Delhi, the walled part of Delhi that served as the capital of the Mughals until the end of the Mughal Dynasty.
In the 17th century, the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, made his capital in the area that broadly covers present-day Old Delhi. Today, it is one of the city’s most crowded, chaotic and captivating areas, with sights, smells, and sounds approaching sensory overload. You will walk through the colorful bazaars and historic shrines around Old Delhi’s main strip, Chandni Chowk. Hear about Old Delhi’s history from your guide as you pass by renowned sites like the UNESCO World Heritage Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India and one of Asia’s largest, and get a glimpse of the Red Fort. Walk past the Digambar Jain Temple. The focal devotional room (first floor) has images and statues of revered Jain figures such as Lord Mahavira and Lord Parasnath. There’s a bird hospital on the temple compound.
Next door is the Hindu Gauri Shankar Temple built in honor of Lord Shiva. It has a lingam believed to be around 800 years old, as well as statues of Shiva, Parvati (Shiva’s wife), and their sons, Ganesh and Kartik. The marble chair is that of the Hindu saint, Bhagat Swaroup Bramachari, who spent over 50 years at this temple. Not far away on Chandni Chowk is the Sisganj Gurdwara, a Sikh temple built at the place where, in 1675, the Mughals killed Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru. Continue walking until you come to the renowned Jalebiwala, a 140 year old sweet shop on the corner of Chandni Chowk and Dariba Kalan Road. Pause to fuel up on delicious sticky jalebis (deep-fried syrupy “squiggles”). Test the shopping at the bazaar along Dariba Kalan Road, which focuses on jewelry—mainly silver, but also some gold and jewelry. Walk a little further and you reach Kinari bazaar, which specializes in wedding paraphernalia, such as glittering tinsel decorations and ornate bridal accessories.
Enjoy a short rickshaw ride on your way to the spice market known as Khari Baoli, the biggest spice market in Asia. You then explore the area of Ballimaaran, home to many havelis (private mansions). Learn about the historical and architectural significance of these havelis, including Ghalib Ki haveli, the mansion of influential Urdu poet Mirza Ghalib. Take a left turn and you are in Delhi’s largest books market Nai Sarak.
You will end your walk at Jama Masjid mosque and return by vehicle to your hotel in Delhi.