Delhi never ceases to surprise us with its magnificence and Daryaganj is one of its marvel. Of course the Sunday Book Market of Daryaganj is known to all, as a flea market that vanishes into thin air during the weekdays. This is why you may be surprised when a casual Sunday detour in the area suddenly leaves you in front of a street completely filled with bookshops! Well books are just the tip of the iceberg. Nearest Metro to Daryaganj is Delhi Gate Metro Station on Voilet line.
So. let us dig in deep and explore more about this gem of a place aka Daryaganj.
Daryaganj’s history is as old as the old city of Shahjahanabad. During the Mughal era, this market was known as Faiz Bazaar and was an important commercial place. It was a very posh and vibrant market. The place had beautiful houses on both sides of a stream from a hauz (water storage tank) flowing down the centre. It had trees lined up for shade and it looked like a marvellous piece of garden turned into a market. Shops lined on both sides of the market starting from Delhi Gate to the Iron Bridge (Lohe ka Pull), which no longer exists.
Daryaganj Book Market
As they say, “you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy books and that’s kind of the same thing.” Hidden away in the by-lanes of purani Dilli lies the Daryaganj Sunday book bazaar, helping people add some amazing books to their collections at throwaway prices since as long as one can remember. The book lover in you will come out loud after sheer volume of books for sale and they’re going to be dirt cheap!
The Daryaganj Sunday Book Market is not the kind of market you’re used to seeing in Delhi, so don’t go there expecting big shops with books on display in glass cases and helpful attendants who will look for the books you want. The new and old books will be lined up on the pavements quite neatly so that you can easily peruse through all the titles. But sometimes, you’ll have to rummage through a giant pile of books yourself so get ready to get your hands dirty!
Daryaganj beyond the books
As you walk along the pavement, you will find so much more than books. Daryaganj is a popular commercial hub for branded electronic goods such as mobiles phone, and other shops specialising in science lab equipment.
Old coins, stationary, trinkets, and even clothes are for sale here. There’s also a little bit of history on the way as well in the form of the famous Delhi Gate that was built by Shah Jahan in 1638. It’s just across from the market and a lovely sight to behold!
Eateries in Daryaganj
After a long and well-spent morning of book hunting, you might feel like taming the hunger monster, and luckily, there is no dearth of options in and around Daryaganj. It’s home to some legendary restaurants like Moti Mahal (who proudly state that they have no other branch), Changezi Chicken and Chor Bizarre, and a stone’s throw away are the deservedly famous Karim’s near Jama Masjid and Paranthe Wali Gali in Chandni Chowk.
So if you are planning to explore the charms of Old Delhi, then Daryaganj should be on your radar.
P.S. Carry a backpack with you as you might not resist your favorite reads at throwaway prices!