If you are equipped to traverse through the veins and arteries of Delhi then there can’t be a better experience, but if you aren’t, there can’t be anything worse for the simple reason that Chandni Chowk never fails at amusing travellers. In a place like this, where you encounter culturally distinct elements after every 10 metres, the overwhelming air that this place breathes can’t be missed. Even tour pilgrims who come here often for the sheer experience of it take back something different every time they come. Here are three uncommon facts about the cultural epicentre of the country, Chandni Chowk:
1.Begum Samru Ki Haveli
Right at the beginning of the street from the Red Fort side, one can see a Victorian building which currently is the Chandni Chowk branch of the State Bank of India. Begum Samru came to the Mughal court as a dancer in the 18th century and eventually fell in the favour of the emperor who gave her the estate of Sardana near Meerut. The building is Victorian in architecture since the begum married a British official. Later, it was controlled by the Imperial Bank, whose manager and his family were murdered on the rooftop by some Indian freedom fighters. For a brief point of time, the building also housed the Reserve Bank of India. It is one of the few banks in the country to have an ATM Gallery, which has many vending machines.
2. Japani Samosa
The Lajpat Rai market majorly famous for its electrical goods has the Japani Samosewaala food joint. The Samosa is distinct and high on calories, and sells like hot cakes early in the mornings to meet the energy demands of the cart pullers in the area. There are three theories behind the name. First, it is believed that the samosa was named so to commemorate the Hiroshima-Nagasaki nuclear bomb blast victims. Second, since it is small in size therefore it is Japani. Third, it has over 60 layers of maida and is shaped like a Japanese fan, thus the name.
3.Kuhlad Lassi at Galli Kuppewaali
On one of the smaller streets named Galli Kuppewali, which emanates from the Ballimaran lane, famous for the Galib ki Haveli and the shooting place of Delhi 6 is a Kuhlad Lassi vendor. The lassi is served in a clay tumbler called kuhlad. The tradition calls for breaking the tumbler after consuming the lassi by smashing it against the ground or the wall. The lassiwalla stops operations only from 2-5 AM, making it one of the hotspots for refreshing and energising yourselves.