Situated near the Delhi Gate and close to Chandni Chowk, the Kitab Bazaar at Daryaganj is a paradise for bookworms. Every Sunday, hundreds of sellers get together to showcase their collections that stretches across two kilometers of shops.
You can find almost everything in Daryaganj, from novels and coffee table books to engineering and medicine periodicals. The titles are mostly secondhand, and the prices go as low as you can bargain; it is not uncommon to close deals for as low as INR 20. In some places you can even purchase novels by kilo, or exchange the ones you’ve already read for new ones and pay a lower fare.
Book stores are often overpriced, and paying “INR 400 for a book is not affordable for school and college students,” said one of the 270 vendors from Daryaganj in an interview with Hindustan Times. Meanwhile, the street market offers the same titles for up to ¼ of the in-store rate, making the students and readers lives easier. “We are not profit driven,” said another seller, as “(...) the aim of this scheme is to make books available to everyone.”
Apart from books you can also buy stationery, and shop from a wide collection of stamps, rare coins, and other souvenirs. A pro tip – considering that most shopkeepers don’t offer bags, it’s a good idea to bring one with you. The first stretch of the market is pretty crowded, so keep an eye out for pickpockets, wear comfortable shoes and get there early! Don’t ask rickshaw drivers to take you to the book market, or you’ll end up in Nai Sarak. Take a ride to Delhi Gate, and walk from there.
Where: 4-7, Asaf Ali Road, Chatta lal Miya, Chandni Mahal, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi.
When: Every Sunday, from 6.00 AM to 9.00 PM.
Feature image courtesy of Syed Zeeshan Ahmed via Dawn