Operating since 17th Century, Khari Baoli is the biggest spice market in Asia which attracts tourists for its inheritance. Built in 1650 by Fatehpuri Begam (one of the wives of Shah Jahan), the area was a salty water steep-well which was used for bathing and for animals. Hence the place derives its name – Khari means Salty and Baoli means Steep-well.
You can find shops at Khari Baoli as old as running by their ninth or tenth generations. The names of the shops in ancient times were assigned with numbers like ‘21 number ki dukan’, ‘13 number ki dukaan’ and these names are still maintained. So in a way, each shop spells its glorified history.
From exotic to iconic, shops at Khari Baoli offers exclusive as well as commonly used spices as per your requirements. You can also buy spices like mulberries and prunes imported from Afghanistan. In case you looking for dried plums, you can grab best of them brought down here from Kashmir. From Chillis to Nut and Unrefined Spices, pulses, herbs rice and dry fruits, the market houses varied varieties of each class. Rare Ayurvedic medicines and herbs are also available here which can work wonders for certain diseases.
Fewer of us are aware of the fact that not just spices; ‘Khoya’ (solid milk) makes this place popular among food-lovers as well. Khoya is basically used as a prime ingredient in preparation of many Indian traditional sweets like Burfi, Rabri, Gulab Jamun, Rasgulla, Milk Cake etc. Three types of khoya are available here serving three different purposes. The one in solid form is generally used for making ‘Burfi’ while the looser forms are used to make rasgulla or milk cake. You can locate ‘Khoya’ shops in between the spice shops. Another product ‘Jaggery’ is also available here, which has great effects on body upon its consumption.
The place is quite congested and the shops are located within the lanes and by lanes. You can find here shops as small as 1 meter wide. But don’t underestimate their volume of trade by comparing their sizes. You shall be amazed to know that even these small shops trades for a whooping amount of 1 crore or more within a month.
The strong smell of spices at Khari Baoli will pull you towards this place, in case you are passing near by the market. Not just spices, you can also explore numerous street eat options here as well.
Address: Swami Vivekanand Marg, Katra Pedan, Fatehpuri, Old Delhi (Map)
Timings: 6:00 AM – 9:00 PM