The 50-year-old book market hosts books of all genres like fiction, non-fiction, novels and many more. Spread over a distance of 1 kilometer, it is an amazing experience to work across the market amid the luring smell of the books.
“Books open your mind, broaden your Mind
And strengthen you as nothing else can” – William Feather
An ardent reader graces the touch of a book with delight and yearns for the enticing plots portrayed in books of eminent authors. The Daryaganj Book Market provides the perfect fulfillment of a reader’s desire and crave for new books.
Kitab Bazaar – The 50 Year Old Sunday Book Market
Day and Time
The Book Market is open only on Sundays. The shops generally open by 9:00 AM. During summers it’s better to reach by 9:00 AM or the latest by 9:30 AM. In winters, since its quite chilly in Delhi, even the shopkeepers open their shops late. Hence you can reach by 10:30 AM. It’s better to reach early since the crowd starts mounting up fast as the day progresses.
How to Reach
If you are availing public transport, the nearest metro station is Chandni Chowk. From there you can take a rickshaw or auto to reach the market. Buses also ply between Daryaganj and across different parts of Delhi.
You can also go in your car or bike. Parking will not be an issue as the other shops and markets are generally closed on Sundays.
The market stretches from Asaf Ali Road right after the Delite cinema hall to Netaji Subhash Marg, where you can find the Golcha cinema hall.
The Books and Shops
You will be astonished to find the number of books spread across the entire market. There are both old and new books on sale. Certain books are also sold in kilos, some are offered at discounted rates and few best books are also sold as low as 10 bucks. You can easily buy 4-5 books at 100 bucks.
The books are lined up on the pavements in an organized fashion, quite easy for the readers to sort and choose their preferred ones. The prices are pretty cheap with numerous books available on sale. The books range from science fiction, non-fictions stories, children’s books, art books, and even coffee table books. There are novels from famous authors, some first editions from aspiring authors and even signed copies of books. Students can also find multiple study materials in different subjects at affordable prices to prepare for school as well as entrance exams. Children’s collection series from Lady Bird, Disney and several bedtime stories for toddlers are available in plenty in the market.
The Book Market attracts readers with preferences for various literary works. The multitude of books present in the markets entices voracious readers from across the city and also many visitors from different parts of the world.
You can also find the offices of prominent book publishers like S. Chand and Co., Prentice Hall India, Oxford University Press and many more. Daryaganj hosts the famous Hindi literary magazine, Hans.
Along with the stupendous collection of books, the shops also stock up the common stationaries like pens, pencils, erasers, paper clips, stick-on, markers and many more at very cheap rates.
There are several fast food stalls selling samosas, bread pakoras, kebabs and even Chinese dishes like chow mein. Fruit juice stalls and shops selling lassi and cold drinks are also available in plenty. Brijwasi Namkeen Bhandar is one of the popular shops in the market.
Even old coins, trinkets and clothes are available at the shops on the pavement. Certain shops even sell musical instruments like guitar, piano, drums, tabla, veena, sitar, etc.
There are a few notable restaurants situated close to the market. The key ones are the Moti Mahal famous for dishes from the traditional north Indian cuisine and Chor Bizarre famous for serving dishes from the Kashmiri cuisine. You can also check the famous Paranthe Wali Gali, a narrow street in the Chandni Chowk area, selling one of the tastiest parathas in the city.
Well if you like to go sightseeing from the market premises, you can do that too. The famous Delhi gate built by Shah Jahan in 1638, the Red Fort and the Chandni Chowk are some of the historical places, present at a walking distance from the Sunday Book Market.
Few things to remember
- Be prepared to cover the entire stretch of 1 kilometer
- Wear comfortable walking shoes to prevent hurting your feet
- Better to carry a backpack or plastic bags since the shopkeepers do not provide books in a cover or a bag
- Carry water bottles since there are limited options for buying water
- Ensure to carry tissue paper or hand sanitizer since you are bound to get your hands dirty as you scour through the pile of books
- Keep a close watch on your valuables as the place is pretty crowded with different types of people
- Opt for bargaining wherever feasible, but some sellers follow a fixed price policy
A recent order by Delhi High Court has been passed to close the market since Netaji Subhash Chandra Marg is a no hawking zone and leads to congestion due to the market. The book shops will continue operating as before but the pavement ones will not be functional anymore. There is hope that a new place will be selected for relocating the market. The market had been earlier closed in 1990 and was restarted due to public demand and requests from imminent social personalities. Hence we all hope that the market will be restarted, maybe at a different location and continue to allure readers of various ages.