What you should know about Old Delhi Spice Market
The Old Delhi spice market – Khari Baoli – is said to be the largest wholesale spice market in Asia. Khari Baoli stands for „salty water step well“. That is to say, it was used for animals and bath in historic times dating back to the 17th century.
The main street named Khari Baoli is packed with people. They are working, eating, chatting, sleeping, praying and what else belongs to daily life activities. Consequently, you can only explore the area by foot. For this reason, you should plan your trip carefully as no taxi will go there or pick you up from there. Alternatively, you can take a Rikscha or walk back to the Metro Station at the Red Ford.
What you can expect of Old Delhi Spice Market
Moreover, you should bring some time! Just stand or sit somewhere and observe the crowd. You will see legions of coolies – the thela wallahs – carrying goods on their heads and with their carts. Or they just wait for their next job. Then there are the numerous traders, salesmen & saleswomen directing the coolies and selling their goods as well as customers on a bargain hunt. The picture will be completed by school boys in the afternoon on their way back from school. And finally not to forget the worshippers from the nearby Fatepuri Mosque and some tourists. After a while, you will see that people approach you being curious what brings you there. Mind though that very people few speak English. As I had a local friend on my side I was able to conduct a few interviews with those I took a photo.
In conclusion, Khari Baoli is a melting pot of people from all over India, a distinct smell of hard work labors, spices, nuts and tea and a sheer amount of dust and mud. In other words, it is definitely worth a trip. Have a look yourself!
For more photos see the Galleries: https://www.horschke-fotografie.com/project/india-old-delhi-spice-market