A look into New Delhi's Daryaganj Sunday book market
Any book lover worth his or her salt will want to visit the Sunday book market at Daryaganj, before dying. The Daryaganj book market is a paradise for any avid reader- the prices are cheap and the options are endless.Getting to Daryaganj is relatively easy. One could take the metro and get down at Chawri Bazaar and then either walk or take one of the many cycle rickshaws available. Alternatively one could always take an auto directly to the book market or from the Ajmeri Gate side of the New Delhi Railway Station.
Pile of Books on the roadside in Daryaganj
Once there, one will not have a dearth of options. Lined on both sides of the streets and gulis are sellers with their books spread out in front of them. There are possibilities of one finding books that may not be available in regular book stalls due to them being difficult to order or find.
One would even find out of print books. All these books would cost one half of what one would be expected to pay in an upmarket book store. The sales start from as low as twenty INR. This writer has herself found novels of international best selling authors for the above mentioned twenty INR, which have market prices of at least two hundred and fifty INR.Of course, most books sold here are second hand. But one can be assured that one would not face issues like “pages missing in between” and other similar problems.
Enjoying the street food in Daryaganj Book market
The market opens at 7 o’clock in the morning, but by around 9 a.m., the place is teeming with crowds. While, the crowd mostly comprises of students, on the look out for inexpensive options for reference work or text books, the avid book lover will also be on the look out for steal deals.However, it is not only novels or reference books that one would find on sale here. Coffee table books in perfect condition, fashion magazines like Vogue, foreign publications, sports or car magazines, gardening books, knitting, books related to culinary arts- these are only some of the books that one would easily find in the Daryaganj Sunday book market.
If one gets sweaty and tired, which one might , especially in the heat of the Delhi summers, one could try the shikanji walas and cool down with one of their lemonades with bits of ice floating on one’s lemonade.To quell those pangs of hunger, Daryaganj has ample options. Several gulis have amazing bread pakoras for sale- one can watch the bread pakoras being fried in front of one and then being served piping hot with sweet and sour chutney. One also should definitely try the Rabri-faluda while in Daryaganj. Most Old Delhi markets serve Rabri- Faluda and most of them serve it up rather well.
If one is in Delhi for either a holiday or is just passing through, one should be sure to visit this market. It sits only on Sunday, when the rest of the stores are mostly closed. The ambience of the market is electric and the amazing bargain options would surely be worth all one’s efforts.
Himanshu is blogger and an avid adventure enthusiast with a passion for travel and cultural immersion.