Also known as the Meena Bazaar, this shopping arcade in the Red Fort was for the imperial household. Here merchants sold costumes, jewellery, embroidery, cloth, silk, carpets, rugs, precious stones, gold and silver utensils, spices, perfumes and all other items essential for a life of ostentation and luxury. Other folk shopped in Chandni Chowk outside.
Once a week the bazaar was open only for the ladies of the court and all the shops were staffed by women.
Bazaars were usually open-air affairs but this one was an architectural innovation in having a roof. Shah Jahan may well have been influenced in this from visiting a covered bazaar in Peshawar, then in north-eastern India, and decided it would be ideal for Delhi’s climate.
Today it’s a bazaar for tourists with crafts for sale from all over India. Bargain hard.
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