Before you venture into Old Delhi, remember it can be an exhausting and trying experience. You may find it too crowded, dirty and hot. But the labour will be worth it for the cheap bargains it will fetch and the adventure it will offer.

CHANDNI CHOWK: It is the perfect place to shop in. This densely populated market has been around for more than three centuries and was once visited by merchants from Turkey, China and even Holland. You may buy curios and souvenirs from here. Dariba Kalan is known for its pearl, gold and silver jewellery and attar (natural perfumes). Gulab Singh Johri Mal, established in 1819, are well-known manufacturers and exporters of attar. A visit to Khari Baoli is a must for spices - don't forget spices are what connected India to the West. Kinari Bazaar is the best place to look for zari and zardozi trimmings and tinsel. The cloth bazaar of Katra Neel offers all kinds of fabrics such as silks, satin, crepe, cotton and muslin. Bhagirath Palace is Asia's largest market for electrical goods and also offers medical equipment and allopathic medicines. Moti Bazaar is famous for shawls and pearls and Tilak Bazaar for chemicals.

NAI SARAK: A popular book-shopping destination in Old Delhi is Nai Sarak. Connecting the main Chandni Chowk Road with Chawri Bazaar, Nai Sarak has numerous wholesale and retail shops selling college and school textbooks. Just a left turn from the famous Paranthewali Gali will take you to Nai Sarak. You will also find shops that sell only stationery items. The market remains closed on Sundays.

CHOR BAZAAR: Located near the Red Fort and Lajpat Rai Market, Chor Bazaar literally means "Thieves' Market". From electronic items to designer clothes, you can find everything here. Prices are enticingly low but the life of the product can't be guaranteed. You have to depend on verbal assurances and on your own judgement.

CHHATTA CHOWK: The Chhatta Chowk Bazaar, which dates back to the 17th century, was meant for ladies in veil. In this covered thoroughfare leading up to the Red Fort, the caravan traders would lay out their wares and move away. The ladies could then come and make their choice without being observed. Today,the market has 40-odd shops selling artificial and semi-precious jewellery, embroidered bags, hand-painted wall hangings and 'antiques' with dubious authenticity.

DARYAGANJ BOOK MARKET: Be it the latest best-seller or an out-of-print book, Delhi is a hot destination for buying books. Stretching for more than a kilometre, the Daryaganj Old Book Market is often referred to as the world's largest weekly book market. It is held every Sunday.

Most of the books available here are used. Besides the throwaway price, the availability of a wide variety and out-of-print, difficult-to-find books draws buyers here. From fiction to medical sciences, architecture to cookery, comics to atlases, classics to magazines, and management to hobbies, name any genre and you can find it here.