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  Metros   Delhi  15 Jul 2017  Khan Market: From refugee camp to luxe shopping destination

Khan Market: From refugee camp to luxe shopping destination

THE ASIAN AGE. | SHRINKHALA SHARMA
Published : Jul 15, 2017, 2:33 am IST
Updated : Jul 15, 2017, 2:33 am IST

the market was named by the immigrants after Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan, the brother of freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

Located in between the high-end streets occupied by VIPs and big businessmen, the market stands as one of the classiest hotspots for hanging around in the National Capital Region (NCR).
 Located in between the high-end streets occupied by VIPs and big businessmen, the market stands as one of the classiest hotspots for hanging around in the National Capital Region (NCR).

New Delhi: Standing strong since 1951, the double-storey market at Khan Market comprises of shops which were allocated as seed land to immigrants from the Northwest Frontier Province after the partition of India. It is a local commercial area for the elite, popularly known as Khan Market. The market was named by the immigrants after Khan Abdul Jabbar Khan, the brother of freedom fighter Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan.

Located in between the high-end streets occupied by VIPs and big businessmen, the market stands as one of the classiest hotspots for hanging around in the National Capital Region (NCR).

Unlike other local markets in the city, it is never crowded enough. Influx of deluxe vehicles is a common sight in the market place. One can hardly spot anyone walking down to the market.

The parking lot is usually overflowing during lunch hours and after sunset. The yellow boards, which attract the eyes around the parking lot, reads ‘Free Parking.’ This correspondent, however, witnessed a parking attendant stopping a car and asking for money. The board also reads ‘No. of cars can be parked – 78,’ but the area had more vehicles parked than the designed limit. The vehicles were parked vertically along the wall and then horizontally in front of them. Not only that, the cars were parked on the other side as well as on the road outside. These luxurious vehicles sometimes lead to traffic jams on the outer road as well.

The market place is filled with a wide range of shops from branded cosmetics like Colorbar to costly salons like Toni & Guy in addition to eating joints and cafes.

It is a hub of all essential things, including chemist, clock repair, mobile accessories and repair, photo studio, gift shop, pet shop, florist, optical stores, and many more. Notably, the shopping centre has mini stores that sell products similar to those found in Sarojini Nagar. However, the same extent of bargaining is not allowed here.

Ranjan, a worker at Sim’s Cucina, an open cosmetic and clothing store, said: “97 per cent of my customers are regular. They buy something or the other whenever they pass by the shop.”

He has been working here for 10 years now and his customers get cheaper products at his store than they do at the other high-priced outlets.

Diplomats and affluent people of the society end up here as they feel safe.

The only doctor that has a clinic-cum-showroom inside the shopping centre is Dr Monga, a contact lens specialist. He had marked this place in 1950 while he was studying at Dayal Singh College. Since then he has been handling this place all by himself.

“The customers I had then were the VIPs who lived here. But now they have been posted elsewhere. Now, new customers come here who do not trust easily and are not so regular,” said Dr Monga. Khan Market’s early history is marked by some iconic shops like Bombay Fruit Mart, which was established in 1965, and Shri Ram Hari Ram Jewellers, which was established in 1789.

One remarkable book store that stands apart from the sumptuous market is Faqir Chand and Sons. Established in 1951, the store has not seen much change in the infrastructure. The walls have been beautifully veiled with thousands of book stacks forming book walls. The shopping centre also offers free public toilets which are surprisingly hygienic and clean.

Tags: national capital region, free parking, freedom fighter
Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi