Delhi has heaps of culture and history in practically every brick, every small lane, every nook and cranny.

To the point where even those who have been born and raised in this city still constantly come across interesting bits about Delhi that they had never been aware about.

One such thing I came across was the Ghantewala Halwai shop in Chandni Chowk. Although it was shut down in 2015 due to various issues, the fact that a sweet shop managed to traverse the route from the 18th century to the 21st century is something to be impressed about.

It went from serving Mughal emperors to British people (probably), to some of the most known politicians of India, all the while being a constant for the busy bylanes of Chandi Chowk in Old Delhi.

What Was The History Of This Shop?

The shop named ‘Ghantewala Halwai’ opened its gates in 1790 CE and was founded by Lala Sukh Lal Jain.

Jain had come to Delhi from Amer/Amber, a city in Rajasthan around the time that Sindhia helped to restore Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II to kinghood.

After he passed away the shop was run by his descendants for almost seven generations.

The word ‘ghantewala’ has several theories behind it with some believing that Emperor Shah Alam II himself gave it the title because the shop was located under the bell or ghanta.

Read More: Why Is The Old Delhi Metro Station Also Called A ‘Time Machine’?

While others believe that the name came from the founder himself having to walk from street to street while ringing a bell in order to get customers. This could have led to people calling him “Ghantewala” which later on could have been the source of the name of the shop itself.

One of the earliest sweets sold at the shop was a Rajasthani dessert called Mishri Mawa. Till 2015 a number of sweets were iconic to the shop one of them being their Sohan Halwa, while others included Karachi Halwa, Kaju Katli, Doda Barfi, Pista Barfi, and a special type of laddu called Andaaz-E-Halwai.

Why Did It Shut Down?

Apparently several legal and licensing issues had been plaguing one of the oldest halwai shops in India for some time.

Not to mention the increasing competition from newer shops that were able to attract customers through other and flashier means.

Kailash Jain, owners of the Old Famous Jalebi Wala said that “It is cent per cent because of Haldiram’s.”

He further added that “Ghantewala’s sohan halwa was the best in the city. They never compromised on the quality. It remained the same halwa until the last day. But Halidram’s across the road has too many items on offer. It slowly stole all the customers of Ghantewala. If Haldiram’s was situated opposite me, I too would have suffered.”

Image Credits: Google Images, Hardik Jain

Sources: BBC News, Wikipedia, Livemint

Find the blogger @chirali_08

This post is tagged under: Ghantewala Halwai, oldest halwai shop, oldest halwai shop delhi, oldest halwai shop india, ghantewala halwai old delhi, chandni chowk, ghantewala shut down, ghantewala halwai chandni chowk, haldirams, chandni chowk famous shops, desserts Indian, oldest Indian businesses

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