Destination for shopaholics

MARKET AREA

Despite the presence of mall culture in Delhi, Ajmal Khan Road in Karol Bagh still remains a much sought-after shopping destination.

From garments to footwear, the place is one stop place for shopaholics. Crowded and congested, undoubtedly Ajmal Khan qualifies as one of Delhi’s biggest and arguably the most famous market in Delhi since the traders from West Punjab established it in the heart of the city
in 1950.

Ajmal Khan Road, well-known for shops of retail and wholesale garments and imported items, has something for everyone. There are desi retail outlets as well as showrooms of several international brands. “There are international brands here but customers come to Ajmal Khan Road because of the traditional shops where they can bargain a lot,” says Rajesh Kumar, who runs a garment store in a congested bylane. According to Praveen, international companies are here to promote their brands but they cannot replace the traditional market.

Interestingly, Rajesh’s shop is around 40 years old. It was started by his father. Remembering how the market has evolved in last few years, he says, “The lane in front of my stall was totally residential. Gradually, people started vacating the area because this place was getting commercialised and dealers were ready to pay good prices for the land. Today, all you can see is outlets of international brands.”

Another businessman, Praveen Kumar, who has spent 30 years of his life on Ajmal Khan Road selling garments and bags says, “I used to have a small shanty shop of garments for 20 years. It was about 10 years back that I got a space in the bylane and I decided to open a suitcase and bag shop.”

Reiterating Rajesh’s view, he says, “ Today, out of the total area under Ajmal Khan Road, only five percent remains residential.”

In the last few decades, as the residential colony converted into a commercial zone, the market also expanded. “Thanks to the proximity with the Metro line, the market has now covered the entire road. You get down at Karol Bagh metro station and directly go to Ajmal Khan Market,” says Shitij, who runs a saree shop started by his grandfather some 60 years ago.

“Because of the Metro line, the footfall has increased. The traffic situation has also improved a lot. People prefer to come by the Metro,” he says.  

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