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Aromas unlimited: What we know about Asia’s largest spice market in India

Published: Updated:

Asia’s biggest spice market in the heart of old Delhi offers more than just aroma and taste.

The story goes that there used to be a salty-water stepwell at the spot where the market came up. Hence the name Khari Baoli as Khari is salty in Hindi and Baoli is stepwell.

The market dates back to the Mughal era and has transformed over a period of time. The market offers a variety of local and exotic spices.

Loaded on camels

According to Sanjay Bhargava, a trader here says spices used to be brought to this market loaded on camels and horses.

“Kharo Baloli is all about spices and dry fruits. Most of us are fifth or sixth generation traders. We inherited this trade from the Mughal era,” he said.

Ramit Mitra, food historian, says when the British Empire came about controlling this area, they ensured that lot of businessmen from different parts of India make this as their trade hub.

“When railways lines were laid in India, a railway station was established near this market. A few extensions were added later,” he says.