The Beginning: How Chandni Chowk got it's nameWhen the famous Mughal Emperor Shahjahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and established the city of Shahjahanabad, he had the majestic Red Fort or Lal Qila, on the banks of River Yamuna. Chandni Chowk was built in 1650 AD as an accompaniment to the fort. It was designed by Jahanara, the Emperor's favorite daughter. A large chowk ("square") with a central pool was built at some distance from the fort.
The story goes that on a moonlit night, the new complex and the pool lay shimmering; as a result, it acquired the name of Chandni Chowk- "the moonlit square".
Another legend says that the Chowk was named after it's silversmiths and there is a confusion of the word 'chandi' (silver) with 'chandni' (moonlit).