Hafta Bazaars of Delhi

in Module
Published on: 17 September 2019

Ashish Kumar Yadav

Ashish Kumar Yadav is a graduate student at Cluster Innovation Centre, University of Delhi. He completed his undergraduate studies with a major in Economics and minor in Journalism. He has done research projects on topics ranging from market and education to history and culture, and is co-founder of an NGO named Academia Society.

Weekly markets (hafta bazaars/saptahik bazaars) have been in vogue for centuries. In spite of the influx the malls, supermarkets and departmental stores, they have been able to maintain their place in today’s economy. Not only do these bazaars fulfill the daily needs of the people but they also serve as centres for political and sociocultural exchanges.

The DelhiNCR region has thousands of hafta bazaars and it is surprising to see how they survive despite the proliferation of permanent markets, general stores and malls.[1]The local weekly markets embody the cultures and traditions of Delhi and thus need to be preserved. However, while these traditional markets held weekly at a designated place are considered important markers of the city’s cultural continuity[2]little focus has been given on their emergence and history.This module explores the culture and history of  Delhi’s hafta bazaars with a special mention on the mahila bazaar, the only women’s weekly bazaar, located near the Civic Centre building. 


The author wants to thank Team Hafta Bazaar (Abhishek Kumar Sharma, Abhishek Kumar Singh, Ayush Shukla, Kirti Krishan, Shubrat Katiyar, Abhijeet Parmar, Niti Pathak and Saleem Mir) who first started mapping the hafta bazaars of Delhi. Further, special thanks goes out to Sneha Singh and Dushyant for their contribution to the project.


[1] Acharya, ‘A Bhisti Ruled an Empire Once.’

[2] Hashmi, ‘The Hafta Bazaars of Delhi.’ 

Acharya, Amitangshu. ‘A Bhisti Ruled An Empire Once.’ The Hindu, ‘Sunday Magazine’, New Delhi, August 4, 2018. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://www.thehindu.com/society/history-and-culture/a-bhisti-ruled-an-empire-once/article24601760.ece.

Hashmi, Sohail. ‘The Hafta Bazaars of Delhi.’ Kafila. 2007. Accessed August 28, 2019. https://kafila.online/2007/08/06/the-hafta-bazaars-of-delhi/.