The Ghantewala Halwai, the oldest Indian shop situated at Chandni Chowk Bazar, Delhi was founded by Lala Sukh Lal Jain in 1790.The Ghantewala was a popular attraction for everyone; from Mughal Emperors to leading politicians in the country, everyone visited Ghantewala and tasted its famous Sohan Halwa. The Mughal Empire is not there, the Britishers have gone, and Nehru and Rajiv Gandhi are also not there but Ghantewala was still running until the year 2015. In July 2015, The shop closed down due to falling sales and legal issues with the Delhi pollution control committee.
Lala Sukh Lal Jain established Ghantewala in the year 1790. Ghantewala got its name from the Mughal Emperor Shah Alam II. The emperor who used to live in the Red Fort asked his servants to bring sweets from the shop which was below the toll of a bell.(Ghante ke neeche wali dukaan). Whenever the bell rings the emperor sends his servant for the sweets from the Ghantewala. That’s how it got its name.
Visit from notable celebrities
The Ghantewala was already famous in the 19th century. It got mentioned in the daily newspaper in the year 1857. In the year 1924, Indra Gandhi sent boxes of Gantewala sweets to the Indian troop based in Korea. The first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and the Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi also visited the Ghantewala Halwai shop at Chandni Chowk Bazar.
In the year 1954, BR Chopra’s Chandni Chowk got released. Ghantewala shop replica was made on the sets of Mumbai to give the movie an authentic feel.
The Sohan halwa was the favourite product of Ghantewala Halwai. It is a mixture of milk, water, sugar and cornflour with a hint of saffron for flavour and garnishing of almonds and pistachios. Visitors major attraction at Ghantewala was the Sohan Halwa.
Ghantewala was shut down in July 2015. The seventh descendent of the shop Sushant Jain lamented “I know I can’t do it. The system has defeated me. I had to wind up Ghantewala. It was heartbreaking for my family. We cried the whole day. If anyone wants to take a franchise I am open to the idea.
Ghantewala was the 225 years old heritage of our country. We request somebody to take the franchise and preserve our country heritage.