Chawrasia, who won the Indian Masters in 2008 and Avantha Masters in 2011, carded an opening six-under-par 65 at Delhi Golf Club to join playing partner Richard T Lee on top of the leaderboard.
Starting on the back nine, Chawrasia picked up birdies at the 12th, 17th and 18th to reach the turn in 32 before carding further birdies at the first, sixth and eighth in a flawless round.
Canadian Lee, a regular on the co-sanctioning Asian Tour who finished fourth in Thailand last week and fifth in Malaysia the week before, also did not drop a shot and carded four birdies on the back nine and two more on the front.
Sri Lanka’s Mithun Perera was two shots off the pace after a 67 with England’s Matt Fitzpatrick two shots further back after a 69 containing five birdies, one bogey and one double bogey on the tight, tree-lined layout.
Maybank Malaysian Open winner and home favourite Anirban Lahiri was among the afternoon starters and birdied the first two holes before running up a double-bogey six on the fourth.
That dropped him back to level par alongside playing partner Miguel Angel Jimenez, who had opened with five straight pars. Jimenez missed out on being named European Ryder Cup captain for 2016 on Wednesday, with Darren Clarke the unanimous choice of the five-man selection panel.