I generally do not brag about my shopping escapades and more than anything else I love to explore the markets rather than buying everything on its first sight … but when someone asked me the other day what to buy from India? I was perplexed, do not know where to start from ? Hence this post …
India is a shopper’s paradise, you just can’t beat the incredible variety of gorgeous items at low prices, can be quiet overwhelming with multitude of choices and ranges, from fashion accessories to home decor , from fabric to spices, it encompasses everything in its bounds, nowhere in the world can you find such huge and wide range of collections, sometimes it is difficult to summarize all in a single post. Even though I will try my best to assemble top and best things you must buy from India.
With online shopping spreading its wings in India, shopping becomes more relaxing, a retail therapy in its truest sense , with rising economic power and fast broadband connectivity online shopping is slowly becoming the next big thing.
So here we go :
1) Fabric – Bollywood style – When it comes to fabric, India offers the vast range of fabric from export quality cottons to its famed and legendary silk, and the new age mixed fabric, you can get everything almost everywhere. From Bollywood style sarees , dress materials that can be stitched to suit your style, shawls and famed Pashmina stoles, Mumbai and Delhi are the best places to hunt for these. Mumbai and Delhi both boast for country’s top designer houses, other cities exclusively for sarees are Kolkata , Chennai and Ahmedabad. You will be perplexed about the ethnicity and designs it offers .
For new age cotton kurtis /tunic Delhi / Japiur is the best place to shop for.
2) Jewellery – is Indian women’s another obsession. It is very much part of their life (style) not just mere accessories. If you are too lured by the yellow metal, then gold jewellery is the best you can gift to yourself. Mumbai’s Zaveri bazaar, Surat’s diamond bazaar, Kolkata (do check the newly built fort Knox) and Jaipur best known for their jewellery specially the filigree work in gold.
Jaipur can be your destination for beaded and gemstones jewellery , you will get plenty of choices to suit your style and there is nothing like Indian bling ! If you are obsessed with bangles / wristlets /armlets head over to Hyderabad’s lad bazaar the best in the country in design, variety and style aspect. Hyderabad also offers the best pearl jewellery straight from Nizam’s palace. Do not believe me ! Go and see their collection !
3) Accessories – Flip flops / jootis and leather bags – Arguably India is top exporters of leather goods in the world. So buying a leather Jaipuri jooti is must, very apt for summer months and can be teemed up with any dress, and they comes in variety of colors and shades.
Leather bags are another must buy, you will be surprised to see how cheap they are when compared to international stores. Genuine leather with Italian finish is offered by country’s top leather brands, and they have store widespread across the country. And if you are looking for non-branded leather bags but good quality, head over to Kolkata’s park street for many of the factory outlets .
4 ) Spices – From ancient times India remains the spice capital of the world. So if you are into culinary adventures then spices are the best you can gift to yourself and they can be a good souvenir too. Head over to Kochi’s spice markets in Kerala, it is very fascinating and quality is superior when compared to the regular stores.
The historic Khari baoli in Old Delhi is Asia’s largest wholesale spice market and it sell all kinds of spices, nuts and herbs .
5) Handicrafts – India’s heritage lies in its arts and crafts. For Sandalwood artworks Bangalore would be your right choice. Do synchronize your visit to India during winter months when most of the handicrafts fair / expo going on in the various parts of the country. Most of these fairs showcases art from different parts of the country including the tribal artifacts too. And to assure yourself the ingenuity of the product, better to buy it from Government approved State’s emporiums. Dilli haat is mecca for art lovers and art collectibles. Do not miss it.
Where the real Indians buy ? Not from the glitzy malls, but from the local haats / bazaars spreading across the country. We have almost dedicated market for everything ! Spice markets, jewellery bazaar, leather markets, book markets (college street , Kolkata), textile markets, flower markets (Bangalore), fruit market, furniture bazaar…. you name it and we have it. Shopping in India is really therapeutic !
What do you think which city could be tagged as shopper’s paradise of India ?