Cosmopolitan Mumbai is a shopper's paradise with an amazing diversity of goods from expensive European antiques, local spices, electrical goods and skills. Being the centre of the Indian clothing trade, it caters to all styles and budgets. It is also home to a number of tailors who make clothes swiftly at a reasonable cost.
Fashion street on MG Road between Cross Maidan and Azad Maidan is a row of market stalls selling export surplus garments. Here one can get sone good bargains. Antique Indian furniture is available in Chor Bazaar. While the age of purchases cannot be garunteedvisitors should trust either their luck or their eyes and haggle intensely. For inexpensive quality gift items The Central Cottage Industries Emporium at Shivaji marg, between Apollo Bunder and Regal, is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 7pm.
The Oberoi and Taj hotels both have air conditioned shopping arcades with interesting range of boutiques selling ready made garments, handbags and jewellery. No trip to Mumbai is is complete without a visit to the bazaars Chor Bazaar, mutton street near Sir J.J Road, for bric-a-brac, furniture and junk. Zaveri Bazaar for jewellery, Dhaboo street bazaar, Dhaboo street for leather goods and Crawford market, DR D Navroji Road/Carnac Road for fuits and vegtables. Markets are generally open from 9am to 7pm. There are a number of open air second hand bookstalls near the university around Chowk Fountain.
Major shopping areas are Fashion street, Colaba Causeway, Pherozeshsh Mehta Road, World Trade Centre at Cuffe Parade, Breach Candy, Linking Road at Bandra, Departmental stores such as Amarsons at Breach Candy and Crossroads at Tardeo amongst many others are becoming increasingly popular as is cotton world in Colaba Causeway. The Heera Panna Shopping centre offers numerous choices for garments, toys, watches and electronics.
Every shopping area of the city has its mood and tone. Savour the true Hyderabadi culture by shopping in the old city around the ancient monument of Charminar to buy the famous Hyderabadi bangles, surma (kajal) and gold lace. Lad Bazaar the famous lane of bangles is an exciting bazaar, reminiscent of medieval marts. Ever since the Nizam's patronage of the pearl industry. Hyderabad has remained the premier centre for buying, sorting and selling of pearls. (Interestingly the pearls come from Japan for polishing and grading and are then patterned into strings, jewellery or simply sold by weight. Around Charminar is another item associated with the former royals bidri ware. Its a fine art of inlaying silver into a jet alloy formed by lead, zinc and tin. Souveniers in bidri include key, rings, cufflinks, vases and presentation boxes. Leepakshi, the state's handicrafts emporium on Gun Foundry Road, is the show window for cottage crafts. It also has handlooms and hand woven fabrics such as Ikat. Pochampallis woven in both silk and cotton, and the traditional art of Kalamkari fabric painted in different colours with a stylised pen. Fabric shops can be found on Nampalli Road and Mukharam Jahi Road. General Bazaar has everything from pins to piano and from fabrics to antiques. One can also get steel, brass and copper vessels, needlework, craft paraphernalia and great saris. Close by is the pot market, its a must visit for silver jewellery and connoisseurs.
Somajiguda and Begumpet have numerous retail outlets for branded gear, designer boutiques and home decor/interior furnishings. The two areas reflect the cosmopolitan culture of the city. There are a number of good restaurants too.
Chennai the capital of Tamil Nadu has some of the best shopping bargains. South Indian cottons and silks from Chennai and nearby Kanchipuram are some of the finest in India. Not for nothing has the phrase - Madras checks became synonym for the Kanchi cottons which is one of the best in Indian cotton fabric. The right place to pick up a wide range of this fabric in Chennai is the Co-optex showroom on Netaji Subash Bose Road quite literally the headquarters of South Indian handloom products.
Silk is an overwhelming range can be found at Park. At Anna Salai there are several state emporia, of which Kaveri (Karnataka Emporium), Kairali (Kerala Emporium) are the best. The Victoria Technical Institute also located here has a wide range of embroidered and crocheted linens made by nuns as charity work. These include children's garments with smocking embroidery. The store also stocks delicate cane work.
Poompuhar the government emporium of Tamil Nadu has cane mats, wood elephants, woodcarvings and bronze figurines which the state is famous for. Most of these figurines are copies of Chola originals, which represent a high point in the cultural traditions of the state's history. Bronzes, though expensive are each an individual work of art making them a good buy. Chennai has become a flourishing centretre for leather garments and footwear. Since Chennai supplies most of its produce to Western countries. The shops stock the lastest designs of the West. Jackets, Suede coats, bags, shoes and many other leather items are available here.
Thiruvananthapuram the capital of Kerala is a treasure house of craft items that include everything from carved rosewood to decorative masks in papier mache. Fresh spices like cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and mace are available in bazaars. Good quality cashew nuts are popular buys. Kerala's prime produce is coir with its centre in Allapuzha (Alleppy). Bell metal vessels are another attraction of the state. The shops dealing in these products are mainly located in MG Road.
Bangalore's sophisticated shopping malls cater to its expatriate and local residents. Since silk handloom fabrics, garments, gold and silver jewellery and incense are produced here, it is cheaper compared to other cities. Bangalore is a great place to shop with major shopping areas cose to each other. Bangalore was the nation's first city to open super markets and bazaars. The Karnataka Handloom Development Corporation's Priyadarshini Handloom house is located in various places. Hence one can find fine Mysore silk and sandalwood items. Inlay work in brass and rosewood, ivory artefacts and the Lambani jewellery make good decorative as well as gift items.
Brigade Road is a popular shopping place and hangout for young people. It has many clubs, Cyber cafes, bowling alley, discotheques, video game parlours, and restaurants. Down Brigade Street the other major shopping avenue is the more expensive cantonment area. Commercial street has clothes, dresses, jewellery and food, from foreign designer wear outlets to casual wear, teenage trendy wear to kids dresses you get it all here. MG Road is a commercial area there are a large number of sari stores like Karnataka Silk Industries Corporation. Residency Road has numerous state emporiums and they sell specific state handicrafts.
Located on the edge of the great Indian Thar desert Jodhpur is especially known for designer furniture and metal work products that are geared to Western tastes. The central market or Ghasmandi Bazaar is popular with visitors. But the really good shopping is found outside the city walls and along the main roads of the new city. The handicraft emporiums in Jodhpur stock textiles, silver jewellery, instruments, pottery, boxes, carved ducks, metalwork, marble figures, paintings, copper brass, antique items, ivory, bed covers, wall hangings, puppets, clothes, old doors and furniture. Try the Rajasthan Art Emporium for a good overview and Rajasthan Arts and Crafts House and Sun City Art Exporters. Some good furniture can be found along Umaid Bhavan Palace Road and High Court Road. Jodhpur's famous Bandhani and Lahariya (tie and dye) textiles as well as block screens and prints are excellent buys in Kapra Bazaar. Carpets can be found in several shops along High Court Road. Camel shoes are available in Mochi bazaar and along station road. Great designs in silver can be bought in Sarafa Bazaar and in shops along Station road.
Varanasi is home to India's famous musical instrument the sitar and also the most internationally famous musician Pandit Ravi Shankar. It follows then, that the sitar is one of the most prized shopping treasures. Local craftsmen such as Radhey Shyam Sharma string the instrument to your choice. The city formerly called Banaras is known for its beautiful silk brocades and Banarasi saris, many of which are works of art. The Government Weaving Centre offers extensive choices. Thatheri Bazaar is well stocked with ornamental brass work. Varanasi is known for its expensive Bhadohi silk carpets. Check out the Cottage Industries Exposition. Many small stalls in the bazaars and lanes such as Vishwanath lane sell personal and religious items to the pilgrims. Drinking cups, lingas, chalk, makeup, Vishnu figures, clothes and sashes are interesting to see and perhaps buy.
Agra has its share of interesting shopping Marble, Agra is all about the Taj Mahal and also with inlaid marble work. There is a wide variety of marble items, inlaid with precious and semi precious stones, such as table tops, coasters, plates, boxes and elephants. Subash Emporium, Oswal Emporium and Akbar International are some of the recommended shops. While Jaipur is reputed to be the centre for jwellery, dont overlook Agra, here also attractive Mughal designs are available. Shops in Agra are packed with a wide range of arts and crafts. Agra is especially noted for its carpets, durries, leather footwear, embroidery, stone inlay work, textiles, sandalwood and bed covers.
Meander through dozens of boutiques and gift shops in C.G Road. During the day take your time browsing through the range of Patola silks, ethnic fabrics, silver jewellery, furniture and handicrafts. Visit to the Law Garden (evening market) for ethnic and traditional clothes and white metal jewellery. Be there by 5pm to have an early start. The Teen Darwajain the old city is a great place for antique shopping if you have the time and inclination for bargaining and dont mind the heat and dust of the crowded old city. For handicrafts shopping there is Gurjari the state emporium.
Delhi is a melting pot of many peoples and cultures. Some of India's best shopping is found in Delhi, a relatively easy place to shop as long as you know what to buy and where to go. Visitors find a wide choice of items such as carpets, silks, jewellery, leather and silverware, handicrafts and hand printed cottons. Each item is available in a range of prices, depending on the quality and the outlet. Each of its markets has a distinctive ambience adding a special flavour to the experience of shopping. In the old city is Chandni Chowk close to the largest mosque in Asia, the Jama Masjid. Many of the shops here are over 100 years old and the mesh of lanes and by lanes are full of treasure. Among the bylanes are Dariba, the silver market, Khasri Baoli the spice market and Kinari Bazaar the trimmings and tinsel.
Cannaught Place is New Delhi's original shopping arcade and was planned as a part of the Imperial capital in 1911. Once can find up market products here from designer stores to Chinese shoemakers. On Baba Kharak Singh Marg are government state emporia that offer a glimpse of handicrafts of each state. As does the Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath. Across the road are a string of Tibetan shops selling accessories.
Sundernagar market across the Oberoi is the place to shop for antiques and silver jewellery. The stores keep a choice selection, especially of silver jewellery from ladakh, semi precious stones, copper and silver object d'art. Not far from Sundernagar is the Crafts Museum Shop attached to the museum in Pragati Maidan.
In South Delhi are the up market shopping centres. South Extension, Greater Kailash Part 1 & 2, Green Park, New Friends Colony are some. Hauz Khas Village and Shahpur Jat are traditional village turned into shopping bazaars. The village has a plethora of boutiques, galleries and restaurants in rural ambience. A crafts bazaar set up by Delhi Tourism is Dilli Haat where are are crafts displayed by craftsmen.
The real pleasure of shopping is on the road side which have good quality products. However the big names and showrooms provide the customer with the latest fashion wear and dress materials. Kolkata's markets are full of items which can be taken home as decorative pieces or gift items. The Tant saris are the specialty of West Bengal as are the famed Baluchari silks. Tantuja is the retail outlet for the West Bengal State Handloom Weavers Co-operative Society which offers a variety of hand woven classics. Kolkata has good leather wear and shoes and is known for its jewellery. The China town is famous for the Chinese goods and Chinese food. At the crowded New Market one can pick up a variety of items from saris to jewellery.
One of India's most popular tourist destinations, Jaipur is the pink capital of the desert state of Rajasthan. Shopping is one of Jaipur's major attraction. Both the walled city and the adjacent MI road which runs southwest from Ajmeri gate are lined with shops and factories. Amer Road is known for its many handicraft shops. Jaipur is also a renowned centre for gem cutting and polishing and is also a gem producer. Be careful against synthetic stones being passed off as genuine. Explore the many shops in and around the Johari bazaar and MI road. Apart from handicrafts the unique tie and dye (bandhani) and hand blocked cotton, silk fabrics are found here The two places famous for it are Sanganer and Bagru where lineage of families produce it. Wool carpets and cotton durries are found here a plenty. The region is famous for distinctive blue pottery, marble statues, papier mache, lacquer ware, Krishna art miniature paintings, bed linen and cotton quilts.