Shopping in Delhi
has long been the most important trading centre in Northern India. Many of its
localities, like Sheikh Sarai and Yusuf Sarai, derive their names from medieval
market towns which serviced the bygone, shifted capital cities of Delhi. Today,
all of these have become a part of the rapidly expanding metropolis. Instead
of market towns, there are specific whole sale markets or"mandi's"
scattered throughout the vast city, and their's is another story.
For visitors to Delhi, shopping is high on the list of "things to do".
Tourists find a wide choice of items- such as carpets, silks, jewellery, leather
and silver ware, handicrafts and handprinted cotton - that are synonymus with
India. Each item is available in a range of prices, depending on the quality
and the outlet.
Delhi is unique in that it has representative outlets for the handicrafts of
each Indian state. This in it self presents a staggering array of goods, and
at very affordable prices. In the last decade there has been a dramatic change
in Delhi's markets. Upwardly mobile lifestyle has led to greater sophistication
in display and upgrading of various markets in terms of availability of items.
Other villages like Mehtauli, Khirkee and Lado Serai are fast following suit.
Seeing the popularity of crafts bazaars held periodically in the capital, Delhi
Tourism has set up a permanent outlet for craftspersons at Dilli Haat, where
space and the availability of Indian cuisines make the visit a very pleasant
experience. A more up market outlet for Indian handicrafts and antiques is the
bazaar near the Qutub Minar.
The Santushi Shopping Arcade opposite the Ashoka Hotel has become another popular
up market haunt. Developed by the Air Force Wives Association, it has a select
number of boutiques where apparel, furnishings and accessories are available.
A restaurant and patisserie add to the quiet charm of the place.
There are some antique stores behind Jama Masjid, and more lining the entrance
to the Red Fort, where the Meena Bazar once was. These offer items arranging
from jewellery to painting and furniture, and cater almost entirely to tourists.
Connaught Place, New Delhi's original shopping arcade was planned as part of
the Imperial capital in 1911. On Baba Kharak Singh Marg, are the numerous government
State Emporia. Which afford a glimpse of the handicrafts of each state. So does
the recently- inaugurated new Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath.
Across the road from "Cottage" as it is popularly known, are the inviting
stalls along Janpath.
The Tibetans sell jewellery and ritual objects, while closer to Connaught Place
are available embroideries from Gujarat and Rajasthan, readymade garments and
bric- a - brac. When the wheather is good it is pleasant to amble down Janpath,
where bargaining is the order of the day. Sundernagar Market is a fine place
to shop for antiques and silver jewellery. The well - appointed stores keep
a choice selection, especially of silver jewellery from Ladakh, semi- precious
stones, some textiles and brass, copper and silver object d'art.
Not far from Sundernagar is the Crafts Museum Shop, attached to the museum in
Pragati Maidan. Moving further south are the up market shopping centers of South
Delhi- South Extension, Greater Kailash I and II, Green Park and Hauz Khas Village.
The haunt of the nouveau riche, these markets offer a combination of ethnic
chic and designer lebels, Indian and international. Hauz Khas Village has set
a very interesting trend as market. Over the countries, a village had developed
around the medieval college and the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. A few years
ago, an association called Dastakar - set up a showroom in the village. Now
the village has a plethora of boutiques, galleries and restaurants which coexist
with the buffalos, cow pats and men smokking hookahs on charpoys. Far from being
a deterrant, the "rural" ambience is a positive attraction.
Another interesting is that each market has its own, distinctive ambience and
adds its own flavour to the experience of shopping. Haus Khas Village, Connaught
Place and Chandni Chowk are worlds apart from one another, yet each of them
reflects an aspect of this many - faceted city. In fact one of the fascinating
ways of understanding a city is by wandering through its market places for it
is here that contemporary culture is most visible to the outsider.
The exploration of Delhi's markets could be begin at Chandni Chowk. Despite
the pressures of traffic and population, its historic land marks servive to
tell the story of the last three centuries. Many of the shops here are more
than 100 years, old and the mesh of lanes and bylanes is full of superises.
Leading off Chandni Chowk are Dariba, the silver market, Khari Baoli, the spice
market and Kinari Bazar for trimmings and tinsel. In some of these bazaars the
item for sale are manufactured at site, which lands a special charm to the shopping
experience well integrated into the culture of the old city, these bazaars offer
the visitor a glimpse of life in Old Delhi.
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|| Delhi Places of Interest
|| Fairs & Festivals of Delhi
Shopping in Delhi
|| Arts & Crafts in Delhi
|| Food & Specialities of Delhi
|| Delhi Museums
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