Bazaars of India
If you are visiting India on Tourist Visa for India, Medical Visa for India or Business Visa for India, you can plan for visiting some of the exciting bazaars. You can also come to India on a cruise ship visitors visa for India.
India is known for its sporadically spread out, highly creative, handicraft industry. It is a common feeling for tourists to lose themselves amidst the hustling and bustling bazaars of India. The giggles and jiggles of the bazaar of Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, Lucknow, and more such cities are to die for. While you will always have brands at your disposal to get things as you desire, the handicraft industry in India always has something unique yet simple to offer, something you might not even know that you require.
Along with travelling to various locations in India on your tour and trying delicious cuisines from all over the country, it is an unsaid rule for any foreigner to visit the blooming bazaars of India and truly feel the give-and-take method from the local artists. This way you are not only supporting the local art, but you are also spending your money on something which involves the creativity of hands and not the tags of expensive brands.
Speaking of money, there is one thing however you should learn before roaming around in these bazaars and that is the art of bargaining. Yes, you have to be excellent at your bargaining skills to buy as many items as your heart desires. Some bazaars are culture-specific with the products they are selling, you will discover the ethnicity of India reflected in the various stalls lined across the road.
They might not have a lavish showroom to showcase their art, but we assure you, you will find items that might be better than what the brands in malls have to offer. Unlike Joyce's bazaar of ‘Araby' we assure you, you will not return empty-handed with a heavy heart, instead, you will have toppling bags and empty pockets!
New Market, Kolkata
For the dwellers of Kolkata, New Market is not just any market, it is their pride, it is a feeling that the natives celebrate in all of the festivals that encompass Kolkata. It is the favourite go-to place for all the visitors within and outside the city.
The market was established in the year 1874 and is believed to be the oldest market in the city. The bazaar has restored the old world charm in it, the British era 'Sir Stuart Hogg Market' still stands tall with its ancient architecture, the rickshaw-pullers still await customers with curious eyes, the trade carts still cluster the place. It almost feels like travelling back to the colonial history of India where West Bengal was a primary channel of commercialisation. It is usually open from Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and gets closed on Saturdays at 2:30 p.m.
On Sundays, the market remains closed. It is located in the area called 'Dharamtalla', also known as Esplanade. The nearest metro station from this market is Esplanade metro station. The market is specifically famous for all the junk jewellery that it has to offer. The vendors have a rich collection of earrings, neckpieces, fingerings and much more for women to deck themselves up with.
Picture source: Make my trip.
The market also has various kinds of clothing, footwear, handbags and other assorted everyday stuff. However, the jewellery collection of this market is a must-see. We are sure you will not be able to leave the realms of this market without investing in anything worthwhile. The best part is that at regular intervals they also have mouth-watering street food for the shoppers to quench their hunger with. The place should definitely be a top priority on your shopping list.
You can also buy gift items for your friends back home. Last but not the least, knowing the fact that Kolkata is comparatively a cheaper city in India, this marketplace is extremely pocket-friendly for its visitors, the slippers and jewellery at this marketplace start from the dirt-cheap price of rupees hundred! Can you imagine buying something that cheap in today's world?
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Commercial Street, Bangalore
Located in the city of Bangalore, Commercial Street is undoubtedly the go-to place of all tourists. From harbouring the coolest of clothes, pieces of jewellery, artsy objects, the place is also known for its varied collection of flowers. If you have already learnt the art of bargaining, then this Commercial Street is a hotspot for you.
You can stuff your shopping bag with as much stuff as possible if you are good with your bargaining skills. The best part about this market is that it is supremely organised unlike other street markets of India, people who are a fan of organised shopping will surely find it aesthetically pleasing to see sorted out sections to shop from. That way you can very peacefully shop in Bangalore's famous Commercial Street. It is situated at a distance of just 1 km from the famous MG road of Bangalore so commutation won't be a problem.
Surprisingly, the market is open on all days. Yes, you heard it right. It is functional from 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on certain important days or festivals, the market is 24/7 functional. Is not that crazy? This shows how much the market is in-demand and how much it has the capacity to sell. Do not miss out on Commercial Street if you happen to be in Bangalore!
Police Bazaar, Shillong
Okay, so if you happen to be a worshipper of the goth culture and like to get dressed as a goth follower, then this Shillong Police Bazar has some surprises to offer to you. Police Bazar does not only serve the purpose of a shopping area in Shillong, but it also supports and uplifts many small handicraft businesses that are now rapidly dying, especially after the pandemic.
If you visit this bazaar, you will notice the intricacies of their items and how they are different from the ones sold across India. Since these sellers have small businesses and their investment is comparatively lower, the prices of the goods sold are not quite high. It is affordable and pocket friendly for all. Most of these items are local and are prepared by the tribal groups of the region, reflecting the ethnicity of their culture. The market is open from 8 a.m. onwards and closes roughly around 8:00 p.m. You would not mind taking an evening stroll through the Police Bazar, would you?
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The capital of the country perhaps has the maximum number of shopping stores and street markets to harbour within the proximity of its heart. The market of Janpath is not just about shopping for clothes and eating roadside delicacies, but within the 2 km range, you can also make a quick visit to top priority tourist destinations such as Jantar Mantar, India Gate and Madame Tussauds Delhi. All of these are located within a walking distance from each other.
In case you are done with your shopping spree and would like some fresh air of creativity, you can always look up to these destinations spots in the locale. The various merchandise that is sold in the market often come at a very cheap price and if you are excellent at your bargaining skills, then you are in for a treat! The bazaar has a wide variety of stuff to fill your bag with, starting from the basics such as clothes, shoes, pieces of jewellery, accessories, etc., it also sells items of wooden handicraft, home decor items and certain specific delicacies that are only served in Delhi.
The market is open from Monday to Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and the nearest metro station to transverse to is Janpath and Rajiv Chowk metro stations. Since Delhi has well-knit metro connectivity, commutation won't be a problem for the visitors. The only thing you should be mindful of is the weather.
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Picture source: lbb.in
Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
Colaba Causeway is the go-to place for Mumbaikars and tourists to fill their shopping carts with trending fashion accessories. The market is laced with glittering stalls and roadside shops that dazzle in the tinted light with quirky sunglasses, bags, junk jewellery, beads, chains, fashion accessories, bags, various kinds of shoes and more.
Colaba Causeway is not just famous internally amongst the local population, but tourists, especially international tourists find their way to this bustling place to strike a decent deal with the local artisans. All items sold here are trendy, exclusive and come at a very pocket-friendly price. If you happen to get hungry and thirsty when done with shopping chores, you can drop by Leopold Cafe which is located close to the market and serves irresistibly delicious food to its visitors since 1871.
For easy commutation, you can rely on Colaba Causeway Bus Station. The best bit is that the market remains open all days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. No preplanning is needed, all random plans are welcomed here!
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Arpora Saturday Night Market, Goa
Hope you know that Goa is not just the place to chill with a bottle of beer along the beach or party and pass out till dawn strikes, Goa's Arpora Saturday Night Market is undoubtedly the best of handicrafts markets you will come across in India.
While you enjoy your vacation tapping feet to electrifying music bursting through the speakers, do not forget to check out the gipsy styled boxes, leather items, funky jewellery and cool clothes in this very famous handicraft market. It is all made by the local craftsmen of the place and it is extremely affordable for all. Totally worth what you would be spending. As the name of the market itself suggests, it remains open only on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. The closest station is Arpora junction. Do not forget to check it out!
Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
The word 'Johari' comes from the Hindi word ‘Johar' which means jewellery-maker. You can decipher from the name itself what this specific bazaar must be famous for. For those who want to collect authentic Indian jewellery coming hot from the handicraft industry of India, Johari Bazaar is your place.
Here you will find a wide variety of bangles and other jewellery embedded with mirror work, colourful beads, and other decorative materials. The jewellers here also deal in diamonds, gems and other precious metals. All of this jewellery is of traditional Rajasthani style, here you will find women adorning themselves with colourful and bright pieces of jewellery, somewhat different from the pieces of jewellery found in other markets.
Picture source: theguardian.com
If you are a fan of Indian art in terms of jewellery making, you should get your hands on these very beautiful shiny bangles. The material with which they are made last longer and the price you will pay for it is absolutely worth it. An additional suggestion about this place would be the very famous sweets shop called ‘Laxmi Mishthan Bhandar' located right in the periphery of the market area. If your stomach grumbles from hunger, do not forget to grab a bite at this most popular sweet shop of the Pink City.
The market is open on all days of the week, starting from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Hopefully you will not face a time crunch while shopping peacefully. The nearest available bus stop is the Badi Chopar bus stop. Commutation won't be a problem in this city.
Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
Hazratganj is the hub of quirky shoppers located in the district of Lucknow. A very classic blend of the old fashion era and the modern outlook of the same, all with a tinge of Lucknawi art peeping through the fabric. This is also the bazaar where you will get clothes from several local brands at their retail price.
You might be surprised to know but these brands are located in buildings that are about a hundred years old (or more), is this not that fascinating? Amidst this race of globalisation, there are efforts made by the sellers to retain the Nawabi beauty of the city. The architecture speaks of the era when Delhi Sultanate had started to spread its roots.
If you did not know this already, the city of Lucknow is famous for its Chikankari work and Lakhnavi style kurtis and sarees. These works are generally handwork, using fine threads of cotton.
The designs are highly intricate and the price varies from one work of art to another. The art is of a rare kind, something which you will not come across in India or even the entire world. It will be a Herculean task for you to leave the market empty-handed. Once you visit the beautiful bazaar of Lucknow, you will see the kind of old-yet-new ethnic beauty it has to offer to its visitors.
Did you know that strolling around the lanes of Hazratganj is often connoted as 'ganging' in the colloquial tongue of Lucknow? So are you prepared for ‘ganjing' your way through the artistic alleys of Hazratganj?
The market remains open from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and the nearest available bus stop is the Hazratganj crossing bus stop.
Begum Bazaar, Hyderabad
Situated by the Musi River of Hyderabad across the world-famous Charminar, is our Begum Bazaar. Begum Bazaar also happens to be Hyderabad's biggest wholesale market. The legacy of this market was built during the reign of the Qutub Shahi dynasty where it was earlier seen as a place of trade.
This place is a plethora of everyday items such as dry fruits, fruits of a rare kind, regular household items, intricately-designed crockery, Gold and silver authentic Nawabi jewellery, religious articles related to Islam's history, sweets and candy, clothes, footwear, handicraft items, you name it! Begum Bazaar has it all! That too, at a wholesale rate. Since the market area gets overly crowded often due to the visitors crowding around shops, no vehicles are allowed in this area. Hope you are okay with walking through the lanes of Begum Bazar.
The Marketplace remains open on all days of the week starting from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. however, few shops remain closed on Sundays. The nearest bus station for easy commutation is Afzal Gunj.
Mallick Ghat Flower Market, Kolkata
The only thing that you need to know about this world famous flower market is that the Mallick Ghat flower market in Kolkata happens to be the largest in the whole of Asia. We hope that this reasons enough for you to take a sneak peek at the splash of colours that are spread out on the face of this market. Even if you do not buy flowers from this place, the place is a must-visit for the legacy and the surreal beauty it entails within the heart of the city of Kolkata. It is situated right under the world-famous Howrah Bridge and the commutation would not be a problem to this place.
Picture source: Times of India.
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