The best way to experience the local culture of any destination is to walk through its open markets; from witnessing hurried shoppers scrambling by to the natural wealth of the place, interacting with shopkeepers and locals alike.
Gone are the days when people equated street markets to inferior and frumpy fashion styles. Today, these have become shopping havens, not just for students, but those who like to keep their dressing style, edgy and eclectic. The best part about local shopping is that one can pick up items that represent local culture, while promoting the artisans of the region And it’s the best way to soak in the essence of any and every destination. We help you with a few iconic street markets across the length and breadth of India.
SAROJINI NAGAR MARKET | NEW DELHI
Delhi is famous for its street markets, and yes, there are more than one. Of the many that cater to its residents and tourists alike, Sarojini Nagar Market holds a special place in the hearts of its youth. When it comes to following global trends, this market has it all. Be it linen straight-cut pants to trendy sweatshirts, funky accessories to items that will dress your home, this market is a boon for shoppers who love to bargain.
Named after Sarojini Naidu, freedom activist and poet, the market offers apparels, accessories and a lot more at unbelievably low prices. Located in South Delhi, the market offers practically everything. From shoes to trinkets, upholstery to crockery, and even a vegetable market that sells items beyond the ordinary like oyster mushrooms, asparagus, purple cabbage, etc. Add a touch of quirk to your home with the lovely vintage lanterns found here, posters and wall hangings and much more. Prices here start from as low as Rs 30. The market becomes a war zone during the evening and weekends. So, it is advisable to go in the weekdays during daytime to get the best deals and avoid rush The pink city of Jaipur offers some of the best options for shopping. Markets across the city are dedicated to jewellery, clothing, décor and much more. The open air shops that line the cramped street sides are an opportunity to dive in and explore through the antiques and hidden treasures.
Located at the heart of Jaipur, near Ajmeri Gate, this place is a go-to destination for the youth or those with a tight budget. From handlooms to electronics, gifts to souvenirs, the bazaar has a wide variety of products. Deemed as a must buy, do pick up joothis and apparels fashioned with traditional Rajasthani tie-and-dye fabric – bandhani.
The walk through the colonnaded pavements, interaction with the local shopkeepers and experiencing the local cuisine at the many restaurants, are perfect ways to truly absorb the rustic charm of Jaipur.
Mumbai is the fashion capital of India. Home of Bollywood, the city always stays ahead in fashion. From high-end boutiques to the streets, the city offers all. Even the street markets are updated in fashion. Mumbai has many street markets. One of them is Colaba Causeway.
Located in the Fort area of south Mumbai, Colaba Causeway is a string of stalls and shops that adorn the pavements of SB Marg. It’s a treasure trove of goods that attract tourists and locals alike.
What’s most incredible about this line of shops is the endless variety of items they sell. You name the article and it’s most likely that it’s sold on Causeway. Here you can purchasesouvenirs, hair clips, jewellery, shoes and all kinds of clothes. If you know how to bargain well, this is the ideal place to get your money’s worth. Colaba Causeway is particularly famous for its colourful junk jewellery and its intricately made handicrafts and souvenirs. Once weary, there are several restaurants to pick from where you can stop and refresh yourself by having a snack and a drink; Leopold, Delhi Darbar and Cafe Mondegar’s being the most note-worthy. For cheaper prices, Fashion Street at Metro is another lane frequented by college students that’s worth a visit.
Linking Road and Hill Road are places located in Bandra that are ideal for street shopping. They’re brightly coloured and always bustling with shoppers because of the excellent products available here. Linking Road is particularly popular for shoes, handbags and other accessories. For those who have a taste for seafood, a visit to Jai Jawan is must. So come, explore the city, engage your senses and bargain for all its worth!
In a city where lavish malls have taken over the markets, this particular street market has managed to maintain its colonial charm. Kolkata’s famous street market aka Hogg market or New Market on Lindsay Street is a one stop destination for street shopping lovers. Once a hub for the British and affluent Anglo-Indians, it has now grown into one of the biggest shopping paradises in the city.
The brick red facade and the clock tower stands apart from its environ. On entering the 114-year-old market, one realises how it’s much like the spokes of a wheel, and an old red canon that marked the centre. The market houses shops selling hosiery items to handloom, trendy trinkets from the far North East to upholstery, an entire section dedicated to florists, while a fresh produce market is towards the rear end. Adjoining this area, are a number of shops selling freshly ground spices.
For those who love confectionery goods, head to Nahoum’s cake shop that serves cakes, pastries, patties, lemon tarts, chicken puffs, rum balls, etc. During Christmas and New Year, the entire market dons glittering lights and decorations.
Even the road opposite the market is teeming with stalls selling almost everything; from shoes to clothes, electronic goods to bags and much more. Food counters selling tantalising chaats to puchkas, kulfi falooda and even the simple jhaal muri (masala puff rice), it’s easy for customers to snack while shopping.
written by :Anwesha Paul