country that pulled Alexander the Great into its lap. A shimmering
jewel in the crown, and a unique blend of civilizations too.
The cultural exuberance and composite tradition that marks this
blend has found full expression in heart-warming creations of
master crafts-persons. These creators extraordinaire, have inherited
and honed ancestral skills to perfection. India is also a country
where time honoured tradition co-exists in perfect harmony with
the best of modernity. The five star hotels, shopping plazas
and emporia somewhat akin to the ones in New York, London or
anywhere else in the world, demonstrates all this very well.
vast inter-country link of airline services and rail network
provides easy access for shopping across the length and breadth
is a pleasure especially for those who have the knack for bargaining.
But then, bargaining is only done in open markets or market
places. Shopping Arcades, Govt. Showrooms or branded showrooms
of reputed products have fixed prices and the genuineness of
products is guaranteed. During the Indian festive season (September
to December), avail discount from 5% to a hefty 50%.
pages of this book will serve as an eye opener to the wonderful
shopping experience in India. So go ahead, shop to your heart's
delight and take home an exquisite, piece made in India. Just
The line dividing crafts and fine arts is practically indistinguishable
in the metal crafts of India. Gold, silver, brass, copper and
bell metal are shaped into intricately designed images, idols,
jewellery and utility items, having a finish and style unique
The pricely states of India demanded not only enameled jewellery
but also enameled utensils such as wine-cups, finger-bowls,
pill boxes etc., in both gold and silver repousse, sometimes
studded with jewels.
Lucknow, the former seat of the Nawabs of Avadh produces an
extensive range of gold and silver plated articles in a multitude
of patterns. the designs resemble those found in Kashmir. Owing
to the strong Islamic influence, still prevailing, most of the
articles are highly ornamented, with reposes work depicting
hunting and jungle scenes and floral motifs.
India is the largest brass and copper making region in the world
with thousands of establishments spread all over For articles
made out of one or more pieces of metal. The copper or brass
sheet is first marked out by a pair of compass and the piece
or pieces cut off by a scissor called katari.
Moradabad is famous for utensils, both utility and ornamental,
made of white metal and electroplated brass and copper. The
engraving is either sada (plain) or sia kalam.
Modern streamlined articles of Swedish design in polished brass
or burnished copper are also made here, satisfying the demand
for modern accessories and sophisticated interior decoration.
Varanasi, in Uttar Pradesh is the first city in India for the
multitude of its cast and sculptured mythological images and
emblemata in brass and copper as well as household utensils.
In recent years Mirzapur has also emerged as one of the important
brass industries of Uttar Pradesh. Goods produced have an all
India market, with a portion being exported to other countries.
Some of the most beautiful and interesting metal ware of India
for daily as well as for ceremonial purposes are crafted in
Kashmir, Bihar, West Bengal, Assam, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Metal ornaments have been a rave in all ages and times. The
attractive contrasts in colours and textures of metals have
led to the evolution of metal ornamentation through techniques
like inlay, overlay, applique, fixing of colours etc.
Bidri, a form of surface ornamentation, takes its name from
the city of Bidar situated north-west of Hyderabad. The work
is in black colour which never fades and is relieved with silver
and gold inlay. In Lucknow the art of manufacturing, bidri is
believed to have been introduced from the time of the Nawabs
of Avadh. The Emperor at Delhi bestowed on them the dignity
of the fish (Mahi Marattib) Lucknow bidri, therefore, abounds
in fish motifs, flora & fauna and vine leaf patterns.
Enameling is the art of colouring and ornamenting the surface
of the metal by fusing over it various mineral substances. The
beauty of the article depends on the skill and resources of
the worker and the excellence of the materials employed.
PLACES FOR SHOPPING
Lucknow, Varanasi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Bihar.
Painstakingly carved and inlaid, the wooden articles of Uttar
Pradesh are quite a rave with all lovers of wood carvings. Saharanpur
here is known for its carvings in hard sheesham and particularly
for its famous vine-leaf patterns. The range of designs include
floral, geometric and figurative decoration, in addition to
the traditional anguri and takai carvings, jali (fretted ornamentation),
brass, copper and Ivory inlay work. Bone and plastic are now
being used as low cost substitutes for Ivory since extracting
of Ivory is banned in India.
Manipuri in Uttar Pradesh is also known for its wood-work inlaid
with brass wire on ebony or black sheesham. The states of Jammu
& Kashmir, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Karnataka and Kerala
have developed distinctive styles of wood carvings. Even Rajasthan
is noted for its carved sandalwood and rosewood besides heavy
Lacquering on wood not only lends colour and sparkle to the
products, but also smoothens out the contours thereby imparting
a lustrous finesse.
India is well known for ornamental lacquering involving intricate
patterns like zig-zag and dana work, atishi, abri or cloud and
nakkashi. In Varanasi, a number of lacquered toys and miniature
kitchen utensils for children to play with, are made.
The artistic woodcarvings of southern India draws inspiration
from the old Indian tradition of worship. Apart from marvelous
prototypes of various gods and goddesses, the wall plaques,
statues and toys made of rosewood, sandalwood and teakwood are
mesmerizing to behold.
PLACES FOR SHOPPING
Kashmir, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Goa, Sikkim, West Bengal,
& SEMI-PRECIOUS STONES
India's fame in precious and semi-precious stones was well established
before the arrival of the British. The land that spells royalty
is the home of nameless precious and semi-precious stones like
mother of pearl, diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, lapis
lazuli, aquamarines, amethysts and others. The process of transforming
a rough stone into a shapely object of beauty and luster calls
for a great degree of skill in which Indian craftsmen are adept
to the core.
PLACES FOR SHOPPING
Kashmir, Rajasthan, Mumbai
For the hi-fashion woman of today there's nothing quite like
the offbeat style of self adornment... pick the style that suits
you most! For, with the passing of centuries, the old appears
offbeat today, having an irresistible lure for women the world
is one of the most important countries for the manufacture and
export of costume jewellery. It has the largest production base
for glass beads.
Varanasi is famous for its glass beads made from fused glass
rods, while Purdilpur is famous for black glass beads.
Mathura is noted for lovely glass beads, stringing glass and
wooden beads in necklaces together with rudraksha (sacred seeds
associated to Lord Shiva) and tulsi (basil) in a variety of
Ferozabad, has a rich selection of fragile and delicate lightweight
'German silver' Jewellery created to modern tastes is made in
Agra, while Meerut produces exquisite metal jewellery.
Silver ornaments are especially popular in Rajasthan, while
Karnal in Haryana produces hollow silver beads. Rohtak has well
made peasant jewellery and graceful head ornaments are made
Being the Capital of this vast country, Delhi becomes a focal
point for shopping. The most glamorous shopping area in the
heart of the city is the Connaught Place, built during the British
Days, with a beautiful fountain and park in the centre. The
entire Connaught Place is built in concentric circles. A pillared
pathway runs along the outer most and inner most circles with
convenient and ample parking spaces. Radial roads lead out of
this centre point to all parts of Delhi. While shopping for
the choicest Indian and foreign brands do walk-in to any of
the immaculately designed restaurants or fast food centres for
a bite. Connaught place is just a kilometre away from the railway
station and is about 30 kms from the airport. It also houses
an underground shopping plaza 'Palika Bazaar' which also provides
an underground parking for safety.
While Connaught Circus still retains its original British flavour,
designed by Lutyen while planning New Delhi, modernisation has
taken place around it. Multinational corporate houses, banks,
hotels, restaurants, showrooms etc. have appeared in beautifully
designed high rise buildings, interconnected with modern subways
to control the ever increasing groups of tourists and shoppers.
Do visit the Baba Kharak Singh Marg where you will find a row
of State Handicraft Emporia's. Prices here are fixed and products
are genuine. Typical textiles brasswares, jewellery, painting,
furniture and souvenirs from every State can be found in their
respective showrooms. Pay a visit to the Central Cottage Industries
Emporium at Janpath in the STC Building Complex for the choicest
handicrafts from all states under one roof. This Emporia Chain
also has its branches in major cities in India and Abroad.
Other up-market shopping areas are South extension, Sarojini
Nagar, INA Market, Greater Kailash Part - I, Vasant vihar in
the south, Khan Market and Sunder Nagar Market in central Delhi
within a km from the India Gate.
Opposite the INA market at Laxmi Bai Nagar, delhi tourism runs
an open air handicraft market, Dilli Haat, in which craftsmen
are invited from every state to sell their products directly.
Stalls have also been provided for typical cuisine and fast
food from many states-all within one complex. The entire place
has been given a brick finish. You could strike some good bargains
Towards the famous Ashok Hotel and Samrat Hotel in Chanakyapuri,
after you cross the Prime Minister's residence, on the left
of the Race Course road, is Santushti (meaning relief), the
ideal shopping venue to the ethnic art lover. Intricately crafted
woodwork, brasswares, terracotta, textiles, jewellery, clay
toys, and metalwares can be purchased in this tiny arcade, for
which you enter from the round-about and inside the Air Force
Inside the walled city there are some of the oldest market places
of Delhi with some names related to the products they are still
famous for, like the Chandni Chowk which was once named for
its silver jewellery but is now the wholesale market for textiles,
readymades, suitings, shirtings and sarees. While shopping one
could feast in some of the most famous sweet shops and chaat
corners. Nai Sarak, running tangentially from here has emerged
as the wholesale stationary and market for books, catering to
all kinds of text and reference books prescribed in schools,
colleges and institutes. towards Chadni Chowk, however, the
textile market begins. For all kinds of silver and precious
& semi-precious stones walk into the narrow lanes of Kinari
Bazar, also famous for glittering costumes of famous Indian
mythological characters. Khari Baoli is the wholesale market
for dry fruits and food grains. etc.
Agra, the City of the magnificent Mahal in the state of Uttar
Pradesh is famous primarily for its marble and soft stone inlay
work. Shilpgram is a crafts village and an open-air emporium,
stocking handicrafts from all over the country and is the ideal
destination for lovers of Art.
Visit Agra during the Taj Mahotsav (festival) around February
and enjoy live performances of dance & music by renowned
Also Sadar Bazar. Tajganj, Kinari Bazar, Munro Road, Pratap
Pura, Gwalior Road which brush each other are the main bazaars
of Agra towards the south. It is advisable not to heed to the
persuasions of touts at any of these markets. This area is generally
full of life as all tourist related services, hotels, showrooms,
etc. are in abundance here. It is also adjoining the cantonment
area, but slightly away from the main Agra railway station which
is towards the north. Take with you some sweets which are rare
in taste like the Petha and Gazak. Should you prefer some snacky
item with a bit of spice ask for dalmoth.
Jaipur - the capital of the tourist favourite, desert State
of Rajasthan has been a nucleus for tourist traffic in the State.
It also houses one of the largest collection of handicrafts,
which have been kept alive by its artisans. It has also picked
up a major chunk of the export market in handicrafts, commanding
a virtual monopoly on the Gem Stone industry. Within the walls
of the Pink City (town area) market cluster are identifies for
distinct categories of products. Actually while coming from
Delhi you enter Jaipur through the Pink City. The layout of
the Pink City is similar to the Indus Valley Civilization. All
Roads are parallel, while lanes are perpendicularly cutting
across them. this walled Pink City enters modern Jaipur's post
shopping mall called M.I. Road, about 300 mts. from the railway
station. From the Airport, the road into Jaipur, meets M.I.
Road just 15 kms away, straight at Ajmeri Gate and runs along
the four gates from where you can enter the Pink City.
Mirza Ismail Road has a glittering row of some of the most exclusive
handicraft showrooms, curio shops, antiques, watches, textiles,
electronics and internationally famous brands. During winters
a 2 km long Tibetan Market sells winter wear from wind cheaters
to socks made of leather, hide and wool.
Johari Bazar is the wholesale market for Silver, Gem Stones
and Jewellery. A large sqare (instead of a round-about) called
the Bari choupar is famous for Jaipuri Quilts, Lac Bangles,
Tribal Jewellery besides Leather Jutis (Slippers) and readymade
garments. Joining a smaller square called the Chhoti Choupar,
lies Tripolia Bazar, generally famous for metal wares and household
goods like steel almirahs, trunks, cycle shops etc. Right in
front of Tripolia Gate is the Chaura Rasta, famous for its books
and magazine stores and to the left of Chhoti Choupar, running
parallel to the Chaura Rasta is Kishanpole Bazar, famous for
its wooden furniture. Futher west of the Kishanpole Bazar is
a popular shopping area known as Khazane Walon Ka Rasta, where
varieties of stone carved sculptures are on display and for
From Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Sanganeri Gate a narrow lane goes
along the wall, parallel to M.I. Road whose name changes as
it runs from Gate to Gate as Indira Bazar, Nehru Bazar &
This principal city of the state of Gujarat (in western India),
is situated on the banks of the Sabarmati river, associated
with Mahatma Gandhi's ashram. It is a centre for textiles, specially
colourful patchwork and embroidery (bead and mirror work), tie-and
dye, Zari work on silk and Patola silks.
Ashram Road, about 10 kms. from the railway station, houses
most of the upmarket showrooms and arcades meant for tourists.
Garvi and Gurjari the two multi-storied, governemtn owned establishments,
house the most genuine crafts carefully selected and displayed.
Kala Niketan has an artistic and extensive collection of silk
and textiles. For fine quality Zari work ratanpol Raod would
be ideal and is just 3 kms. away.
On sundays, the banks of the sabarmati river near Lakdi Ka pul
present a colourful spectacle as a large crowded flea market
spreads over a few Kms. along it. Be it fruits, vegetables,
pins, needled, or even a car engine take your pick at your price.
The other bazars and shopping areas include Manek Chowk, Relief
Road Market, Lal Darwaza, Law Garden, C.G. Road and Kapasia
Shopping in Mumbai will be a memorable experience as you wander
through its Bazars with striking names like Chor Bazar, Mutton
Street and Zaveri Bazar. At chor Bazar you'll find a phenomenal
collection of antiques, jewellery, wooden articles, leatherware
and general bric-a-brac.
Crawford market, famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish,
is certainly a place worth capturing on your camera. Zaveri
Bazar offers an excellent range of jewellery items. For colourful
and innovative carpets one should head for Mereweather Road
behing the Taj Mahal Hotel. Here the range is extensive, exclusive
and the prices slightly higher. To be on the safer side, one
could, however, check at the Jammu and Kashmir Emporium first.
Several state emporia in the World Trade Centre, at Cuffe Parade
are an ideal place to buy a souvenil, a rare artefact or textiles.
The Central Cottage Industries Emporium (Apollo Bunder) and
Khadi Village Industries Emporium (D.N. Road) with their fixed
price tags are genuine and of superb quality.
Colaba and Flora Fountain (Hutatama Chowk) in the heart of South
Mumbai and walking distance from Bombay VT and Churchgate Railway
stations are full of shopping of all kinds, mainly ethnic artefacts
and departmental stores.
Walk into Fashion Street and shop for your new summer wardrobe.
This street is close to the famous Metro Cinema and Dhobi Talao.
For those who look for the glamorous the ideal place to shell
out some money would be Kemps Corner, Warden Road, Breach Candy
and Napean Sea road.
Bandra, the so called Queen of Suburbs is the residential abode
of the who's who of Mumbai, film stars, industrialists and the
likes. Linking Road joins Bandra to Khar and is lined up on
both sides with showrooms for the elite. But the striking contrast
here is the pavement selling which adds to the thrill while
you walk out of a post showroom.
The famous essence and perfume industry in India had its prime
ingredient called Itar. Although the Itar is now only concentrated
towards Kanauj in U.P., right here in Mumbai you could get a
sample of it the way it used to be. Yes, walk into the famous
Mohammed Ali Road and shop to your heart's content for Itar,
embroidery and Zari work besides artifacts and souvenirs.
Calcutta-the first British capital of India and now the capital
of West Bengal in the East has probably the most artistic talents
within it. It also happens to be the only city where trams still
ply through the overcrowded shopping lanes. Like any other metro
city, Calcutta also has several Govt. emporia and the Central
Cottage Industries emporium at 7 Chowringee Lane sells exquisite
handicrafts from all States. Bargaining has no place here. However,
a walk to New Market is an interesting experience where shopping
turns knack as the whole range of shopping revolves around hectic
Calcutta has several other shopping centres like Bentinck Street,
also popularly known as China Market with sweet meat shops,
leather shoes & accessories and tailors & drapers.
Enter gariahat for a wide range of commodities, Jagannath Ghat
the flower market and Tirreta Bazar for an extensive variety
of ethnic goods.
Park Street is the place for the perfect executive. the street
with restaurants and pubs and glittering showrooms of the most
reputed brands. You could leaf through journals and best sellers
at a well stocked book shop. They call it college street. These
are on the of the more sophisticated areas for one to shop.
New Market is, ironically one of the oldest markets of Calcutta
with everything under one roof, always alive and bustling out
of its seams. The airport is not very far from the city (about
10 kms), but due to constant traffic jams you could take close
to over 3 hours also.
The popular garden city-Bangalore is the capital of the state
of Karnataka towards the south of india. It has the finest climate
which is moderate-never too cold, never, too hot. One of the
fastest growing cities of the country Bangalore has turned out
to be the favourite destination for an executive to enjoy both
business and pleasure, with its dazzling shopping plazas, complexes
and arcades mostly around M.G. Road, Brigade Road, Commercial
Street and K.G. Road, where you may complement your shopping
with a little entertainment as well.
Sandalwood and rosewood carvings, wooden inlay work, lacquer
work, carpets and gorgeous silks are ideal to buy. Be careful
while bargaining at these shops because their prices are generally
listed if they are a famous brand.
For assured quality and genuine prices, it is best to buy at
reputed and authorised showrooms based in main shopping areas.
They include the Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Shringar
Mysore Silk Showroom, Kids Kemp, Poompuhar (Handicrafts), Cauvery
Arts Emporium (Government showroom), Natesan's (Handicrafts),
Nalli Sarees (Silks), Deepam Silks (Sarees), Karnataka Silk
Industries Corporation( Mysore Silks), etc. where your children
can find enough jto entertain themselves with, instead of bothering
you while you shop.
Chennai has several emporia along the famous Mount Road (popularly
referred to as Anna Salai), which runs North to South at a length
of about 8 kms which offers a range of products, Hotels, Restaurants
and a feast of glittering showrooms.
Previously known as Madras, it is the capital of Tamil Nadu
which lies on the South Eastern tip of India. Towards the East
is the Port which opens out to the Bay of Bengal. The old city
lies adjacent to the port and within a Km. from the Railway
Station. The residents of the old city are mostly Marwaris originally
from the State of Rajasthan and Gujaratis who are known to have
trade in their blood. This part of the city therefore is also
known as Sowcar Pet.
About 7 kms to the North West lies the Anna Nagar where the
up-market brands are available and no bargaining is necessary
since all goods are sold as per the price lists of the manufacturers.
3 kms from the station towards the west lies egmore, an upcoming
up-market shopping area mostly housing shopping Plazas and Department
Further down south the Cathedral Road intersects Anna Salai
at Gemini Circle, better known for the residents who are none
other than Film stars or political big wigs. the elite, who
demand nothing less than the best.
T. Nagar (Tyagaraja Nagar) as is it known is towards the south
of Anna Salai and also has good showrooms where one could pick
up some typical south indian favourites like Kanchipuram silks,
wood crafts etc.
Adyar is a suburban market area towards the southern most part
of chennai, adjoining the IIT and CSIR campus
Other areas like Vepery have mostly household items. Burma Bazar
sell, so called imported items. Be careful what you pick up
and at what price.
Indian handicrafts and bronze artefacts can be bought from the
Govt. backed Victoria Technical Institute and the Poompuhar
( a Government of Tamil Nadu Undertaking), also at anna salai.
The best of India's silk comes from Kanchipuram, which is available
at Mylapore near the Kapaleshwar temple, Panagal Park, Pondi
Bazar at T.Nagar. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium sells
varieties of Handicrafts from all over India.