As malls and online shopping take over our lives, they are still no match to these beautiful traditional markets of India. From clothes to spices and jewelry, these markets offer you amazing stuff at the best prices. Here is a list of 14 such traditional markets of India you should visit. How many of these have you been to?
Today, when buying new clothes is just a click away, groceries are a call away and food is delivered at our doorstep within half an hour, we are gradually getting disconnected from our very own traditional markets.
Remember the days we would plan an entire day to go shopping for clothes, jewelry, shoes, etc. and then munch on some street food as we felt tired and exhausted. We would enter the house at the end of the day, dead tired, laden with bags in our hands and a big smile on our face, satisfied with a day well spent.
How often do we plan such shopping days now at our traditional markets, that offer the best variety and rates for the things we need? Let’s recall such markets today! Here is a list of 12 such ancient markets of India-
1. Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
Do you want to enter into a completely different world? Then enter this market of pink city Jaipur. Located near Hawa Mahal, this jewelry market has hundreds of shops that offer you several varieties of jewels and gems. From Kundan and Meenakari to Thewa and Polki and other authentic traditional gold jewelry, you will get it all here.
The bazaar is surrounded by other markets like Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar which offer you a beautiful collection of clothes, utensils, shoes and everything else that you can think of buying. From ethnic Rajasthani wear to modern western clothes, Jaipur’s markets have it all. Also, if you are tired while shopping you’d better not miss out on LMB’s delicious lassi at Johari Bazaar.
2. Dilli Haat, New Delhi
The haat located in South Delhi gives you the experience of a rural traditional haat (market) but offers you products that are also suited for contemporary needs. If you are looking for exceptional handicrafts, this is the place to go.
The haat also has on offer various musical and cultural performances, which make your experience truly memorable. The entry fee to the market is Rs.15 and it is open from 10:30 am to 10 pm.
3. Flower Market at Dadar, Mumbai
While Mumbai is famous for its smart street shopping, this indoor flower market will give you a unique experience. Being a wholesale market, it mostly attracts those who want to buy a huge stock of flowers, but small street flower vendors also come here to fill up their daily stock. Tourists are equally welcome, and the market is a treat for photographers.
Although Mumbai rains are famous for spoiling shopping experiences, you don’t have to worry about that here as this is an indoor market. Of course you will have to be careful where you keep your feet on the messy floor.
You should visit the place in the early morning for a good experience as the vendors sell out most of their stock by 10 am.
4. Kannauj Markets, Uttar Pradesh
You better have your nose in great working condition before visiting this market, since it is a center for various perfumes and scents along with tobacco and rose water.
In this town located on the banks of Ganges, attar (natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources) is much more than just fragrance. The scents will be found in every household here and have been prepared by the ancestors of this place. The market offers more than 650 scents, made by using age old traditional methods.
5. Sardar market, Jodhpur
This colourful market is located close to the famous Mehrangarh fort of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. The market offers you a wide variety of traditional Bandhej clothes, Mojris (Rajasthani shoes), handicrafts, textiles, bangles, spices, etc.
Women dressed in traditional Jodhpuri dresses and men with their colourful turbans will automatically attract you. Make sure you brush up on your bargaining powers before you enter the place.
6. Mahidharpura Diamond Market, Surat
If you see some men carrying hundreds of diamonds in their hands as if they are carrying common stones, you have entered the Mahidharpura diamond market of Surat, Gujarat. People would carry a huge amount of cash and buy diamonds here as if they would be buying groceries.
Here the shopkeepers are busy polishing and examining the diamonds, and while you will spend 5 minutes looking, someone would have already exchanged a deal worth hundreds of millions.
7. Ima Market, Imphal
Ima market, also known as Mother’s market, in the capital of Manipur is the only market in the world with its stalls run and controlled by women. Over 30,000 women sit in rows and trade here every day.
From handicrafts, baskets and cane works to utensils, clothes, groceries and fish, you will find everything here. Located at Khwairamband Bazaar, it is one of the special travel experiences of Imphal.
8. Jew Town, Cochin
If you want to get products from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, this is the place for you to go. Famous for its spices, this market also offers a huge variety of crafted shawls, jewelry, handicraft products, perfumes and clothes – all sold by the last surviving Jewish families.
The smell of various exotic spices will pull you towards the many small shops situated in a row. These spices were the biggest attraction here, but then these shops started shutting due to tremendous competition. That is when shops selling other commodities started appearing in Jew town, and now you get a vast variety of things including lovely antiques.
9. Flea markets, Goa
If there is one thing you can’t afford to miss except the beaches in Goa, it is the flea market. Started as a “hippie exchange” where the foreign tourists sold their possessions, Anjuna beach now has a much popular flea market which is set up every Wednesday. From jewelry, clothes, handmade toys to spices, tea, souvenirs and much more, this flea market has a lot to offer.
Goa’s Mapusa Friday Bazaar is one of the few remaining authentic markets in Goa. Women from nearby villages gather here and sell various products like homemade pickles, fruits, spices, earthen pots, etc.
10. Khari Baoli, Delhi
This street in Delhi is Asia’s largest wholesale spice market. Operating since 17th century, the market offers you all kinds of spices, nuts, herbs and food products. It houses a good variety of dry fruits as well.
One of the oldest spice markets in the world, the street is located near Chandni market and is surely a visitor’s delight.
11. Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad
This traditional old market located near Charminaar, Hyderabad is famous for the large variety of beautiful bangles that it offers. You can also find some awesome semi-precious stones and pearls jewelry.
The narrow lane doesn’t allow rickshaws and cars to enter, so be prepared for a bit of walking. And make sure that you tighten up your bargaining skills before entering the market.
12. Chowringhee lane, Kolkata
It is one of the busiest markets of Kolkata and sees footfalls from as early as 10 in the morning. From pretty dolls, keychains and souvenirs to dresses, shoes and costumes, you get it all here. You can easily reach the place by metro or bus.
13. Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
Chor Bazaar (market of thieves) is one of the largest flea markets in India. It is believed that if you lose something you can buy it back from “chor bazaar”. The market is famous for the vast variety of second-hand goods and antique products on display. You can find anything here, from used dumbbells and machinery to handicrafts, clocks, coffee tables, chests. etc.
14. Chandni Chowk, Delhi
Well, how can we finish this list without mentioning Chandni Chowk? The famous market has been standing tall for more than three centuries! From fabric and jewelry to electronics and food items – you name it and you’ll find it here!