Markets in Delhi
Delhi is full of wonderfully exotic and colourful markets for expats to explore.
Dilli Haat is an open-air food and craft bazaar in Sri Aurobindo Marg, opposite INA Market. It exhibits a variety of thatched roof stalls from almost every region in India. Expats will find beautiful hand paintings from Bihar, retro sarees from Chatissgarh, bright-embroidered umbrellas from Rajasthan, brassware to Kolahpuri chappals (sandals) and Pashmina shawls from Kashmir.
Besides all the fabulous shopping, there is a variety of food available here; one can try different cuisines from the different states of India from mouthwatering momos from Sikkim, crisp dosas from Tamil Nadu, pao bhaji from Maharashtra to Hyderabadi biryani, to name a few.
►Attractions: Look out for cultural events and programmes.
►Entrance Fee: 20 INR for an adult and 10 INR for children.
Janpath and Tibetan Market
Janpath is a popular and lively area in Central Delhi, off Connaught Place. Here one will find several street shops, with both fixed and makeshift stalls. It’s a paradise for ethnic goodies like paintings, Indian artefacts, brassware and handicrafts. Besides this there are plenty of cheap jewellery shops with some fabulous pieces. The market also houses one of the largest clothes export-surplus street shops in Delhi with all international labels (i.e. cut-off labels) available here. Walk towards the Tibetan market and find a spread of colourful embroidered fabrics ranging from bed spreads to lamp shades to embroidered patches to match outfits and even embroidered shoes (juttis) and umbrellas. The market is closed on Sundays.
►Tips: Use bargaining skills to get a good price, and try the cold coffee at D’Pauls; it’s delicious and a ritual with Delhi-ites.
Khan market is located off Lodi Colony, opposite the Golf Links. The market is small and cozy; book shops have been a part of this market for ages, along with tailors and dry cleaners. Today it’s known for its branded stores, small designer outlets, quirky ethnic shops and cafés. Shoppers will also find street shops that sell sandals/chappals and beautiful ‘junk’ jewellery at very reasonable prices. The market is closed on Sundays.
►What to buy: Books from Full Circle or BahriSons. Sunglasses from Dayal or Drishti. Fusion ‘cotton’ wear from Fab India or Anokhi. Home décor from Oma or Good Earth or Renovation Factory. Real jewellery from Amrapali or constume jewellery from the street side.
Chandi Chowk is one of the oldest shopping districts in Old Delhi and was built in the 17th century as part of the Mughal city of Shahjahanabad. Walking through the narrow winding alleys can be quite an adventure. The market is closed on Sundays.
Chandi Chowk bazaar has several lanes, each dedicated to a specific product. Bhagirath Palace is a haven for electronics. Fabrics rule the Katra Neel lane. Dariba Kalan is known for its silverware and silver jewellery. If one is getting married then they need to head towards Kinari Bazaar for all the wedding gear and Nai Sarak for wedding cards. And a favourite, Khari Baoli, which has spices and is one of Asia’s largest spice markets.
Lastly, if expats are daring enough, they can try the street food here; there is a variety available at every corner.
►Warning: It’s not for the weak, as it’s quite crowded and the alleys are very narrow.
Lajpat Nagar is located near Ashram Chowk, opposite Defence Colony. Name it and one can get it here. Though it’s primarily known for material for Indian outfits, so whether one is a fashion designer or making an outfit for themselves, this is the place to go to for fabric and other embellishments. And as mentioned earlier expats will still manage to get everything here from jewellery to upholstery to ready-made and reasonably priced Indian wear (salwaar kameez, lehengas etc.) to food items to electronics to household appliances…the list can go on and on. The market is closed on Sundays.
►Tips: Bargaining skills come in handy whether in the stalls or the showrooms. Get mehendi applied on ones hands and have a bite of the momos from the popular Tibetan carts.
Santushti Shopping Complex
Elegant, sophisticated, tasteful, Santushti Shopping Complex, located in the heart of Lutyens, has dozens of boutiques spread across an open area that is interspersed with green lawns and stoned pathways. The stores can be best described as lovely little bungalows or huts. The boutiques range from silk scarves and bags at Christina’s, pashmina shawls at K, cigars at Kastro's, block printed fusion wear at Anokhi, bright cushions and other accessories at Nur, and many more. The only restaurant, the famous Basil and Thymes, is tucked away in the corner. Santushi Shopping Complex is an oasis amongst the crowded Delhi markets. It is closed on Sundays.
►Warning: Photography and haggling are strictly not allowed.
Hauz Khas Village
Hauz Khas Village is located amid 14th century heritage structures, which include tombs, a madrasa and the breathtaking royal tank. Today’s urban village is home to several eclectic young designers exhibiting their passion through innovative products made of re-usable paper, fashion that breaks the conventional norm, art that explodes one's imagination, vintage posters that bring life into the old and jewellery that makes a statement – in short this market oozes creativity, talent and innovation. The market is closed on Sundays.
The market is also a haven for food lovers; Yeti for Tibetan cuisine, Naivedyam for South Indian, Boheme and Amour for its exquisite view (and of course its delicious food) and plenty of cafés and bakeries.
Sarojini Nagar Market
One of the city’s most popular export-surplus markets, where one can buy ‘branded’ clothes at unbelievable prices. The area is packed with makeshift street shops, selling a range of fashion wear – jumpsuits, dresses, tops, skirts, linen shirts and cargoes. It’s an absolute paradise for the budget shopper. The market is closed on Mondays
This is the commercial and financial hub of Delhi, often referred to as CP. The Victorian-style structure was completed in 1931 and was named after the Duke of Connaught. Today, it has been renamed as Rajeev Chowk (after the late Prime Minister). CP is in the form of rings comprising an inner and outer circle. Connaught Place is closed on Sundays.
Besides offices and headquarters of leading firms, CP is also a popular shopping destination with stores that house international brands, restaurants, pubs and cinema halls. The Central Cottage Industries Emporium off CP is famous for its handicrafts. There are also state-run emporiums at Baba Kharak Singh Marg that offer state-specific products.