Shopaholic? Discover The Best of India

Online shopping has revolutionized the way we shop. You want the famous Indian Silk Saree? Check Amazon. Or maybe Jaipuri Jutties? There’s a deal on Flipkart. True enough, everything is just a click away.

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Indian Market displaying handicrafts

But for a true shopaholic or a tourist on vacation, nothing beats a day spent looking at all the gorgeous stuff in an old fashioned traditional market. There’s something magical about Indian markets. Markets in India are the most colourful, vibrant and lively places. They have something for everyone, shopaholic or not. The activities going on, colourful things hanging around, varied smells and noises, fascinates everyone. A day spent in a market, is a day spent well. You can expect to find as much diversity in Indian markets as in India as each region is popular for its own industry. Here, we bring for you, some of the products each region specializes in, which can be brought while shopping at their local markets.

Heaven of Craftmanship – Jammu and Kashmir

Heaven on Earth is also Heaven for those who have a thing for handicrafts. The region is famous for its high quality pashmina shawls, heavily embroidered hand woven carpets, Paper Mache and beautifully carved furniture. And, while you’re there relish your delicacies with saffron.

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Kashmiri Emporium
Kashmiri Paper Mache
Kashmiri Paper Mache | by Kavita Kapoor
Pashmina Shawls
Pashmina Shawls | by Soumyadeep Paul

Of Traditions and Culture – Punjab

Punjab is mostly famous for its ‘phulkari’ which means floral craft. This heavy embroidery work is done on shawls and head scarfs. Apart from that, traditional jutties or shoes are the typical footwear of Punjab worn by men and women alike. Women shoppers can also buy Parandis, woven out of silk threads to decorate hair.

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Shopping in Punjab

Colors of Rajasthan

Rajasthan’s handicrafts attract as much as its rich cultural heritage. The famous blue pottery or gems and jewellery, tie and dye or jutties, Rajasthan has everything for everyone. Colorful textiles with different print can be bought in Rajasthan only. One can choose from different printing styles namely Bandhej, Bagru, tie and dye, Sanganeri or settle for embroidery with eye-catching mirror work. Jaipur’s gems and jewellery are graceful and elegant. Paintings and hand-made puppets can also be purchased, while light and warm Jaipuri quilts are a must have.

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Colors of Rajasthan
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Street Shopping @ Jaipur

Flavors and Aroma – Uttar Pradesh

Uttar Pradesh is famous all over the world for Taj Mahal and Banaras(Varanasi). You can find many marble items inspired by the rich architecture, and copper and brass items. Banaras is popular for its hand woven silk saris called Banarasi sari. For scents and perfumes of various kinds, Lucknow is the place to head to.

Colorful Wares Uttar Pradesh
Colorful Wares Uttar Pradesh | Photo by Hema Narayanan

Goods that scream Talent and Hardwork – Bihar

Bihar is best known for its Madhubani paintings. This is a unique folk art painting, and the themes are mainly religious and mythological. Other items include stone pottery, bamboo and cane work, jewellery and wall hangings. Bihar is also famous for its Bhagalpuri Silk and unique wood carvings.

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Madhubani Paintings and Wooden Carvings
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Crafts of Bihar

Culture and Skills – West Bengal

In this cultural capital of India, you can buy anything from jewellery to clothes to metal works. Known for its tea plantations, undoubtedly this place has the best premium quality, aromatic tea. Other than that, you can look for terracotta wares, wall hangings and Indian musical instruments.

Terracota figures West Bengal
Bankura horse is the terracotta horse, produced in Panchmura village in Bankura district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Buy Handmade Bamboo Stuff from Mizoram

Mizoram is famous for Kumbeu, a ceremonial bamboo hat made of wild Hnathial leaves. This attractive hat is waterproof and durable. Other bamboo and cane products made locally are bamboo baskets, handwoven purses, tea coasters, flower vases and pen stands to name a few.

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Don’t you want that HAT?!

Everything for Everyone – Maharashtra

Maharashtra is famous for its Kohlapuri chappals, a footwear made of leather. Besdies, Kohlapuri Saaj which is a collection of necklaces, bormal, putlihar are famous. Paithani sari, Mashroo, Himroo shawls and Kimkhab weaves are the highlights of the region. Other must buys include- Lacquer ware, Warli Tribal Paintings, Birdi ware and Narayan Peth saris.

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Street Shopping

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Take home a piece of Tribal Art from Orissa

Opportunities abound for shopaholics in Orissa.   The handicrafts are among the best in India. It includes silver filigree work, woven sea shell, cloth paintings, and tribal jewellery. The region is also famous for its wooden toys and sand sculptures.

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Art and Craft

Ethnic Sari @ Tamil Nadu

Pure Silk saris, Kanjivaram are amongst the finest saris in India. This sari is made out of heavy silk and has heavy borders. Tamil Nadu is also famous for its metal work, stone sculptures and pattamara mats. Thanjavur is known for its intricate paintings with gold foil.

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Tamil Nadu Shopping Street
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Kanjeevaram Sari & An artist making a gold foil painting

India is a land of hardworking people with extraordinary skills. You have something to buy or not, head to a market, you’d be amazed to see the talents and betcha won’t return empty handed. So Just Keep Calm and Go Shopping.

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