Confession – I’m an obsessed Delhiite and I’ll love Delhi no matter how crazy it becomes.
Although, this was not always the case; there was a time when I thought Delhi sucked.
This was way back when I found traveling in Delhi inconvenient and the pollution levels unbearable. Things have changed for the better, with the metro and the CNG autos and buses. Traveling has become easy and pollution comparatively less. Agreed, the traffic jams and road rage is still a problem, but I can handle Delhi hormones :)
I’m planning do a 4-5 part series on Delhi for the benefit of some of you planning to visit Delhi for the Commonwealth Games Delhi 2010 or otherwise. For the people who are know-it-all and disagree on my-take-on-Delhi I have only one thing to say : “You may not agree with me but the difference between you & me is that – I wrote this & you are reading it !!”
So, let me get back to the topic of discussion …Shopping! Delhi is a shopper’s paradise; one can find stuff in every budget and every style.
Let me start with the heart of Delhi – Connaught place aka. CP. The area is built on a series of roads which run in concentric circles – much like a wheel. In the center of the wheel (hub) there is a huge underground bazaar called the Palika Bazaar, selling all kinds of things. Above this is our very own Central Park.
CP is a kaleidoscope of Restaurants, Banks, Movie halls, Branded Shops, Roadside shops and Offices. I have spent hours just window shopping there.
Spend some time in the State Emporiums (opposite Hanuman Mandir) for the traditional handicrafts of each state – The Rajasthan and Jammu-Kashmir emporeums have really amazing stuff, and the prices are also reasonable. Central Cottage Industries Emporium on Janpath has things from anywhere-n-everywhere in India; it is exclusive and hence expensive.
Visit Khadi Bhandaar. I always pick some handmade soap and khadi kurtas – excellent stuff for gifts. Other interesting thing includes the Chuddi (bangles) Market behind Hanuman Mandir – a treasure trove for bangles in colors to match every outfit and the wholesale market for flowers in front of the Coffee House (from 5-8 am).
Bargain hunters must visit Janpath & Tibetan Market for silk scarves, bags and clothes. House of Scarves on Janpath gets my vote for the best variety. Another cool store is People Tree near the Rivoli movie theater for unusual stuff (I admit – some of it is overpriced).
The Inner & Outer circles have there share of big-branded-shops. During the ‘SALE’ season, crowds can make it difficult to walk. Whenever we go to CP, a stop at Wengers (A block) is a must, the chicken puff is-to-die-for among other delectable delights & the cold-coffee at Kavenders or DePaul can’t be missed.
Panchkuian Marg is best for furniture & cane stuff, we bought our dog’s basket from there ;)
In the summer days enjoy the cool underground market & test your bargaining skills. At Palika Bazar you’ll find all types of electronics, clothes, leather goods, and jewelry… even the Nintendo Wii which may not be available in the rest of the world will be in stock here.
Shankar Market is famous for Indian dress material. Fresh Juice Shops & Rajma-Chawal corner shop were my office lunch time hang outs in this area. Gol Market & Bengali Market near CP, are better known for the food than shopping.
A short ride away is Daryaganj. It’s the most extensive second hand book pavement market. Book lovers and students come from all over to purchase books at throw away prices every Sunday. Some day I hope to find hidden treasures among the heap of books.
I can go on and on but am gonna leave some stuff for the next post ! Keep Reading.