I once saw a fuchsia pink ambassador (India’s oldest and most iconic car), driven by a Blonde European Lady, outside South Extension Market, with the back seat filled with Nalli & Benetton shopping bags: an image that forever will make me smile.
Well! Delhi is all about contradictions – unusual things usually happen here. The shopping is no different.
Take Khan Market for instance. It gives an impression of a local market, 2-3 lanes with a couple of big showrooms, double story buildings with a parking lot in the centre & a few nice restaurants.
But did you know that Khan Market is the most expensive retail destination?!? In its annual report on global retail rents, the worldwide real estate consultancy firm Cushman and Wakefield put India at 16th position & Khan Market moved up eight places from its 24th position last year. Believe it or not, the market ranks above some of the fancied elite shopping destinations, such as Moscow, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Amsterdam and Toronto.
If you’re in South Delhi the list of places to shop is endless including, but to limited to, Khan Market, DefCol, Southx, Lajpat Nagar & Hauz Khas Village…this is just the start. There is also New Friends Colony, Ashram, Munirka, Ansals Plaza, GK, Lodi Market, Green Park and Nehru Place, and some place even I don’t know about.
Khan Market is popular with the diplomatic community. It houses stores like Benetton, Tag Heuer, Levis, Woodland, Nike and also specialty boutiques like Anokhi, Ogaan, Bizarre, FabIndia and some-such.
Apart from these one will find excellent book shops, opticians, grocers, photographers, tailors, and household furnishing stores. Across the other side of the road there are shops that mainly specialize in Lamps, there is also Khadi & Hyde Out (for Shoes). Must visit Cafe Turtle, Big Chill & Khan Chacha Rolls whenever you are there.
There are two DefCol markets; one is more famous for the restaurants and the other for the designer boutiques under the flyover. Since my office was in A block, I know the one with the restaurant like the back of my hand. There is not much to shop here, except a nice Punjabi T’shirt shop. It’s mainly a place to indulge yourself. My recommendations- Appam & stew @ Swagat, Sizzlers @ Moet’s, Iddli @Sagar, Pizza @ Little Italy, chana-kulcha and onion chaori @ Nathus. Try the ‘Harry-Shanti’ saloon for a haircut.
On both sides of the ring road when one finds colorful displays & neon lights, with huge departmental stores like Ebony, Big Jos, Hopps – one can be sure to have reached South Extension.
Southx is an up-market shopping area where quality garments and footwear sell like hot potatoes. The annual sales here are a much-awaited feature. Remember- most shops are closed on Mondays.It’s basically a hangout for the-so-called- hip-n-happening-college-crowd. Must do’s here include a peek at the jewelry shops & eating bhelpuri at the corner shop in Southx-Part 1.
Delhi is a genuine paradise for shoppers, where else can one buy cheap-export-rejected-designer-branded-goodies. If that caught your attention, Lajpath Nagar Market is the place for you. I once bought home-décor table runners with potterybarn’s label for 100 bucks a piece (beat that!).
But that’s not all , you get good photo-framing options, accessories, home tit-bits and running cloth material. It has the largest ladies suit market in Asia. Of course one has to bargain, but the prices are very reasonable anyway. One can never get tired of just looking around when here.
Hauz Khas Village
The haunt of the nouveau riche, HKV offers a combination of ethnic chic and designer lebels, Indian and international. A few years ago, an association called Dastakar – set up a showroom in the village. Over time, a village had developed around the medieval college and the tomb of Firoz Shah Tughlaq. Now the village has a plethora of boutiques and art galleries which coexist with hatched roof buildings and men with hookahs on charpoys. Far from being a deterrent, the “rural” ambience is a positive attraction.
Bridal Shopping in Delhi … coming soon!!