India Travel

The Best Shopping Locations and Markets in Delhi

Accept the fact that we do have an undying and obsessive shopaholic within each one of us. If you have come from a foreign country to the capital of India, you might be in for a shock. Everything in Delhi is the opposite of what it is in your homeland. But these dissimilarities bring with them a bunch of advantages that you’re yet to explore.

We have plenty of ultra-chic malls and shopping complexes in the capital, but so what? You have them in your country as well. What’s so different then, about shopping in Delhi? Well, pep up your bargaining skills because I’m going to tell you why.

1. Sarojini Nagar Market

Ask any girl in Delhi what her favourite shopping location is and be prepared to hear Sarojini topping her list. It’s the ultimate fashion destination for everyone.

Sarojini Nagar Market is in South Delhi, and it is very near to Green Park. It’s the ultimate paradise for shopaholics like me. There are hundreds of small shops and stalls here where you can get anything to everything, especially clothes.

The vendors here get the clothes from wholesale markets in kilogrammes, and if you try to find it, you might even get to see clothes from some known brands for as low as Rs. 100. (2 USD). I once bought an H&M top from Sarojini for Rs. 150!

From crop tops to tees, skirts to jeans, scarves, kurtis, leggings, cardigans, chunky accessories, traditional Indian clothes and don’t even get me started on what else you can get here. The clothes are in good condition most of the time (but do check properly if it’s torn or if there are any stains because you never know), and the market is usually packed with young people and adults every single day.

All you need is a large bag and some brilliant bargaining skills, and you can go home with a new closet altogether!

2. Daryaganj

Books for sale at Daryaganj. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Who said that shopping is all about clothes and fashion? True book lovers will run to the nearest bookstore whenever they get the chance. It’s the smell of books that’s more divine to us than 1000 t-shirts put together. Sounds like you? Then Daryaganj is the place for you.

Put up only on Sundays; this market is the holy grail for all you book lovers out there. In fact, you’ll swoon at the sight of the market. Situated in Old Delhi, this market stretches from the southern part of the city towards the north. It is believed to have begun as long back as 1964!

This enormous market contains books like the granules of sand; uncountable. Although all of these books are second-hand, they are in excellent condition. I have no idea where the vendors get them from but trust me; you can get everything from a classic Jane Austen to the popular Dan Brown here. The only trouble is that all the books are just piled and strewn all over the place. It’s like finding a gold coin in a heap of rubbish (though the books are not rubbish). But it’s like a surprising book shop, you see. You cannot come up with a list of books and find them here. You never know what you will find.

Going to the best part of the market: prices of the books. The rates can be as low as Rs.10-20 for one book! That’s like $0.15 USD. And if it’s your lucky day, you can even get two or three books for half the price. Don’t faint already because you have to rush to Daryaganj.

3. Lajpat Nagar Central Market

Central Market
Central Market. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

Lajpat Nagar has a primary market which is lined with high-end shops. There are also many famous restaurants here. The shops do have some beautiful collection of clothes, and you can check them out if you like.

But what I’m writing about is the Lajpat Nagar Central Market which is in the main market, don’t worry. There are lots of trendy clothes, accessories and footwear that you can get in here. The prices are just like in Sarojini but maybe a tad bit more. You can bargain most of the time, but the vendors won’t reduce as much as they do in Sarojini.

You also get to taste some really yummy street food so don’t miss out on that. It is one of the best shopping destinations in Delhi.

4. Chandni Chowk

A shop in Khari Baoli
A shop in Khari Baoli. Photo by Wikimedia Commons.

This market is legendary. It is believed to be here since the time of the Mughal kings, and it doesn’t seem like there has been any change in its simplicity. It’s an excellent shopping location and a must-visit.

Chandni Chowk is a huge market, filled with narrow lanes. I suggest that you always make sure where you’re going because the lanes can get very confusing. You will not see trendy tees hanging in the shops. Instead, you’ll see plenty of handicraft items, fabrics, traditional Indian clothes and some of the yummiest Indian food you’ll ever taste.

You will get all of these products at a very cheap rate compared to other places in Delhi. Chandni Chowk can get very crowded so keep your wallet and other valuable items close to you. Don’t forget to visit the Paranthewali Gali (the lane that sells paranthas – stuffed fried bread). This lane of Chandni Chowk market is famous not only in Delhi throughout the entire country as well. They serve some of the most delicious paranthas ever.

Also, don’t forget to visit the Khari Baoli market nearby. India is famous for its spices and you’ll get to buy all of these in this small and congested market. It also boasts of large collections of dry fruits and Indian sweets.

5. Janpath Market

Jhootis in the market
Jhootis in the market. Photo by Chris Schmich.

Janpath is a minuscule market, but if you take the effort to check out the shops, you will fall in love with them. The shops have some of the prettiest and chunkiest accessories ever. They also sell clothes (mostly kurtis) and jhootis (traditional Rajasthani footwear).

Situated in Connaught Place, this place is great if you just have an evening to spare and would like to do some quick shopping. Some shops also sell amazing handicraft items and paintings that you can take back as souvenirs with you. The only trouble is that because the market is in such a posh location and the products are exquisite; the vendors are quite resolute in their no-bargaining policy. But the place is worth a visit.

By Merlin Chacko

Currently studying English Literature at Delhi University. Obsessed with Harry Potter and NOT Shakespeare. I believe that nothing nourishes the soul like books and travelling. Constantly amazed by the Indian culture and its history. Personally feel that the old forts and ruined palaces in India are almost magical.

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