Shopping in India is one of the most popular ways to experience the culture of the country, as well as bring home a few keepsakes. A tour of the different regions will give visitors a very different India shopping experience, as the goods and crafts available vary greatly by location. Seeing the array of goods can be one of the most interesting aspects of wandering through a market in India, as travelers can determine for themselves the quality of the offerings in a destination. The items sold at the bazaar in India are often the result of skills passed down through generations of craftspeople. Labor intensive and handmade, the items you bring home from India have the potential to be one of a kind.
India shopping includes a great variety of fabrics, carpets, silverware, gems, antiques, and leatherwork. Don’t be shy to bargain, as the first price offered by the merchant is not what they expect to receive. Before you enquire about an item, have an idea in mind what price you would like to pay for it and bargain towards that general amount. If you think you are getting ripped off at a market in India, walk away from the merchant. If he or she really wants to make a sale, you will be called back and offered a fairer price. If bargaining isn’t an aspect of shopping you are looking forward to, you may be more comfortable at the state-run option where all prices are fixed, an emporia.
For centuries, one of India’s main industries has been textiles. This is reflected when shopping in India, where silks, cotton, and woolen shawls are plentiful and available in a variety of colors. Some of the more famous textile options are the brocade silks from Varanasi, boldly colorful cotton from Rajasthan, and Madras cotton. If you’re looking for pashminas, they can be found in most Indian cities. Remember to check the label to see if what you’re purchasing was made in another country. If this is the case, you might consider passing on the item and seeking out something similar that was made within India.
At a market in India, expect clothes to be inexpensive. This is another reason to pack light on your next trip to India. If you forgot an item of clothing or need something warm, it is much easier to pick up an inexpensive shawl than to carry around unnecessary weight. If you choose to pick up clothes at the beginning of your trip, you might visit a market in Mumbai, New Delhi, or Kolkata, if you've flown into one of those cities, ahead of excursions to explore other parts of the country.
Many travelers come to India in search of the perfect carpet. India shopping has one of the widest selections of carpets available around the globe, and they especially display a bright color palate. In Darjeeling, famous Tibetan rugs are available for purchase. Visitors will also find a plentiful amount of Persian rugs across the country, long known for their attention to detail and high quality.
Shopping in India would not be complete without perusing the large, ornate jewelry that is so plentiful. While more delicate options are available, heavy and elaborate pieces are often the favorites of travelers. Spices and Indian tea are also a common purchase, for those who want to bring home a bit of the sensory experience of India as well. Woodwork, pottery, and leather goods in the form of handmade sandals, wallets, or handbags will also be seen at the market in India. Remember to keep your own handbags and wallets secure while walking through the bazaar.