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Markets in India are the gateway to get an exclusive look and understanding of the diverse culture, tradition, and lifestyle of the country. They are the life and soul of this thriving country with emotions and history packed in hues of colors, aroma, textures, and artifacts. The markets in question here are not the modern architecture and showrooms with dazzling lights and organized items, but the traditional ‘’bazaars’’ or street markets that are colorful, busy, and usually chaotic labyrinth of shopping streets filled with vendors and shoppers making the place alive. Even in today’s world where shopping for literally anything is just a click away, these Bazaars and markets with their pretty stalls and glittering articles and commodities are like a reverberation of a tradition that continues to add charm.

Street shopping has been a critical part of India’s culture, business, and lifestyle for hundreds of years now. Indian markets sell many amazing apparels that are a mix of ethnic Indian and western styles, quirky jewelry, shoes, bags, and other accessories as well as tasty street foods, whose aromas often waft in these lanes and draw exhausted shoppers in for periodic replenishments. Several street markets in India have been around for more than a century, which makes them no less than a desirable place to visit and experience history through the echoes of the narrow and bustling streets. These markets stood the test of time and refuse to die down in their charm and vibrancy despite the centuries of historical heaviness levied to them.

These often labyrinth street markets have been a vital part of the Indian culture and history, though the Mughal and the British era and even before that. It is these markets where the rare gems and antique souvenirs can be found and brought back home along with the stimulating vibes of the beautiful chaos that is India. The best part about shopping in the traditional markets of India is bargaining that is a part and parcel of this experience. Negotiating prices with the sellers and vendors is a skill which, especially, the Indian women have mastered in over ages and makes the shopping experience more eventful than it can be anywhere else in the world. Whether you are a shopaholic or not, Indian street markets are a must-visit to experience the bustling vibes and the traditional culture of India.

Some of the historic shopping destinations in India that are still popular among the locals and are always alive right from the dawn to the dusk are given below.

  • Chor Bazaar, Mumbai: As the name implies, the market is known for selling used and refurbished items, Victorian furniture, vintage items, automobile replacement and so on. It is believed, that if something of yours is lost in Mumbai, it will probably end up in Chor Bazaar.
  • Chandni Chowk, Delhi: One of the oldest markets of India, Chandni Chowk was constructed by Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. From the Lahori Gate of the Red Fort to Fatehpur Masjid, Chandni Chowk runs through the heart of the walled city and is known for selling everything from clothes, footwear, accessories, stationary, spices, equipment, furniture, and divine food, all at dirt cheap prices.
  • Meena Bazaar, Delhi: Originally established by the Mughal emperors for the ladies of Harem, wives of noblemen, and Rajput kings, Meena Bazaar is now an elaborate market in the premises of Red Fort and sells items mostly for women.
  • Johari Bazaar, Jaipur: Jaipur’s largest jewelry market, which is said to be the market from where royal women used to shop, Johari Bazaar sells traditional Rajasthani jewelry made of gold, silver, emerald, kundan, and diamonds with an exceptional intricacy.
  • Attar Bazaar, Kannauj: Known as the ‘perfume city’, Kannauj is home to the largest perfumery of India and produces ‘attar’, a fragrant essential oil usually made of roses and sandalwood. These are expensive perfumes and have healing properties.
  • Jew Street: Once was home to the Jews of Israelis, Jew Street in Kochi is the hub of antique stores selling old artifacts along with spices that the state of Kerala is known for.

Some of the other famous markets in India that are not so old but still have been in existence for quite some time, are given below.

  • Colaba Causeway and Fashion Street, Mumbai: A paradise for the shopaholics, Colaba Causeway and Fashion Street sell apparels from high brands to local sellers along with other accessories and home décor at relatively reasonable prices.
  • Hazratganj Market, Lucknow: Known for its ‘chikankari’ fabrics and apparels, Hazratganj Market has retained its old-world charm of Nawabs and has delightful street food as well.
  • Sarojini Nagar Market, Delhi: From affordable apparels to junk jewelry to handicraft, Sarojini Market is a dream of every girl where bargaining is not even required as the items are sold at way cheap prices.
  • Commercial Street, Bangalore: Located at the heart of the IT city of Bangalore, Commercial Street is the retail therapy where you can bargain your way out and collect things from clothing to furniture, to home décor and whatnot.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

Q1. What is the biggest market of India?

Chandni Chowk is the biggest wholesale market of India made in the 17th century. Within it you can also explore Khari Baoli, Asia’s biggest spice market.

Q2. What is an Indian market called?

Traditionally, an Indian market is called as a Bazaar.

Q3. What are the best markets in India?

Some of the best markets in India are:

  • Sarojini Market, Delhi
  • Chandni Chowk, Delhi
  • Colaba Causeway, Mumbai
  • New Market, Kolkata
  • Commercial Street, Bangalore
  • Hazratganj Market, Lucknow
  • Laad Market, Hyderabad

Q4. What do people buy from Indian market?

Some of the best souvenirs to buy from Indian street markets are Indian spices, tea, antique jewelry, cloth fabric with detailed design, blue pottery, Kutch embroidery, Ayurvedic products.

Q5. Are clothes cheaper in India?

Yes, clothes and fabrics are sold at reasonable prices in India, and you can bargain here from local vendors as well.

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