India City Guide

A comprehensive guide on shopping places/markets in Delhi. Get details on where to go for shopping in Delhi and what to buy there.

Shopping in Delhi

Shopping in Delhi

Shopping in Delhi - Shopping in the capital can be as varied and eclectic as you like it. Where you go depends on what you want. Almost every residential area has its own 'shopping complex' but some of them, over the years, have become bigger and have assumed an individual character and panache. Shopping malls have also become an important fixture of Delhi and have added a new dimension to the shopping experience in the city. Everything coexists in comfortable harmony here - the old bazaar in Chandni Chowk to the couture boutiques in Hauz Khas. This year, though, saw the tearing down of an important shopping landmark on the MCD's orders - 1 MG (Mehrauli Gurgaon) Road, which housed the best collection of designer wear from the top Indian designers. So, for all high-street shoppers there is some heartbreak.

There are a number of upmarket boutiques which cater to the trendy and big budget shoppers. Santushti, off Race Course Road centre), is one of the most popular ones. The complex has been created by the Air Force Wives Welfare Association. Enjoy this outdoor shopping experience with minimal crowds and a lot of greenery - quite rarity in Delhi! Buy exclusive furnishings at Shyam Ahuja, ethnic designer-wear at Kotwara Studios, ceramics at Good Earth, pottery and linen at Tulsi, imaginative silk objects at Silk Forest, leather at Tack, bags-to-go-with-cloths at Christina, herbal beauty products at Shahnaz Hussain's salon, ethnic linen at Anokhi, labels at Ogaan…. And of course, have a meal at Basil & Thyme, a small but trendy Italian restaurant.

Down a narrow road that branches off from Aurobindo Marg in South Delhi, making a way through rubble and cattle you come to the village of Hauz Khas (40 min from city centre), nestling in the shadow of a 12th century monument with all the trappings of Mughal history. Against this backdrop, a spurt of creativity has brought together some of the best names in designer wear who display their products in special boutiques. Mona Pali, Gitanjali Kashyap, Rani Prashar and Ritu Kumar are some of these. Ogaan also sells a number of labels. Old textiles can be brought at Nalini Malhotra's A Touch of Gold or at Krishan at Chaupal. Ashish Anand's Delhi Art Gallery and the Village Gallery have works by 20th century masters; Ishatvam is for interiors, while Limelight Candles is for exquisite candles. The Bistro complex has four restaurants serving four kinds of cuisine. Needless to say, it is the setting of Hauz Khas that lends it a special quality.

On the lines of Hauz Khas is Qutub Colonnade. This is also a display of boutiques against ancient ruins. The Qutub Minar makes for a fabulous backdrop (an hour from city centre), though the number of shops aren't as many as in Hauz Khas.

Situated in a remote village in Mehrauli, the Ambavatta Complex houses exclusive and trendy designer stores. Do look out for the shawls - paisley, jamevar, pashminas and some unusual Kutch varieties - as a good buy.

Dill Haat To really experience Delhi in all its colours and flavours there are some alternative shopping areas that are a must-see. The antithesis of high-end sophisticated shopping these areas is fun, exciting and captures the local spirit of Delhi. Most famous among them is Dilli Haat. Developed by Delhi Tourism on Safdarjung Road (15 minutes from city centre) - it is an enclosed square selling Indian ethnic crafts (you have to buy a Rs. 10 ticket enter). Over 30 stalls sell wares from different parts of India - browse, bargain, buy is the way it goes. The open-air ambience serves very well on a sunny winter day. Ceramics, jute, silks, sandalwood, bronze, traditional embroidery/weaving, woolen carpets, papier mache, glasswork... all have a presence here. The food stalls (serving Sikkimese momos to Lucknawi biryani) do it the food court way. Opposite the Dilli Haat is INA Market - the place, if you are looking for good quality Indian spices, as well as important food and toiletry items.

Chandni Chowk, right opposite the historic Red Fort in Old Delhi (20 min from city centre), has been a market since the times of the Mughal emperors and is a must-visit. The lanes are dedicated to different things - one each for silks, shawls, silver, utensils, and trinkets and so on. An unusual experience to say the least. Street food in the tandoor or seekh style is very popular.

A hybrid between Janpath and Lajpat Nagar is the Sarojini Nagar market. Located close to Chanakyapuri (20 min from city centre), SN Market has hawkers screaming their lungs out, open shops and a few branded outlets. Exports surplus clothes is the hot selling item, home appliances come a close second.

Ajmal Khan Road Market in Karol Bagh is also very popular for affordable Indian ware and cotton yardage.