Shopping in India

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Spice Market

    It feels as if little has changed for centuries in Delhi's fabulously atmospheric, labyrinthine spice market, as labourers hustle through the narrow lanes with huge packages of herbs and spices on their heads whilst sunlight pours down through cracks in the hessian sacks hanging overhead for shade. The colours are wonderful – red chillies, yellow turmeric, green cardamons – and there's so much spice in the air, people walk around unable to suppress their sneezes.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Khan Market

    Khan Market is Delhi's most-upmarket shopping enclave, the most expensive place to rent a shop in India, and is favoured by the elite and expats. Its boutiques focus on fashion, books and homewares, and it's also a good place to eat and drink.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in New Delhi

    Central Cottage Industries Emporium

    This government-run multilevel store is a wonderful treasure trove of fixed-price, India-wide handicrafts. Prices are higher than in the state emporiums, but the selection of woodcarvings, jewellery, pottery, papier mâché, stationery, brassware, textiles (including shawls), toys, rugs, beauty products and miniature paintings makes it a glorious one-stop shop for beautiful crafts.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Sabyasachi

    It's worth popping in to this high-end traditional garment shop to see the space itself, a gorgeous, cavernous, rose-oil-scented stunner chock-full of owner and designer Sabyasachi Mukherjee's collection of chandeliers, antiques, ceramics, paintings and carpets. As far as retail goes, it's unlike anything you have ever seen.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in New Delhi

    Kamala

    Crafts, curios, textiles and homewares from the Crafts Council of India, designed with flair and using traditional techniques but offering some contemporary, out-of-the-ordinary designs.

  • Shopping in Anjuna

    Anjuna Flea Market

    Anjuna’s weekly Wednesday flea market is as much part of the Goan experience as a day on the beach. More than three decades ago, it was conceived and created by hippies smoking jumbo joints, convening to compare experiences on the heady Indian circuit and selling pairs of Levi jeans or handmade jewellery to help fund the rest of their stay.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in South Delhi

    Hauz Khas Village

    This arty little enclave has narrow lanes crammed with boutiques selling designer Indian clothing, handicrafts, contemporary ceramics, handmade furniture and old Bollywood posters. Intriguingly, it's located beside numerous 13th- and 14th-century ruins, as well as a forested deer park and a lake. Standout eating and drinking options include Naivedyam and Hauz Khas Social.

  • Shopping in New Delhi

    State Emporiums

    Handily in a row are these regional treasure-filled emporiums. They may have the air of torpor that often afflicts governmental enterprises, but shopping here is like travelling around India – top stops include Kashmir, for papier mâché and carpets; Rajasthan, for miniature paintings and puppets; Uttar Pradesh, for marble inlay work; Karnataka, for sandalwood sculptures; and Odisha, for stone carvings.

  • Shopping in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Main Bazaar

    Backpacker Central, this crazy-busy bazaar that runs through Paharganj sells almost everything you want, and a whole lot more. It's great for buying presents, clothes, inexpensive jewellery bits and bobs, and luggage to put everything in as you're leaving India, or for hippy-dippy clothes to wear on your trip. Haggle with purpose.

  • Shopping in South Delhi

    Shahpur Jat Village

    Located within the boundaries of the ruined walls of Siri Fort (the second of Delhi's seven historic cities), this urban village contains an artsy collection of high-end clothing boutiques, health-conscious cafes and no-frills eateries, many of which are hidden amongst a network of graffiti-splattered alleyways. It's one of Delhi's more intriguing places to shop.

  • Shopping in Sunder Nagar, Nizamuddin & Lodi Colony

    Meharchand Market

    Across the road from the government housing of the Lodi Colony, this is a long strip of small boutiques selling homewares and clothes. Quality clothing shops include Play Clan and The Shop, while stand-out eateries are the fully organic Altitude Cafe & Deli, the Middle Eastern sweets and coffee shop Kunafa, and Asian-tapas restaurant Diva Spiced.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Agra

    Subhash Emporium

    Some of the pieces on display at this renowned marble shop are simply stunning (ask to see the 26 masterpieces). While it's more expensive than some shops, you definitely get what you pay for: high-quality marble from Rajasthan and master craftsmanship. Items for sale include tabletops, trays, lamp bases, and candle holders that glow from the flame inside.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Kulture Shop

    Behold Bandra's – and Mumbai's – coolest shop, featuring exclusive graphic art and illustrations sourced from a global army of Indian artists. You'll find thought-provoking and conceptually daring T-shirts, art prints, coffee mugs, notebooks, stationery and other cutting-edge objets d'art.

  • Shopping in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Anokhi

    This boutique sells tasteful ethno-chic garments made from hand-dyed and hand-printed fabrics. Creations featuring Gujarati block prints seem to be the most popular, although tie-dye and batik have a strong presence as well. Most of the collection caters to women, while men have a limited choice of shirts to browse through.

  • Shopping in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Clove

    Under the discerning eye of gourmet entrepreneur Samyukta Nair, this Colaba concept store occupies a late-19th-century art deco building chock-full of homegrown designer homewares (gorgeous coffee mugs, copper and clay dishware), jewellery, small-batch body scrubs and top-end designer chappals (sandals), anarkali (umbrella-flared dresses) and tunics for women, plus sleepwear for both sexes and children.

  • Shopping in Jaipur

    Rajasthali

    This state-government-run emporium, opposite Ajmer Gate, is packed with quality Rajasthani artefacts and crafts, including enamelwork, embroidery, pottery, woodwork, jewellery, puppets, block-printed sheets, miniatures, brassware, mirrorwork and more. Scout out prices here before launching into the bazaar; items can be cheaper at the markets, but the quality is often higher at the state emporium for not much more money.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Kolkata (Calcutta)

    Dakshinapan Shopping Centre

    It’s worth facing the soul-crushing 1970s architecture for Dakshinapan’s wide range of government emporia, which brings together a mind-boggling artisanal diversity from across India under one roof. There’s plenty of tack, but many shops offer excellent-value souvenirs, crafts and fabrics. Prices are usually fixed, but buying at an emporium means that authenticity and quality are never called into question.

  • Shopping in Mumbai (Bombay)

    M/S KN Ajani

    One of Mumbai's oldest shops and born of a dying breed, this family-run retailer kicked off in 1918. Today, friendly grandson Paresh still hawks the family jewels: brass, carbon-steel and aluminium scissors, nutcrackers, locks and knives inside the otherwise textile-driven Swadeshi Market. It's certainly not a conventional souvenir, but it's immensely satisfying to not buy your scissors at an office-supply shop.

  • Top ChoiceShopping in Mumbai (Bombay)

    Kulture Shop

    Mumbai's coolest design shop has thankfully arrived in South Mumbai! Fittingly, the Pop Art cool kid from Bandra has set up shop in Kala Ghoda, where its thought-provoking and conceptually daring art prints, notebooks, coffee mugs, stationery, T-shirts and other immensely desirable objets d'art from a cutting-edge collective of Indian artists will leave your head spinning.

  • Shopping in Old Delhi (Shahjahanabad)

    Majnu-ka-Tilla

    Delhi's Tibetan enclave, Majnu-ka-Tilla, is a fascinating tangle of tiny alleys – too narrow for vehicles – that are dotted with cheap guesthouses, Tibetan cafes, and dozens of small shops selling all manner of Tibetan trinkets and souvenirs, from prayer flags and incense sticks to free-Tibet T-shirts and Buddhist bracelets. It's 2km from Vidhan Sabha metro station (₹30 to ₹40 in an autorickshaw).