Top Choice Silk in Varanasi

Baba Blacksheep

If the deluge of traveller enthusiasm is anything to go by, this is the most trustworthy, non-pushy shop in India. Indeed it is one of the best places you'll find for silks (scarves/saris from ₹400/3500) and pashmin…
Books in Lucknow

Ram Advani Bookshop

This Lucknow institution is worth visiting just to meet the fantastically friendly and exceedingly knowledgeable owner, Mr Advani (in his 90s!). Be aware, though, that he takes his siestas very seriously and is rare…
Books in Agra

Modern Book Depot

Great selection of novels, plus Lonely Planet guides, at this friendly 60-year-old establishment.
Arts & Crafts in Agra

Subhash Emporium

This expensive but honest marble-carving shop has been knocking up quality pieces for more than 35 years. Its prices are fairer than others in town, considering their experience.
Clothing in Agra

Khadi Gramodyog

Stocks simple, good-quality men’s Indian clothing made from the homespun khadi fabric famously recommended by Mahatma Gandhi. No English sign: on Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Rd, look for the khadi logo of hands clasped arou…
Perfume in Lucknow


A family business since 1850, the sweet-scented Sugandhco sells attar (pure essence oil extracted from flowers by a traditional method) in the form of women’s perfume, men’s cologne, household fragrances and incense…
Silk in Varanasi

Mehrotra Silk Factory

Tucked away down a tiny alleyway near the main train station, this pocket-sized, fixed-priced shop is a fun place to buy silk scarves (from ₹400), saris (from ₹3000) and bedspread sets (from ₹9000). The Lal Ghat loc…
Market in Agra

Subhash Bazaar

Skirts the northern edge of Agra’s Jama Masjid and is particularly good for silks and saris.
Clothing in Varanasi

Shri Gandhi Ashram Khadi

Stocks shirts, kurta pyjamas, saris and head scarves, all made from the famous homespun khadi fabric.
Cosmetics in Varanasi

Organic by Brown Bread Bakery

This small shop sells natural and natural cosmetics from the government-sponsored Khadi program and select foodstuffs to go, as well as baked goods, fresh juices and coffee from Brown Bread Bakery's lengthier Old Ci…