When visiting the beautiful and exotic Indian city of New Delhi, tourists can understandably be overwhelmed by the sights and sounds, making it hard to focus on what you want to see and do while there. The country has so much to offer, especially when it comes to shopping, tourists often come away having spent money on trinkets they didn’t really want and regretting what they didn’t have a chance to pick up.
Making a plan and sticking to it helps visitors keep from spending hard-earned money on unwanted items and ensuring they get what they came for. After all, for most of us, India is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. We want to make the most of it, right?
It is nearly impossible to visit India with a shopping list of souvenirs you want to get for yourself and your friends and family back home. Colorful bangles, beautiful textiles, intricate wood carvings, marble pieces, artwork, teas — the list goes on and on. Start with a general idea of what you are looking for and how much you plan to spend, then plan specific shopping excursions.
On a recent trip to India, a friend introduced me to Cottage Emporium, a one-stop-shop for all things Indian. A department store-style shopping experience, Cottage Emporium has every type of Indian handicraft imaginable, all made locally and of the highest quality. An entire day can easily be devoted to wandering through the various areas of the store, so you can take your time picking out the perfect souvenirs and gifts. The store is divided into sections (bangles, tableclothes, etc.), so you are able to examine your choices and make your selections — your purchases will be waiting for you at the exit where you can pay for everything at one time. Prices are fixed in this store, but while you miss out on the fun of bargaining, you can enjoy shopping without shop owners pushing you to buy something you are not interested in and you won’t be approached by any beggars or pickpockets.
If you prefer the thrill of haggling for the best prices and working your way through the crowds of people synonymous with New Delhi, then open-air markets are the place for you. Shopping areas such as Rajpath Market and Janpath Market are great places to get whatever you are looking for and do some people watching while you are at it. These open-air markets are fun places to explore even if you aren’t looking to buy something, just keep a close eye on your wallet as they are crowded places and tourists are easy targets for thieves.
Janpath (which means the peoples’ path) is located across from Connaught Place, one of the most famous shopping centers in New Delhi. This shopping destination consists of several blocks of upscale stores that offer the latest fashions and designs in a wide range of prices. Although you won’t be able to bargain with storeowners, you will be able to purchase some of the finest saris and linens available.
Whatever you are looking for in India, you can find it in New Delhi. Putting some thought into your shopping excursions will help you avoid getting carried away while maximizing your budget. No matter what your shopping style, rest assured shopping will be one of the highlights of your trip.