23 Iconic Street Markets in India

No matter who you are-a woman, a man, a student, an office goer, a housewife or a businessman, shopping is something without which nobody can live. Even when some of us do not enjoy it, it remains an essential activity at least for purchasing the necessary stuff. It is absolutely true that a local would always know best shopping place of his/her locality while whenever we travel outside our city we always ask for the same in order to purchase a little part of that place, of course at a fair price.

Indian markets are unique in the sense that no matter at which place they are located or for whatever stuff they are best for, one always needs a little amount of art of bargaining to procure the best deal. From trendiest clothing to coolest accessories, these markets are an amazing source of anything and everything in line with the contemporary times. If about shopping is what you need to know when you travel across India, here are 15 Iconic Street Markets in India that any shopaholics must know about.

Commercial Street, Bangalore

So often response to the question, ‘where did you find that?’ has been ‘at the Commercial Street, Bangalore! Image Source

Known to be one of the best and busiest markets of the garden city, this network of lanes is one of the favorite center for people for all kinds of stuff. The best deals are often secured after good bargaining and there are numerous stalls for apparels, antiques, accessories and books etc.

Located almost a kilometer away from the famous MG road in Bangalore, Commercial Street is most popular amongst the college students while locals and travelers too throng the place for the best stuff at a reasonable price (thoroughly haggled price).

Of course if you get tired or not really in mood to shop, there is a good range of eating joints selling lip smacking food from Bhutta (Corn Cob) to Bhel Puri and from Pani Puri to Sev Puri. Thus one hardly needs any reason for having a day out at Commercial Street.

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Sarojini Nagar, Delhi

It’s one of Delhi’s biggest and most important markets and a destination for every girl who’s out on a hunt for trendy clothes at killer prices.

Sarojini Nagar is the quintessential shopping hub for the Delhiites. Popularly known as SN amongst the locals, the market is one stop shop for all the latest trends and fashions and that too at fascinatingly unbelievable prices. In fact it is just the place without which most of the people in Delhi would not be able imagine shopping. There is huge expanse of stuff and the choices are plenty.

From cotton garments to fashionable bags, cosmetics, home furnishings, sweaters, footwear and other accessories, one can get their hands on almost anything without burning a hole in their pocket. Sarojini Nagar Market is located in the posh area of South Delhi and is a popular destination for students, tourists and locals. On weekends, there is huge rush of buyers.

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Most of the shops are street shops and haggling is one of the art that you must know to get the best deal. Besides, there are several sweet shops. One can get an amazing an array of brands like Armani, Zara, Calvin Klein etc. at literally throwaway prices. This is due to the fact that most the stuff sold in Sarojini Nagar is either export surplus or rejected export material. Looking at prices, it is easy to get carried away but one needs a little discretion and patience when spending on the goods.

New Market, Kolkata: Iconic Street Markets in India

New Market in Kolkata can be crowded and chaotic but if you’re after a bargain, or even just an unforgettable experience, it’s not to be missed.

New Market, though called New is actually quite old. Built in 1874 but rechristened in 1903 as Sir Stuart Hogg Market, it was and still stands as one of the best shopping destinations in Kolkata. The beautiful red brick Gothic structure of the bazar holds testimony to the past grandeur as locals hop on to the site to purchase from a huge diversity of stuff -from cakes to linen and fruits, fish, garments, accessories, trinkets, flowers, silver jewelry and the famous Bengali Sari.

There are nearly 2,000 stalls divided into seven blocks and these stalls are arranged according to the same or similar merchandise for the convenience of the shoppers. A part of the market was however burnt down in 1985 but since then visitors to the market have steadily increased. The market remains open from 10.30 am to 6.30 pm from Monday to Friday while on Saturdays the timings are till 2.30 pm. The Market however remains closed on Sunday.

Fashion Street, Cantonment Area, Pune

The Fashion Street Cantonment Pune is a must visit for all the people

Fashion Street, as the name itself suggests, is one of the liveliest areas of Pune as one may find buyers and shoppers arriving here for all their fashionable and trendy necessities like dresses, shoes, accessories as well as any other swanky items that they may desire. In between the various stalls displaying numerous items, one can see people bargaining hard with the sellers.

It is widely said that one needs a considerable negotiating skill to purchase stuff from here. Whereas brand imitates can be purchased from the various shacks and stalls selling loose items, branded stuff can be acquired from one of the few stores in the area. From belt bottoms to low-waist jeans and from tank tops to hats and caps, the fashion street literally brings out the true fashionista in you with of course at much an economical price.

Arpora Saturday Night Bazar, Goa

This sprawling market is located in Arpora and transpires every Saturday evening from 6pm until late night. Image Source

Located in the wonderful beach paradise of Goa, the Arpora Saturday Night Bazar Market offers something exotic and useful for everyone. Adding to the already fabulous ambience of Goa, attractions like live music, drinks, culinary feasts and colorful shops makes browsing through the bazar an enjoyable experience. The market is famous for small homemade items to Indian handicrafts and from gypsy boxes to excellent leather products, while one can also find a diversity of almost every other kind of product like jewelry and branded products as well.

The night bazar is specially organized during the peak tourist seasons like New Year etc. and takes place between the fenced area between Arpora and Anjana City Resorts. An excellent display of cosmopolitan culture of Goa could be seen as the market attracts a large number of locals, domestic as well as international tourists.

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In addition to the shopping stalls there is almost an inexhaustible range of delectable cuisines of both local and global recipes. With an amazing blend of peoples, fragrances, tastes, colors experienced in the backdrop of Goan culture and live music is awesomely incredible.

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Police Bazar, Shillong

Police Bazar is the heart of the city and serves not just as the base for all tourists, but also as the primary market and shopping area.

Police Bazar in Shillong is most renowned market in the Indian State of Meghalaya. There are numerous options to shop from site and many different kinds of attractive merchandise are arranged in the in the chain array while other stuff are located around different corners of the market. The bazar is a wonderful showcase of the local arts and crafts of Meghalaya and handicrafts and artistic products made from cane and bamboo are its chief attractions. Different colorful varieties of cotton and silk materials like clothing items and other stuff are displayed and heavy bargaining is one of the principal characteristic of the deals. As one would find, the products are arranged in a thoughtful way to attract the maximum attention. Nevertheless, the bazar is a great endeavor to keep alive the tribal and local traditions and a wonderful place to amble around and purchase some useful and interesting stuff.

Sudder Street, Kolkata: Best Flea Markets in India

Over the years, Sudder Street has grown as a backpacker’s haven, a reliable fleamarket for hip clothes and accessories, a neighbourhood full of cheap, good restaurants, and as the bhadrolok will tell you, a den of decadence.

Situated at just 10 min walk from the famous New Market, Sudder Street in Kolkata is another iconic street market of the city of joy as people descend here for all the latest fashion stuff and current fads. The street is lined along its length with different shops selling kurtas, jholas, chappals and harem pants.

The place actually is a hub of cheap hotels, restaurants and foreign tourists, globe trotters, volunteers from all over the world come looking for affordable accommodation. A great place to purchase souvenirs, clothes and other items of everyday use, one can also find stall selling cheap train/air tickets and sightseeing tours at economical prices.

Although not one of the more hygienic places to eat out, one can try different varieties of local food items when tired of shopping at one of local cafes and cheap restaurants. Overall a nice place to enjoy the distinct ambience of Kolkata.

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Colaba Causeway, Mumbai

Accessory shops at Colaba Causeway offer a mind-blowing variety. Colaba Causeway is one of the expensive street markets in Mumbai. Image Source

Probably one of the most famous shopping stop for the majority of Mumbaikars, Colaba Causeway is a colorful stretch of a huge number of items that range from small and sundry articles like beads, slippers, chains, faux leather purses and artificial jewelry to everyday commodities like fancy kurtas, designer handicrafts and items made of jute, wood and cane as also antique items like hookah and gramophones.

The entire causeway is one busy column bustling with locals, domestic and international tourists alike. The bazar is formed of both shutter shops and street vendors. A typical view of the market would see customers arguing hard for prices with vendors, trying and asking about items or like most of them, would just be enjoying the vibrancy of the place. After browsing through the market, you can either relish a cup of refreshing drink from the Leopold or savor the cool breeze of the Arabian by taking a walk on the street outside the Taj Hotel.

Jew Town, Kochi

Jew Town situated at Mattancherry in Fort Kochi is famous for its antique shopping.

Jew Town, located in Mattancherry in Kochi (Cochin), is popular street market hub for antique shops all around its sides. The market is actually a narrow stretch, located between the Mattencherry Palace and the Jewish Synagogue, which is the central spot, situated right in the middle of the market. There is good and elegant variety of various stuff, prized both in value and its rarity.

Besides one may find shops for elegant handicrafts, Kolapuris and paintings, laid out on the road. Little small enterprises are packed together in the old, dilapidated buildings with the ambience emitting aromas of cardamom, ginger, cumin, turmeric and cloves etc.

Jew Town still retains some of the old world charm and one may still find Jewish names on the top of some of the buildings. It is nevertheless a cool place to hang out with a number of cafes and snack outlets allowing for a wonderful day-out in area.

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Janpath, Delhi

Janpath Market, Delhi is where you should be if you are looking for bargain shopping for imitation jewellery, ethnic dresses, curio and fashionable clothing.

One of the most popular spots for the locals to get their hands on trendy, cheap and exotic stuff, the Janpath market is one of the oldest stretches in Delhi for shopping lovers and budget buyers. Earlier called as the Queen’s way, the Janpath or literally the people’s path connects Delhi’s shopping hotspot Connaught Place to Lodhi Road.

As one explores through the bazar, they will find virtually anything up for a sale with a ready to quote price but of course on hugely bargaining terms. There is huge variety of stuff to choose from fashionable daily wears to ethnic dresses, cotton garments, Imitation jewelry from Junk to Silver, bags, handicrafts, leather footwear, antiques, electronics, furniture and many other significant or sundry items.

Most of the items available are from many different varieties and qualities and it would take a good shopping acumen to choose from. While Janpath is very popular amongst the locals, especially the younger generation, one may find a large number of foreign tourists doing a lot of window shopping.

And of course besides satisfying your shopping lust, one may also enjoy the delectable street food from the vendors standing intermittently between the stalls.

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Hazratganj, Lucknow

“Harzratganj Market, Lucknow” by Mohit – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Commons

Doubtlessly one of the favorite spot for hanging out for the Lucknowites, the Hazratganj is a wonderful shopper’s paradise since this is place where you can ask for virtually anything. It’s one of the busiest shopping area of the town and most of the bazars of Lucknow are located in this area.

It has shopping complexes, theaters, cinemas, hotels, offices and businesses while retail stores and showrooms of almost all consumer goods are located here. From car dealers to jewelry stores and from antiques to exotic handlooms, one can find almost all kinds of products and retail items here.

An interesting term known as “Ganjing” is used to describe ambling about in the market’s wide lanes and by-lanes. Hazrat Ganj was earlier called Queen’s way and was open only to British before independence. Major buildings such as The British Council and important shops selling the famous Lucknow Chikan material, Gurjari, Handloom Emporium and Gandhi Ashrams are also located here.

In 2010-11, a major beautification drive was launched by the Mayawati Government after which benches, bright lamps and fountains were put up in the area making it resemble a Victorian Walkaway and have since became a major hotspot for shoppers and tourists alike.

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Lokhandwala Market, Mumbai

Lokhandwala market a happening place of mumbai in Andheri West. Most of the film and TV artists personalities residences are over here.

Lokhandwala market is a long stretch, located in the Andheri District on the western suburbs of Mumbai. The place is like a heaven for shopping lovers and anyone and everyone will find something of their interest. Among the numerous shops, stalls, store and roadside vendors, lanes and by-lanes of the market, there is an immense collection of items such as denims, different varieties of footwear and products ranging from jewelry, apparels and little household items.

Here you will also find replica items of most of the famous brands while there are also shops selling branded items with a fixed price. Scattered in between the stalls are a number of street food vendors selling Paani-Puri, Bhel Puri, Sev Puri, Vada Pav and other Mumbai food items, catering to the taste buds of the shoppers while they indulge in their favorite pastime.

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Tibeten Market, Shimla

This makeshift market is perched on Shimla’s slopes and is the perfect destination for those who love a good bargain.

The markets in Shimla are some of the most amazing places to visit and Tibetan Market is one such spot that offer tremendous scope for bargaining and finding a right deal. The market is a makeshift station and one can find an expansive array of items, from shoes, bags, boots, jewelry, woolen clothes, Tibetan rugs and carpets, scarves, mufflers, padded jackets, sweaters as well as other Tibetan accessories and antiques.

Ambling through the market in a wonderful and cool atmosphere is a delightful experience. Moreover munching the delicious corn cobs, draped in butter, salt and lime, sold by the wayside vendors along the way, makes the shopping much more interesting and enjoyable.

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Serenity Beach Bazar, Pondicherry

Set up on weekends, Serenity Beach Bazaar is one of Pondicherry’s most happening marketplaces.

Primarily a handicraft market, the Serenity Beach Bazaar in Pondicherry is one of the most amazing and interesting bazaars and a happening place for the locals, open under the shade of coconut palms and located within a walking distance of the sea. One can find lots of variety of various stuff like traditional handicrafts, garments to bags, ceramics and accessories and much more.

Moreover, alongside shops, one will find several eating outlets serving mouthwatering snacks and refreshing beverages while the nearby garden appends to the overall charm of the place. Thus if one wants to have a good time and also purchase some good and useful items, then Serenity Bazar in Pondicherry is the place to be.

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Mall Road, Darjeeling

The Chowrasta or the Mall in Darjeeling is where the roads converge. It’s a meeting square to lounge and enjoy the views, and do some shopping as well. Image Source

An amazing leisure walk amidst the cool atmosphere and captivating ambience of Darjeeling is the famous Mall Road. A central hub of the town, a visit to this buzzing road is a must. Lined with different shops selling trendy clothing items- from traditional Sikkimese wear to latest fads in fashion, it is place where locals throng for getting their hands on the newest of the styles and craze in the market.

Besides exclusive wearable, one may also find trekking gears, a number of boutiques and elegant antique jewelry shops. Another highlight of the market is the food for which people especially rave. From delectable street savories to a number of baked items one can enjoy shopping along with serving their taste buds.

The Mall Road runs in a loop from Chowrasta Mall and moves around Observatory Hill and one will find walkers and joggers during the early morning and evening hours. Thus, no matter what your individual interests and likes are, you will certainly find something that will take your heart away.

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Johari Bazaar, Jaipur

Often called the pride of Jaipur, the Johari Bazaar is a wonderful marketplace of a wide and diverse assortment of items, making it one of the most frequently accessed places in India for shopping. However, the bazar is most well-known for the traditional Rajasthani art jewelry, which is cherished by people throughout the world. Johri literally means “jeweler” in Hindi and the market is the hub of vendors, silversmiths trading in silver, diamond, gold, precious and semi-precious stones like emerald, sapphire, turquoise etc. as well as pearls.

 The beauty and appeal of Jaipur ornaments is such that it can entice any woman and adds a unique punctuation to any apparel. Besides, one can also find an expansive range of saris manufactured out of tie and dye method as well as other textiles.

The bazar has an incredibly vibrant atmosphere and tourists throng here especially after its name from both within the country and outside it. In addition to the usual form of jewelry, one can also find the exotic variety of Kundan and Minakari forms which are very popular in Rajasthan and require considerable skill and creativity for its design and make.

 

Ima Market, Imphal

A market with a unique distinction of being run only by women, the Ima market is a wonderful proof of the tradition of equality, running within the Manipuri society. The market, as one of the parts of the Khwairamband Bazaar deals in virtually all kinds of items-from fresh fruits and vegetables, fish and meat, dried fish to clothes and woolens, local herbs and other local handlooms.

The idea is to really promote local items and drive the local economy as well as letting the women have equal participation in the society. During the break hour, these women can be seen discussing and debating about various socio-economic issues which keep them informed and sensitive to issues affecting their region and their lives. Any woman without any distinction of caste, color, creed and social status can come and set up a stall here.

Ima means mother in Manipuri language and the place actually translates as mother’s market. The market has a long history and has since long remained an important trading place. Not only in the respect of procuring items, the market is also a must see place for tourists.

 

Sardar Market, Jodhpur

Pulsating with a unique vibrancy, at the foot of the imposing Mehrangarh Fort, Sadar Market is a crisscrossing network of narrow lanes, dotted with stalls, shops and shacks selling numerous items. A favorite with locals and a must visit for domestic and international travelers, a diverse array of items can be found at the bazaar. Jewelry, wedding clothes, kitchenware, steel utensils, spices, vegetables, sweets, silver, handicrafts as well as items like leather shoes can be found here at reasonable rates.

However the commercial significance of the market notwithstanding, the market is a wonderful showcase of colors and dynamism of Marwari people. The locals can be found in their traditional attires, haggling hard with the tourists while citizens can be seen shopping for essential home items and children playing through the lanes.

A stunning attraction, just beside the market is the Clock Tower, which looks amazing because of its architecture. Sadar Market is great place to amble at leisure or pick an item or two as a souvenir for your memorable travels.

 

Laad Bazaar, Hyderabad

A market which is as charming with its ambience as with the items it sells, The Laad Bazaar is rife with the quintessential Hyderabadi culture and a great source to experience the same. Although the origins of the name “Laad” is still inconclusive, the market is believed to have flourished here since the times of the Nizams of the Qutub Shah dynasty. The Laad bazar is located very close to the iconic Charminar and is principally known for its terrific range of colorful bangles, which are an important part of cultural attire of Indian women across all diversity. It is for this reason, the bazaar is also called Choori (bangle) Bazaar.

Besides, one can also purchase beautiful zari and embroidery works, traditional clothing items, semi-precious stones like pearls, saris and other glittering stuff to adorn themselves and their homes. For those who simply want to enjoy the atmosphere, there is incredible, mouthwatering street food to indulge in.

The bazaar however does not open in the morning. The market opens late during the day and continues till late in night at which time one can see maximum number of shoppers, including a good number of foreign tourists. It is said however that one needs to know the art of bargaining to get the best deals out of The Laad Bazar. Otherwise the market is like a heaven for women for whom the market assorts almost everything.

 

Linking Road, Mumbai

Mumbai is extensively known as the style capital of India and Linking road is one of the famous markets in the city for trendy and stylish items, both in the original and imitation form. From fashionable apparels, junk jewelry, shoes, chappals, bags to most insignificant of the items like trinkets, key chains to small knick-knacks at a literally paltry prices.

The road also features branded showrooms where one can procure stuff across a number of national and international brands. With several swanky restaurants, cafes and spas dispersed across the length the road, the market is quite a happening place to be. It is one of the famous spots for both the city’s well-to-do’s and college goers. The market remains open for shoppers from 10.30 in the morning, till late in the evening, which depends upon the festival season.

As with most of the markets in India, bargaining is a strong factor in purchasing stuff. Linking road is a fun and pleasant place to enjoy some distraction and relaxed time with family and friends.

 

Anjuna Beach Flea Market, Goa

The Anjana Beach Flea Market is a unique market in the sense that it was visualized and created by the hippies smoking groups, almost about three decades ago. However, over the period, the market evolved into something of a mainstream shopping destination with items and sellers from as diverse a backgrounds as Gujarat, Kashmir, Tibet, Bihar and other corners of India.

The market is also known as The Wednesday Flea Market and one can purchase stuff ranging from handicrafts, wooden crafts, wall hangings, t-shirts, artificial jewelry, music CD’s, furnishings and almost every other item of latest fashions and fads. The place is buzzed with activity all the time during its working hours. Get a second hand bike, invest in a camera or a cellphone, buy a painting, get a tattoo or a haircut, one can do or get almost anything or everything here.

However, one needs good bargaining skills to get their money’s worth. But nevertheless, the market is one of the liveliest and most vibrant places in Goa and any visitor this exotic beach destination must experience this unique place.

 

Bapu bazar of Jaipur

Situated in the heart of the Jaipur City is this attractive bazar, known for its colorful vibrancy and liveliness. The market, one of the top tourist attractions in the city, is a hub of a diversity of Rajasthani products. Within the ambience of true Rajasthani culture and sight of beautiful pink buildings, the market draws thousands of tourists and locals to its shops every day. Bapu Bazar is most famous for its “Mojari Footwear”, also known as juti in local language.

 Besides, the place is famous for beautiful embroidered textiles like women suits, saris, pillow covers, cushion covers as well as colorful block printing, bhandej and batik prints as well as vegetable dying.

The market is a wonderful place to ramble around and soak in the atmosphere. Vehicles are not allowed on this road, thus one can enjoy shopping without any unnecessary hassle. Moreover, if you get tired, a stopover for enjoying the delectable kulfi faluda and gol guppas is a must. The market opens daily from 10.30 AM to 7.30 PM and is a pleasant place to indulge in your favorite hobby.

 

Lal Bazar in Gangtok

Lal Bazaar is one of the center-points of Gangtok and is a dynamic and colorful place where local farmers come to sell their items, wares or just gather to gossip and revel. The market was inaugurated in 1956 and was named after J.Lal who was the dewan of the district of Chogyal.

Lal Bazaar is a multi-purpose shopping destination and assort most of the goods of daily need like incense sticks, butter, cheese as well as latest electronic item. The market is located inside a building and is arranged in floors while the smell of the dried fish, cheese and vegetable pervades throughout.

The market is located below the famous M.G Marg and is within an approachable distance from most of the hotels and tourist lodges. Recently there has been an effort to modernize the area and to turn into an important tourist destination. The Sundays are especially colorful with a mix of locals and tourists coming in for shopping and exploration. With its key importance to the people of Gangtok, it is one of the must visit places for travelers going to this beautiful North Eastern State.

 

Mayank Chawla

Born in New Delhi, India, Mayank grew up admiring, perceiving and then embracing the vastly complex, colorful and paradoxical nature of the Indian Society, which further led him to accommodate and appreciate the tremendous diversity of world. This admiration brought him to travel writing to share his thoughts and personal experiences with readers and travel enthusiasts at large to make them enjoy the wonderful beauty of the world as he sees it.

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  • Rekha

    I have done shopping from Sarojani Nagar market. This market is paradise for bargain hunters.

  • Geetika Handa

    A nice post…All of these truly are iconic Indian street markets. I have been to a number of them 🙂