Shopping in Varanasi
This golden city has been a centre and the melting pot of culture and tradition from ages. The ethnic artifacts, traditional handicrafts and other articles exhibit the cultural and traditional heritage of the ancient city, preserving and passing it down through successive generations. Today shopping in Varanasi is a delightful experience, as its busy markets had shops offers the best of embroideries, souvenirs and other items not to be missed.
Amongst the most famous buys, Silk weaving is perhaps the most popular art of Varanasi and Banarasi silk sarees form an indispensable part of an Indian bride’s trousseau. Other shopping attractions of Varanasi include the hand-knotted carpets of Mirzapur, musical instruments, the ‘khatta-meetha’ (sweet ‘n’ sour) ‘Langda Aam’, a popular variety of mangoes available during summer season and the famous betel leaf that is considered a specialty of the place. Benarasi people can be seen chewing betel leaves as a part of their cultural upbringing and they even welcome their guests by offering them the famous betel leaves. Besides the illustrious and ﬁne silks and brocaded fabrics, one can also buy shawls, carpets, wall hangings, Zari work; stone inlay work, glass beads and bangles, masks of Hindu and Buddhist deities and lampshades. One can also buy ‘kamandalam’ or brass water pot from Varanasi, which is often used by saints to carry water. People buy bottled ‘Gangajal’ or jerrycans from the riverbank too for religious purposes or to be used as holy water in various rituals. Besides, people can also take water of Ganges themselves from the river.
STREET SHOPPING CHOWK
Embroidered carpets, bangles and junk jewelleries, items made of ivory, brass and copper, and toys made of wood and clay are found extensively in this area. One will also ﬁnd here many shops with gorgeous silk garments. You will also get to see many beautiful chiffon outﬁts in this area. There are also a number of book stores in this area. There is a separate ﬂower market in the Chowk area. During any festival or any religious occasion The Chowk, Varanasi becomes busier and looks even more colourful.
This is an attractive shopping zone in Varanasi famous for its silk and cotton sarees, fashionable metallic printed garments, embroidered outﬁts and brocades works on clothes. Various other products used for the home purposes such as pillow covers, bed sheets, bed covers, cushion cover, etc, are also the best buy in the market. Gyanvapi is also a place where you will ﬁnd excellent collection of glass bangles. Especially young girls and ladies are more attracted to this region.
This is a splendid place to shop for silk sarees, suits and other garments. The rich embroidery works on the silk outﬁts look simply gorgeous. This market features many shops selling brass items. One of the notable shops in the Thatheri Bazar, Varanasi is the Chaudhari Brothers. This store displays amazing collections of souvenirs and gift items. A wide range and variety of brass works too can be seen in here.
Located in the heart of the city, Godoulia, Varanasi is indeed a crowded market place consisting of departmental stores and street stalls. With an array of shops selling different items, from garments to bags, handicrafts to gift items, this vibrant shopping zone of Godoulia, Varanasi simply stands apart. The stalls on the streets add more to the vigour and colour. In this area, you can purchase beautiful sarees, salwar suits and other decorative household products at reasonable prices. You can also do bargaining over the prices here.
Keeping the preferences of tourists in mind the city has developed an Urban Haat where artisans (state and national awarded) from various states are brought together to showcase the handicrafts of India daily on roster basis of 15 days. It also maintains the excitement of upcoming crafts. The compound of haat is provided with all basic public amenities accolade the Indian music, art, craft and culture spiced with exclusive food plazas.
The best areas to browse are the Vishwanatha Gali with its temple bazaar for silk brocade and jewellery. State run emporia in Godaulia, lahurabir and the Chowk - the three Handlooms outlets at Lahurabir, Nadesar and Neechi Bag, and Mahatex in Godaulia assure one of ﬁxed prices and high quality.