India - What To Shop For In Delhi?

Old Aug 18th, 2009, 01:06 PM
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India - What To Shop For In Delhi?

I just found out my employer is sending me to Noida, a suburb of Delhi, for a few days in October. I've never been there so I'd love to do some shopping while I'm there. What are the best things to shop for? Is jewelry a good deal there, either gold or silver? Leather goods? Clothes? I don't need to be buying something there that I could get here for the same price so I'm trying to find out what the bargains are.

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 04:47 AM
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Can't comment on cost comparisions as I don't know where you'er refering to.All the above articles are available in Delhi in a different form alltogether.
Dilli Haat at Pitampur is good to start with.This cultural village features Indian art,tradition,handicrafts & food from all regions.Cottage Industries Emporium,a govt enterprise, too has authentic & ethnic range.
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 06:21 AM
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clothing of a basic cotton sort is is interesting, especially costume jewelry, but also semi-precious stones... many of the designs you will find a bit wild for western preferences...large beads...

leather not so much but i did buy a jacket and some belts..

household decorative items....inlaid stone....

rugs....fantastic and large ones include shipping....

anoki (sp?) is a fantastic womens shop

santucci shopping center in a military base in delhi is a good one stop shopping place
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 07:06 AM
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inquest - sorry, I meant to mention I'm in Florida and I'd really like to shop for things I wouldn't see in my local WalMart or shopping mall. For example, on my one and only trip to Mexico I found silver and leather goods made locally that were good quality and relatively inexpensive.

It sounds like Dilli Haat and the Cottage Industries Emporium might be just want I'm looking for. And I love inlaid stone so I'll keep my eyes open for something like that.

Thanks for the help!
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Old Aug 19th, 2009, 10:09 AM
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Fabrics, cotton and silk, are a great buy in India. As bob mentioned above, Anoki is a great place to nice cotton clothing and household items. Another similar shop, but with better prices is FabIndia. They have several in Delhi.

Paper goods- gift envelopes, memo books, wrapping paper are a good buy in India.

Wool goods- including Pashmina- are really well priced, but unless you can tell differences in quality, go the Cottage Emporium, where they are labeled honestly. They also sell jewelry, leather goods, carvings, bronzes, etc. Handicrafts from all over the country, and with fixed prices. Not the absolute cheapest, but worth the premium for its one-stop shoppping aspect and the air-conditioning. There is a little cafe upstairs near the children's section.. At Dilli Haat they have great stuff and good prices, but call even the cheapest poly/wool mix Pashmina. They have some nice silver jewelry in the back sections there. Bargain hard.

Khan Market has a Fabindia and Anokhi, as well as several other nice shops. Most taxi drivers know where it is, if not tell them near "Golf Links". If you've not been to India before, you might wonder about Khan Market...It looks like a jumble of run down buildings from the approach, but it is actually a collection of very nice shops and little restaurants.

Santushti market has a very nice little collection of shops and the restaurant, Basil & Thyme, is a great lunch place.

Another 'mall" with unique shops is Haus Khaz. The very first shop, called "Cotton .something, has all handprinted cotton clothing. There are a couple of nice paper shops to the right of there, and some nice furniture shops with smaller accessories too.

I also like the state Emporiums a few streets over from Cottage Industries. I forget the street name, but there is a whole row of shops for each state. I think it's across the from the YMCA. Bargain hard here. And don't forget, everyone near the Cottage Industries will tell you it's closed and try to steer you elsewhere.

Books are also pretty cheap in India, especially if you want books published in India. There are lots of bookstores, but I particularly like the one in Block N, at Connaught place.

I'm sure your co-wrkers will add their suggestions for shops as well.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 06:26 AM
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Thanks, Icuy. I'm curious - are you expected to bargain at EVERY store, including ones like the Cottage Emporium and Anoki, or just "bazaars" like Dilli Haat? And is there a rule of thumb for how much you can expect them to come down on the prices? 50%? 75%? Or is it an art that has no rules and you just do the best you can? My only bargaining experience, other than buying a new car, was in Tijuana and I don't think I did real well because in at least one case the vendor turned around and gave his buddy a high-five after we agreed on a price.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 07:05 AM
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no bargaining is the large shops, although you can always ask for a discount, usually based on volumn purchases...anoki and cottage industries are fixed price usually
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 12:08 PM
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Based on advise I got here from Fodorites I bought:

- 35x50 cm fabric bags (with kind of cord zip) to wrap my gifts
- all sizes of bags for wrapping
- handmade paper envelopes for cash gifts
- small paper envelopes for putting my business cartds in

I bought loads of that stuff because I could squeeze it in the luggage.

These items are now becoming kind of running gag - all folks expect such gift-wrapping gifts ;-)

Enjoy - shop till you drop!

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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 01:12 PM
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There is no set rule on bargaining. That is why I reccomend you go to a fixed price place like the Cottage Industries Emp and look at their prices first. Their prices are okay, but if you can bargain hard, you should be able to get the same quality at better prices you should aim lower elsewhere. Again, at CEI you will have an honest description, but at places like Dilli Haat that "pashmina" may simply be wool. Everything will have "pashmina" on the tags, but that doesn't mean they are!

FabIndia, Anokhi, and CEI are all fixed price. Unless a sign is posted saying fixed prices, I always try to negotiate. They'll let you know if they don't, but sometimes you can get some type of discount even in a fixed price store.
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 02:35 PM
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lcuy always has sage advice....god knows she has been to india enough to almost be indian...
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Old Aug 20th, 2009, 07:13 PM
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Avoid buying "real" gold jewelry or diamonds, rubies, etc. There is a good chance you will pay for something you are not gettting. Even the locals have to be careful where they buy their good jewelry from. It's too easily to falsely stamp gold as 22 carat when it's only a vermiel finish.

Better off is if you see costume jewelry that you like, buy that. At least the price will match what you are getting.

Be carefull, as already stated, of "Pashmina" as it may not be.

You are in India and retailers take much greater liberties in describing the "qualities" of their products than would be allowed in the US.

Also, there are no returns at most stores in India. Check each item well before handing over your money.
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Old Aug 21st, 2009, 06:56 AM
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Some cottage EMporiums we haggled in and it depends on the style of it. I would try in Most. Dilli Haat is great and changes aevey few months. You go to a booth and pay about 15cents for an entey ticket and its enclosed so you do not get hassle from beggars...but you will be approached by vendors. Walk the length before you buy here/ i found silver and bracelets nice here and bought some lovely indian style bells for my house.

Khan Market - Supposedly the "posh" market but it looks kind of run doen in the middle. Ots like an open mall and shops pn the sides and a walkway in the middle of it. Kind of Square shaped. Here the best places at Khan Mkt are:

Anokhi - You have to go up a set of stairs beside a bank its not ground level. Ask anyone. Great prices and tops about 15-17 euro. Nice mix of Indian and western style clothes. I usually stop here to buy tops and scarves.

Turtle Cafe above the book shop (full circle books?0 Cheap books and nice food on the top floor. Its clean and you will not get ill eating here. Try the Felafal its slightly spicy and lovely with a lemonade

Fab India - In the middle section and also not ground floor ask and someomne will point it out to the stairs. This has cotton home wares and clothing. I have bought some cute cotton curtains here, bedding and tablecloths. I dont loke the closthes as much as anouki but root around and you will find things.

There is a lovely Jewellry shop just before the full circle Book SHop and it sells all sorts of jewellery at good prices. I bought a lovely silver citrine stone necklace. Really unusual things and pretty.

There is a shop that sells Pashminas where I went last trip. Its in the same section as Gaurav tailors. HAGGLE I probably paid too much but I like the wool ones and the colours were lovely.

For leather - one or two shopdsds beside the pashmina place is Hi Design. This is an Indian Brand and the bags are fantastic. Prices are excellent for the leather and bag quality. I always leave with at least one bag and wallet! I think I paid 20-40m euro for bags and about 15 euro for a really nice leather travel wallet.


Dilly Haat is great because you are supposedly buying from the producers and the money is more direct to them and some lovely artistic things here.

I have never been to the new big malls in Delhi but I also go to connought place but it can be a bit daunting if you have =never been...its a big circular place but at various sections there is a rouad into the circle and iits a nightmare crossing! Also there is a lot more hassle from beggars. there are some nice pashmina shops here and SHaws in Partucular was good upstairs as the room was all pashminas. I believe they are a "cottage Emporium" but haggle like hell. The ground floor is statues and carpets.

Have a great trip!

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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 09:56 PM
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I have been to Noida several times, like you for business. It is a rather dull suburb where tourists don't go. Thre are a couple of nice new malls in Noida by the Radisson, but their prices are expensive. Stick with the recommendations already provided. I thought the shops in Connaught Square were overpriced too. The bookshops there were charging the same as here in the states and refused to bargain.

One piece of advice not mentioned is DO NOT ask your driver for recommendations. They all have plenty of suggestions because they get a "commission" back on anything you buy at the shops. You tell the driver where you wish to go, and not let him be in charge.

If you are interested in native crafts, go to the Crafts Museum across from the Old Fort (not the Red Fort). It is state run and the government brings in skilled artisans from all over India to give free demonstrations of their local craft specialties. You can watch them making things which are for sale. The museum has a tremendous display of many different crafts. There is also a small museum shop which like the state emporia has good quality for very reasonable prices, unfortunately the selection is not great.
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Old Aug 30th, 2009, 09:34 PM
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You have received some good advice so far. Mine would be that as noted above, Noida is a suburb of Delhi, and so if you plan to shop in Delhi you will need to dedicate some time to it. Traffic getting into Delhi on weekdays can be a hassle, so I choose a Saturday or Sunday to go into Delhi. I would hire a car and driver for the day, not through the hotel if you can avoid it as you will pay more. Have the driver take you around to the various shops and wait for you. I have posted a recco below. Otherwise, try to get to outlets of shops in Noida and Gurgaon in the evenings or if you have free time in the afternoons rather than driving into Delhi.

Note that Fabindia has many locations, including two right in Noida, and several in Gurgaon, which is another suburb not far from Noida, see (click on “stores” and then “National Capital Region”). You probably could go in the evening to these outlets and save the drive into Delhi.

Anokhi indeed has wonderful textiles, see for information. They have a shop in Gurgaon which would be convenient for you. They have other outlets in Delhi itself, including Khan Market. Their main shop is in Jaipur.

If you want home furnishing fabric, I would look at Atmosphere, there is a shop in Gurgoan and one in south Delhi. These are really beautiful fabrics of excellent quality, and prices are quite good compared to the US (and even to Hong Kong). They cut to order. I am not completely sure that they will ship to the US, so you may want to contact them before hand to make sure. See (Click on “locations” for store locations.)

For shawls, I would go to Ahujasons in the Karol Baugh, but ignore the pashminas and look at their wonderful embroidered wool shawls. You won’t get anything like that in the US. Their selection is amazing. This is an interesting market area. See They also have a shop in south Delhi near the second ring road that might be more convenient for you coming from Noida.

I so agree on the Crafts Museum, it has a very nice small gift shop, plus the museum itself is quite interesting. Worth a trip.

Cottages Emporium is great fun for their selection and their low prices. I like their housewares, stuff like cotton napkins at .80 cents a piece, etc. No need to use paper napkins ever again even when having a big party. I would not say the shop has luxurious quality, but they do have an interesting selection and are certainly worth a stop. Across the street is the Tibetan Market where you can buy all sorts of handicrafts (no fixed prices). Be sure to stop in for a drink or meal at the Imperial Hotel just down the street.

I love Khan Market because I love books (and they are expensive where I live). You can buy hardbacks, paperbacks and esp leather-bound books here and great coffee table picture books (mostly of India) at very good prices compared to where I live (Hong Kong). There is also an outlet of the excellent Good Earth there for housewares (see This has lovely furniture, but also smaller things (I always eye their china but then consider the whole shipping thing….) There is also a FabIndia and Anokhi textiles. It is fun to wander around, and as noted above, there are plenty of little coffee places. Two good bookshops in Khan Market are Bahri Sons right at the entrance and Faqir Chand & Sons at #15 A. There is also a Christian book store around the corner (past the McDonalds on the left), that has Bibles at good prices, including leather bound editions.

For silver, I would first try Ravissant, they are know for their silver. They have two outlets in Delhi, including a small one at the Oberoi Hotel. See They won't be cheap but the quality will be excellent. And as noted above, you do need to be careful when buying gold or silver in India. I would also try Good Earth shops for things like silver frames, see the link above. The Central Cottages Emporium may be a good place to try as well.

Finally, please also consider that you will be in Delhi, which is an ancient and modern city with many interesting sights, so you may want to fit in some time to see them. And October is lovely weather, esp the latter half as the temps drop. You could also consider at trip to Agra to see the Taj Mahal, or go someplace like Jaipur or Udaipur, an easy plane trip (Noida is quite close to the airport) where you could combine good shopping with seeing something of the countryside. (Excellent jewelry in Jaipur.) Or extend your trip and go other places like Varanasi. While shopping is pleasant of course, the sights you can see in India may make more of a lasting impression on you.

Kumar Tourist Taxi Service
14/1 K- Block
Connaught Circus
Tel: 91-11-2341-5390
Fax: 91-11-2341-8859
Cell: 91-98-1143-1783
e-mail: [email protected]

Send them an e-mail and they will give you a quote. I believe they charge around about US$15-20 for an 8-hour day of touring within Delhi. They have older cars but perfectly clean and fine, if you want an Ambassador (a fun way to see Delhi) ask for one. They also have Toyota Qualis SUVs, not really necessary in Delhi, and would probably cost more.
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Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 05:04 AM
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Noida is a suburb of Delhi and host to a lot of IT and other top notch industries. So that is the reason why your emplyer is sending you to Noida.

Noida has some of the best Malls in the area - and they have shops there which sell Traditional as well as modern items. so you do not even need to go to Main delhi if your requirement is just shopping. It shal be roudn the corner in Noida.

However you must go and see the various sights in Delhi and probaly can do it by doing Day visits into Delhi area. There is a nice high speed flyover connecting Noida to Delhi so it takes just 20 minutes to be in Delhi from Noida.

If you have time than you must at least do a visit to the Golden Triangle - Agra and Jaipur.

Best way to travel in Nodia and to Delhi shall be to hire a car. Most of th eoffices in Noida have cars and car operators who work with them and offer subsidized rates . so you shall have plenty of options - There are lot of people like Kumar in the area - so I do not why people suggest this name always ???
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Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 09:20 AM
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Cicerone "always" suggests this company because she has worked with them and knows them to be reputable. I also suggest my favorite driver in different threads. I know he is excellent, so why not?

It is really easy to hire a driver on the spot in India, but many visitors appreciate contact numbers so as to get a quote before arriving.

If you can suggest another good company or driver, please do so!
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Old Sep 2nd, 2009, 10:31 AM
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You don't need a contact number. Just look in these sites. There is what it should/could cost.

If you want hand-holding, grovel and guiding then use the recommended people. Your driver won't guide you anyway.
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Old Sep 9th, 2009, 09:01 PM
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We had our most satisfactory clothes shopping experiences at FabIndia - they have multiple stores in Greater Kailash Market - N Block which is an upscale shopping area with other stores worth visiting as well, not too far south of Center.
We also shopped at Khan market and Connaught (get away from Connaught - its a horrible space overrun with tourists). any Autorickshaw driver will know how to get to Gk - N Block. Make sure its N, not M. Fabindia has a good balance of very interesting traditional fabrics and styling. I found cottage industries stodgy and a waste of time (for me), Anoki is cute, and they do have some nice items but their stuff looks more like Laura Ashley than anything, reminding you that a lot of the english prints have an indian origin - a nice place to get a quilted cosmetic bag or such, though. Dili Haat is a fun expedition for both regional fabrics and food, recommended too.
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