Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:16 AM
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We will be in Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Udaipur...where is the best, leather goods and jewellery...any recommendations for a reliable jeweller...
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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 12:34 AM
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Before you buy any jewelry, please do your homework by looking at jewelry stores at home and on the internet. There are bargains to be had in India, but only if you know price and quality. Note that most gold is 18 or 24 carat, which many Caucasians find too yellow for their skin.

Can't help specifically with shoes and leather, but in Delhi places I consistently recommend and shop at are:

Central Cottage Industries Emporium
Jawahar Vyapar Bhawan
Janpath, New Delhi
Tel. : 23725035
Fax : 91-11-3328354

This is fixed price. Their selection is tremendous and I find the prices unbelievably good; however for really high-quality items like silks and pashminas, I would go elsewhere. The Cottages is great for printed cottons like tablecloths, napkins (something like US 50 cents a piece), bedspreads, etc and they have lots of handicrafts large and small. I have not looked for shoes or leather goods, but would say they would be worth a trip. They also take credit cards which is nice if you are buying a lot. The shop is located quite near the Imperial Hotel (a good place for lunch or tea on the lawn), and the street on which it is located has lots of smaller shops selling all kinds of nick knacks.

Santushti Shopping Complex
New Wellingdon Camp, Delhi
Phone: 11/467-3322

This is an outdoor shopping "mall" owned and operated by wives of Navy officers. The shopping area is a series of small cottages surrounded by lawns. Extremely pleasant as it is enclosed and no beggars or hawkers are allowed. Very good handicrafts shops and some great fabric stores, not so sure about shoes and leather, others may know for sure (I get shoes made in Hong Kong). Shops are a bit more expensive than other shopping areas. There is a very good restaurant here called Basil and Thyme which is a nice for lunch.

Hauz Khas Village

This is sort of the "Soho" of New Delhi, lots of small and trendy shops, with some good restaurants. One restaurant I can recommend is Top of the Village Bistro, 12, Hauz Khas Village, Tel : 26853857, or 26522227. An interesting place to wander for an afternoon. It is not far from the Quatab Minar and could be a stop for lunch and shopping after a visit there in the morning.

Taj Mahal Hotel Shopping Arcade
1 Mansingh Rd., Delhi
Phone: 11/302-6162

For a wide selection of very high quality goods, try the shops here. They are not cheap, but you will be getting the best quality. They also have handicrafts. Shops are generally open late here, check with the front desk.

Indian Crafts Museum
Bhairon Road
Pragati Maidan, New Delhi

The Craft Museum is a good small-scale museum showcasing various Indian handicrafts. They also have a shop selling the handicrafts, proceeds go back to the local communities. They have some leather gift items.

For jewelry I would recco Jaipur in particular:

Gem Palace
Mirza lsmail Road (generally called M I Road)
Jaipur 302001
Tel: 91-141-37-4175
Fax 91-141-37-3586.

The shop itself is fascinating, get someone to show you the upstairs rooms which are hand painted. Their list of clients is impressive. They have new and estate jewelry.

Another place I would recommend for jewelry is

Ajmeri Gate
M.I. Road
Tel : 2367176

This is the government-owned and run handicrafts store for Rajasthan. Prices are fixed, but are very good, as is quality generally. They have a smaller but very good jewelry selection, as well as fabrics and handicrafts. Rajasthali also has outlets at Jaleb Chowk and Amber Fort in Jaipur

Surana Jewelers
B-7e Surana Enclave
Ram Singh Road
Tel: 91-141-237-2544

This store has many of the same pieces as Gem Palace, but at somewhat of a discount, and you can bargain a bit harder here.

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Old Feb 3rd, 2006, 08:18 AM
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Cic---not sure if you can answer this question, but is shipping of items from india relatively inexpensive or is it standard price like from other asian countries?? who do you suggest for a shipper....not of large things, but of cottons, etc...
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Old Feb 5th, 2006, 06:08 PM
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Rhhmk, I have shipped successfully from India, both to the US and to Hong Kong. I did not use a commercial shipper, but always arranged to have it shipped by the shop; finding and using commercial shippers are too much hassle for me. I used them once in Hong Kong and I ended up having to go TO the port in the US to collect the goods (good thing my folks leave near NYC) it was really a hassle or maybe I did not understand how it works when I arranged the shipping on the Hong Kong end, anyway I like to have the shop on the hook with me until the goods arrive.

I have to say I can't recall it being any significantly cheaper to ship from India than shipping from Bangkok or Bali. If you are buying stuff like table linens, etc I would probably say to go to the Handicrafts Emporium in Delhi and pay by credit card, they are used to shipping. If it is just cottons, isn't there any way you can bring it home as checked luggage, even paying excess baggage would seem to be to be cheaper than shipping, and airlines like Continental now have a 3 bag check-in allowance in business class, check the rules for the airline you are flying. You can buy suitcases pretty cheaply in India.
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Old Feb 5th, 2006, 06:55 PM
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unfortunately we only fly coach.... we do bring many many things home in our luggage, but this year we are feeling that we might not have as good luck with the airlines being much more weight conscious....we are also using a new air line this year---air france-- and are not sure how they deal with things...

my point in asking was just to determine if it might be cheaper to send a package of cloth via post or ups rather than adding it to what we might buy in bkk...

unfortuately on our next to last day in bkk, the annual jim thompson warehouse sale will occur so that means almost certain disaster....

thanks for your answer....i have made notes from several of your shopping comments in the past for india
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Old Feb 5th, 2006, 08:56 PM
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I would definately add my recommendation to the cottage industries emporium in New Delhi. I went there at the end of a 2 months in India & Nepal planning on just buying the things I needed for gifts I had been looking aroung and pricing as I had been travelling and had bought things along the way so I had a good idea of price and quality. The emporium has a tremendous selection excellent quality and the prices are good. I ended up buying a lot more than I had intended and even found things I had not seen elsewhere. Still I go would tell you that if you see something anywhere that you love go for it just in case you don't see it again!
Happy travels
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