Top items to buy

It’s hard to resist shopping in India, with so many beautiful fabrics, artisan handicrafts and so much variety.  If you have the time, do shop around and look for bargains, you can always find them in local shops and street markets.

There are “Emporiums” in each major city, these are air-conditioned and usually targeted at tourists, so prices are generally fixed and higher than you’d otherwise pay, but the quality is unbeaten and you rarely will ever find a defective piece there.

When you visit India, there are numerous things that will catch your eye in the market. Since there are limitations (budget and baggage) on what you can actually take back home, here is a compilation of the things you must look into.

Again: haggling is a must at markets in India!

Handicrafts

shutterstock_1340429585One of the best things about shopping for handicrafts in India is that the person selling the item is often also the craftsmen, and you can watch them at work.

Gemstones

If you’re after gemstones, head to Jaipur. shutterstock_539034274

Shopping Malls and Designer Stores

Mall mania has hit Mumbai and other metropolitan cities in recent years, with new malls popping up all over the city. Most malls are more than just shopping destinations. They’ve got huge food, gaming, and entertainment zones as well, offering fun for the whole family.

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Saris

Every state across India has its own special weaves and fabrics for its saris. One of the most popular and traditional types of saris is the Kanjeevaram (Kanchipuram), from south India. Another popular type of sari is the Banarasi sari, which is hand woven in Banaras (also known as Varanasi). Other well known types of saris include the bright tie-dyed Bandhani/Bandhej saris from Rajasthan and Gujarat, cotton Gadhwal saris with silk borders and pallu from Andhra Pradesh, Maheshwari saris from Madhya Pradesh, and the gorgeous fine silk and gold woven Paithani saris with peacock design from Maharashtra.

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Shoes! Fabulous shoes

From inexpensive leather juttis (traditional embroidered slippers) to crystal-beaded, high-heeled evening sandals, shoes in India are fun and frivolous … and very tempting.

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Pashmina and other shawls

Real pashmina is a type of cashmere wool that comes from pashmina goats in the Himalayas. It is very costly. So, if someone offers you a pashmina for a small sum, such as $10, it’s probably a blend (at best). However, there are many beautiful shawls made in India from wool, silk, cotton and blends of these materials.

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Scented products

India is, of course, the land of incense. And attar, a type of natural perfume extracted from flowers, herbs, spices, or barks, has been in use in India since ancient times.

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