Shopping in Varanasi
It is a treat to shop in Varanasi. This city with strong cultural roots has a lot to offer when it comes to shopping and fine cuisine. People from all over the world visiting the holy city does not miss out to get hold of few exquisite mementos that Varanasi is world famous for. For all you shopping lovers, here’s a detailed guide to what you should buy when in Varanasi and the ideal places to shop from.
Things to Buy in Varanasi
Varanasi truly knows the art of weaving silk. The city’s very own Banarasi sarees embroidered with golden and silver threads have been the favourite wedding attire among Hindus for centuries. These sarees are also considered as extremely auspicious for the brides as it comes from the holy city, Varanasi.
The delicate brocade works on the sarees are a masterpiece in itself and not just countrymen, people from abroad also takes fascination and inspiration from this magical piece of work.
The weavers in the city are a class-apart when it comes to embroidery. The hand-knotted carpets are a perfect adornment for every household. Tourists from faraway places courier these carpets by air or ship to their country land.
Langda Aam a variety of mango, found mostly during the summers is also a speciality of Varanasi. These succulent fruit has a distinctive taste and is usually the first choice of every mango-lover.
Brassware and Copperware
Beautiful showpiece made of brass and copper is another common buy in Varanasi. Souvenirs of clay and wood are a speciality of the city.
Where to Shop in Varanasi
Varanasi has some popular streets and lanes especially known for their exquisite variety of shopping items available. The main areas are Vishwanath Gali, Chowk, Golghar, Tatheri Bazaar, Godaulia, Lahurabir, Dashashwamedh Gali.
Shopping in Varanasi can be tricky and nightmarish especially for people who are not used to bargaining and getting the nuances of the touts. One can be easily fooled by the thugs who will force you pay extra prices for the commodities, be careful and don’t fall for them.
For brass and copper utensils and show pieces visit Tatheri Bazaar. They have some rare collections of vintage brasswares as well. Worth a look if you cannot afford to buy it.
Exquite silk brocade and jewellery pieces can be found in Jnana Vapi and Vishwanath gali.
Handloom and handicrafts are found in abundance throughout the city. The best places to visit however, are the three emporia outlets at Lahurabir, Godaulia and Chowk. The CIE, located opposite Taj Hotel in Cantonment area also has a good collection of hand crafted works but comes with a good price tag. Urban Haat at Maqbool Alam Road is also a good option to check out for handlooms and handicraft.
There are many outlets selling fine quality Banarsi sarees. However, due to the immense popularity of these sarees, prices are comparatively on the higher side. Some of the well-known shops selling silk sarees are Qazi Sadullahpura situated near Chavi Mahal theatre. Upica, opposite Taj Hotel and Handloom House at Sigra is also a good place to buy.
How to forget the Banarsi paan or betel leaf that Varanasi is extremely famous for. Try out a betel leaf at Ramchandra Chaurasia Tambul Bhandar located at Chowk. The other well-known shop is Keshav Paan Bhandar at Ravidas Gate.
The side streets of Varanasi are filled with myriad products on handloom, handicraft, food and show pieces. If you have an eye for good products then street shopping too can be fun in Varanasi.
Malls in Varanasi
The modern Varanasi has come up with few malls that sell branded and international products. Some of the good malls in the city are IP Mall at Kabir road, PDR Mall at Luxa road, IP Mall at Godaulia and Spice KCM Mall at Godaulia.
Shops to Look Out For in Varanasi
Just as its quirky name, this shop stores some of the most unique and delicate silk scarves and stoles. The items are moderately priced. The store is located at under the mosque in Bhelpura crossing.
Mehrotra Silk Factory
Though the prices are fixed in this store, it is hard to resist buying those beautiful silk scarves and sarees that are stored in this quaint shop located in one of the labyrinth lanes of Englishia Line.
Shri Gandhi Ashram Khadi
If you want to buy the indigenous khadi products, visit to Shri Gandhi Ashram Khadi at Kabir Chaura Road is a must. Apparels made from fine khadi are available here at reasonable price.
Benaras Art and Culture
The grand haveli of Varanasi has a range of fine carvings, paintings, sculpture and wooden toys. All these products are hand made by local artistes of Varanasi. The shop is located at Shivala Road.
Organic by Brown Bread Bakery
This aromatic shop selling fresh coffee and natural cosmetics is a good place to visit for all organic product lovers. The shop sells muesli, honey, fresh juices and baked goods. It is located at Shivali road.
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