Shopping in Delhi is known to be a tad expensive… but of course if you hit the branded shops in the plush malls. For me, Malls and brands came much later in life. My source of retail therapy was restricted to Janpath, Khan Market (which wasn’t exorbitant then) and Sarojini. Delhi’s street shopping is the best, no exaggeration…. home to some of the biggest wholesale markets, Dilli shopping is an experience that fascinates even expats. So, who needs Bangkok for shopping?
In the by lanes of the meandering…. almost on the verge of losing yourself, lies a market that will be unmissable as you hit Singhara Chowk. The never ending lane that you will see with bags lined in hoards, is Asia’s biggest wholesale market. It is Old Delhi’s Nabi Karim Bag market.
The street is an amalgamation of sellers for wholesale and sell only in bulk and those who wouldn’t mind selling retail. Before you enter and spend time scouring through the range, do make sure to ask them for retail. Let me warn you, scouring is going to be a process, so have your day dedicated to the bag market.
Now when you begin your bag therapy walk, one thing that will surprise (pleasantly) you…. are the dirt cheap prices. Who could have ever imagined a bag costing INR 50? Maybe a decade ago….. Stop by a few shops and check their ranges and prices before settling on one, because chances are….. you will be spoilt for choice!
Handbags at INR 100- 850, depending on the size and quality, and believe you me, the quality is decent. If you’re looking at some rip offs, there are aplenty….. from Guess to YSL and Reebok to Puma, brands find a way here. Though not all are rip offs, some are factory rejects too! Handbags, Pouches, waist pouches, trolley bags, backpacks, shoulder bags, leather bags, suitcases…….There is nothing, you won’t here.
Some shops that I brushed were APG Associates and they have a superlative range of trolley bags and suitcases as well as manufacture school bags, Sachin Trader, Khaneja Purse, Rohan Purse Collection and Lucky Purse (they have some really gorgeous gypsy embroidered slings starting at INR 50).
I know all this sounds very tempting, but before you get drooling, there are a few things to go by for an easy breezy retail walk.
- It is advisable to travel to the market by metro or an auto rickshaw, as parking can be time consuming and who wants to waste time on that?
- Be extremely wary of pick pockets and thieves…. I suggest carry a sling bag and keep it in front and held tight and don’t worry about people thinking of you as paranoid! Be safe than sorry!
- The best time of the day to visit is Afternoon as by then all the shops would have had their shutters up and stocks out.
- The market is close on Sundays….. so you have enough days from Monday to Saturday to plan your bag fetish trip.
- The nearest metro station that you must hop off at is Chandni Chowk or Chawri Bazar.