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Mohd Irfan Apr 10 2015

Which are the most famous ancient markets in India?

Reema Bhalla Apr 10 2015
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Even though online shopping and swanky malls are the new hot trends, they can never be replaced with our traditional, bustling markets. The fascinating array of goods from wholesale bangles to biryani, pearls to paper, golgappas to gold, flower to mithai... make these famous Indian ancient markets a great window shopping and photo-taking zone. Come, take an interesting tour:

1.Dilli Haat, Delhi

Dilli Haat is the city's permanent handicrafts bazaar. Opened in March 1994, the village-style traditional look of the Haat creates just the right setting for the many shopping-and-dining festivals held here.


Photo from official Facebook page

At the far end, the food bazaar buzzes with activity. Sometimes, dancers sway to the rustic rhythm of a garba dhol. You are in the closest approximation of a village fair that you can imagine in a city.

2. Flower Market, Mumbai

Flower, flower everywhere! Even though Mumbai is famous for its myriad street shopping options, this hidden flower market is definitely a big surprise and an unique experience in itself. This wholesale market is a huge draw for tourists and it is recommended that you visit here in the wee hours of morning to click the best pictures!


Photo by AllieKF

3. Ima Market, Manipur

Also known as Mother’s Market, Ima Market in Manipur is one of its kind market where all the stalls are managed and owned by women only. So, don’t be surprised by the sight of almost 3000 female vendors sitting in a row and offering a range of products such as beautiful local handicrafts, hand-made baskets, fresh fruits and a lot more! Women empowerment, we must say!


Photo by Ppyoonus

4. Chowringhee Lane, Kolkata

One name you can instantly associate with the City of Joy is Chowringhee! Often referred to as the lifeline of Kolkata, the lane is not only steeped in history but also continues to be one of the most vibrant markets of the country.



From imposing mansions of British officials to crammed shops selling interesting stuff, from street vendors selling delicious local food items to the unparalleled views of the huge Maidan, this small lane offers all and then some more.

5. Chandni Chowk, Delhi

Well, Chandni Chowk in Delhi has to be in this list of the most famous ancient markets in India. Though a foodie and shopper’s paradise, Chandni Chowk and the adjacent Chawri Bazar could be overwhelming for anyone who is not ‘in the know’.


Photo by Ankur's

The narrow, bustling lanes of Chandni Chowk have everything and anything under the sun- be it wedding finery, jewellery market, ittar shops, wholesale bangles to mouth-watering parathas. Phew! The list is almost endless.

6. Chor Bazaar, Mumbai

Well, the name says it all, isn’t it? Famous not just as a thriving shopping hub but also as an intriguing tourist attraction, Chor Bazaar has slowly become an integral part of Mumbai’s shopping world. From spare automobile parts, antique jewellery, leather goods vintage movie posters, this bustling market is nothing less than a pandora box.


Photo by floydgal

7. Khari Baoli, Delhi

Located west of bustling Chandni Chowk, it is Asia’s largest wholesale spice market, but only a few people know that. Still fewer know that it has been operational since the 17th century.


Photo by sara marlowe

Countless bags of red and yellow chillies in all sorts of sizes and colours lined the walls of the centuries old shops that ran deep, leading to ancient godowns. And wait, it is more than just a spice market--don’t forget to indulge in huge, stuffed kulchas at the original Kake di Hatti, savour plate of moong dal and gond halwa at Giani di Hatti or enjoy soft chunks of masala paneer at your favourite Garhwal Paneer Bhandar before you make your way out of the place.

8. Flea Markets, Goa

Apart from being home to some beautiful beaches, Goa is also famous for its happening and lively flea markets. Visit Mapusa Friday Market to pick up packets of cashew, feni, Goa sausages and salt fish. Put your bargaining skills into action yet again or spend some time at the Anjuna Wednesday Market to shop for cheap t-shirts and beach wear and amazing handicrafts.




Don’t miss visiting Arpora Saturday Night Market which is like a one-stop solution to shop for trendy clothes, shoes, amazing jewellery, interesting home decor and stylish leather accessories. This Saturday market also houses food stalls with cuisines from across the globe and a centre stage that hosts live concerts featuring Rock to Indian Classical. So, head to these flea markets in Goa to enjoy unlimited doses of shopping and fun.


Photo by Os Rupias

9. Jew Street, Kochi

Once Jews occupied almost all the houses in Jew Street in Mattancherry. Now those residences are shuttered or rented out to schools and offices. But curio shops and spice souks flourish. It’s colourful and a great place to shop for stuff ranging from Kanyakumari to Kashmir. You will get amazing variety of crafted shawls, perfumes and handicrafts and exotic spices.


Photo by By Self (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

More than shopping, a trip to Jew Street is like experiencing the old-world charm of this sleepy town.

10. Johari Bazaar, Jaipur

Johari Bazaar, south of Badi Chaupar, is famous for bandhani and block printed textiles. Some of the city’s most well-known jewellers have their showrooms here.


Photo by xiquinhosilva

Towards the east is the other end of Tripolia Bazaar (it starts from Badi Chaupar), with its metal shops. At a small lane called Maniharon ka Raasta, off Tripolia Bazaar, you can watch lac bangle-makers at work. To the south is Kishanpol Bazaar, which has wood cots, jute strings and silver items.

So, what are you waiting for? Its time to follow the mantra of “shop till you drop” at these famous ancient markets in India and also bring back some old-world memories with you!

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