Re­tail Ther­apy

Sim­ply Delhi lists some of the most iconic mar­kets of the city.

India Today - - INSIDE - BY REWATI RAU, EKTA MAR­WAHA AND KAVYAN­JALI KAUSHIK

FUNK AL­LEYS Hauz Khas Vil­lage: Walk­ing down the labyrinth of Hauz Khas vil­lage ( HKV) is al­most like trea­sure hunt­ing— a pub here, a bar there, a top notch de­signer store at a cor­ner, an up­mar­ket patis­serie or a fine din­ing restau­rant, some­thing fas­ci­nat­ing wait­ing is dis­cov­ered at ev­ery step. This pretty maze of by­lanes has sprung around the ru­ins of a 13th cen­tury reser­voir, tomb and mosque has be­come of the most hap­pen­ing haunt for the city’s youth. Start strolling down the mar­ket from the park­ing lot and you can feel the high in the air. Be­gin your tryst with a kitsch as you step into Pur­ple Jun­gle, a store sell­ing quirky bags, ac­ces­sories, coast­ers and cush­ion cov­ers— all with an eth­nic touch. Up next would be Lola’s World, a store hous­ing trendy stuff for chil­dren. If it’s be­spoke that you’re look­ing for, meet Ro­hit Kant, an NID grad­u­ate who sells hand painted bric- a- brac at his store in HKV.

And if your shop­ping bag’s lack­ing some­thing ru­ral, stop over at Maati to pick up dokra ear­rings from Jhark­hand or hand painted kur­tis with mo­tifs like Nataraja and Shiva. And all that re­tail ther­apy would have worked up your ap­petite. Your plat­ter of choices is wide— an Ital­ian fine din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at Diva Pic­cola, sin­ful burg­ers at Fork You, Parsi cui­sine at Faarsi or a Hy­der­abadi Biryani at Golconda Bowl and many oth­ers. Set­tle down with your favourite food and a drink and see the vil­lage en­vi­rons so ef­fort­lessly en­com­pass­ing the Boho cul­ture. IN­SIDER’S TIP Stroll down the pic­turesque Hauz Khas Lake and walk down to the end of the mar­ket to the di­lap­i­dated mon­u­ment. WHAT WE LOVE The park­ing woes or the over­crowded lanes never dis­cour­age the youth from com­ing here ev­ery weekend.

GOURMET GRAB INA Mar­ket: Ev­ery cook’s favourite place to shop. The nar­row al­leys of this mar­ket of­fer ev­ery pos­si­ble ex­otic in­gre­di­ent— fresh veg­eta­bles, im­ported meats, herbs, breads and more. As you en­ter, you will no­tice lit­tle stores with im­ported mer­chan­dise stacked to the ceil­ing. Walk a bit fur­ther, and you'll en­ter the cov­ered veg­etable mar­ket and meat shops. Be­fore broc­coli and as­para­gus be­came house­hold names, ex­pats vis­ited INA to get their stock. Whether it is ar­ti­chokes for your salad, truf­fle for piz­zas or Korean sweet po­tato starch noo­dles; you will find them all at INA. Hav­ing catered to count­less ex­pats and chefs, the shop­keep­ers have learnt many lan­guages; so don't be sur­prised if they cor­rect your pro­nun­ci­a­tion! IN­SIDER’S TIP Do re­mem­ber to do some home­work be­fore go­ing WHAT WE LOVE The ex­otic in­gre­di­ents at rel­a­tively cheap rates AN­TIQUE COR­NER Fur­ni­ture Mar­ket, Amar Colony: Have a heavy break­fast, choose a sunny win­ter day and then head out to shop at the Amar Colony Fur­ni­ture Mar­ket. It’s not as if the mar­ket is huge, it’s just that ev­ery shop here will de­mand so much of your time, at­ten­tion and en­ergy that you’ll be drained at the end of it all. Af­ter all, it’s not al­ways that you chance on a rare piece of an­tique fur­ni­ture which doesn’t burn a hole in your pocket. At this mar­ket, ev­ery shop with fur­ni­ture ar­ranged in a hotch­potch fash­ion, will sur­prise you with some­thing rare, be it those pe­riod mir­rors, wooden laun­dry racks, an­tique study ta­bles or even four poster beds. And al­most ev­ery piece of fur­ni­ture is made of au­then­tic teak wood, at lit­er­ally ‘ throw away prices’. A walk around this mar­ket will take you back to those pe­riod movies or re­mind you of the fur­ni­ture you loved at the last her­itage ho­tel you stayed at. Of­ten re­ferred to as the raddi mar­ket by the lo­cals around, the Amar Colony fur­ni­ture mar­ket is un­sus­pect­ingly lo­cated just be­hind LSR Col­lege. The 25- 40 shops are now run by the sec­ond gen­er­a­tions, and they claim to source fur­ni­ture from all over the coun­try, Goa, Kolkata or the South. Apart from the pieces dis­played, the shop­keep­ers will tell you that they can make any piece on or­der, even a re­pro­duc­tion of a pe­riod piece. IN­SIDER’S TIP Do re­mem­ber to do some home­work be­fore go­ing, your

knowl­edge will come handy while bar­gain­ing. WHAT WE LOVE There are no loud sales push here, you can see things at your pace and buy only if you love.

THE NEWVIL­LAGE

Me­her Chand Mar­ket: This mar­ket de­serves a bet­ter de­scrip­tion than “the new Hauz Khas Vil­lage”. A quick walk up and down the old- fash­ioned mar­ket ( con­fined to a sin­gle high street) is enough to dis­tin­guish it from the hip and now highly crowded HKV. Sure, it lacks the pic­turesque lo­ca­tion that HKV en­joys, but the city’s af­flu­ent still go here hunt­ing for de­signer la­bels and CMYK’s spe­cial­ties— art and de­sign books. The ki­nara shops stock­ing or­ganic food are as much loved and fre­quented by shop­pers as are the chic bou­tiques. And while de­signer Pia Pauro’s flag­ship beach­wear store pulls you in with its heav­ily- beaded cock­tail dresses, Love­birds pays ho­mage to iconic vin­tage styles with its yes­ter­year- in­spired de­signer gar­ments and ac­ces­sories. A smart and easy- on- the- pocket op­tion is Soma, a Jaipur brand sell­ing tra­di­tional Ra­jasthani cot­ton clothes ex­clu­sively for women. The store apes big play­ers like Anokhi and Fabin­dia in terms of dis­play and the va­ri­ety of clothes, but the hand- block print­ing and an ex­ten­sive col­lec­tion of Ra­jasthani quilts gives it an edge. Even though a walk around the mini mar­ket is not nearly good enough to work up an ap­petite, the momo stalls of­fer quick and healthy bites be­tween all the shop­ping. In the nearby Lodhi mar­ket, Chez Nini of­fers de­li­cious French cui­sine in case you are look­ing for a heavy meal. IN­SIDER’S TIP At the home dé­cor store, Kari­gari, you can get con­tem­po­rary and vin­tage fur­ni­ture made ac­cord­ing to your own de­sign. WHAT WE LOVE The Ki­rana Shop sell­ing fresh veg­eta­bles, or­ganic food, pick­les, herbal teas, nat­u­ral soaps, spices and more.

COU­TURE STREET

Shah­pur Jat: Rum­mag­ing through bar­gain mar­kets for an­tique and cheap im­i­ta­tions of cur­rent fash­ion is passé. A bet­ter bet would be to head for Shah­pur Jat’s me­an­der­ing lanes for high- end de­signer gear, quirky

ac­ces­sories and cus­tomised out­fits. This ur­ban vil­lage has earned a loyal fol­low­ing for cou­ture la­bels, footwear and bags— all quite chic and mostly af­ford­able. Check out Jangi House Lane which is dot­ted with shops sell­ing em­bel­lished gar­ments char­ac­terised by bright colours and tai­lored fits. If shoes are more your thing, head to Shoe Garage, one of the old­est shops in the vil­lage. A favourite haunt with col­lege go­ers, you can find any­thing from flats, wedges, satin san­dals to me­tal­lic loafers. Bag the best deal on clutches and purses- any­thing from can­vas to fab­ric- that are high on style, from Falah Hand­i­crafts. But, if you’re look­ing for quirky home ac­ces­sories and knick knacks, then head to The Wish­ing Chair. Or if you’re in the mood to sip a hot cuppa and sit back with a book, then The Mad Teapot is the place to be. IN­SIDER’S TIP Get near repli­cas of your favourite de­signer wear made here. WHAT WE LOVE The kitschy cor­ners of the mar­ket CON­NOIS­SEUR’S CHOICE

Sun­der Na­gar: Prob­a­bly the best place in the city to trawl for cov­eted ar­ti­facts, Sun­der Na­gar mar­ket is a favourite with the ex­pat pop­u­la­tion and the crème de la crème of Delhi. Known for its fa­mous Di­wali Mela, this quaint lit­tle mar­ket is packed with both old and new shops sell­ing hand­i­crafts, sil­ver jew­ellery and an­tiques. But it is also a haven for tea lovers. Lo­cated next to each other, Asia Tea House ( ear­lier Re­galia Tea House) and Mit­tal Teas stock ex­quis­ite va­ri­ety of teas grown in In­dia and abroad and at­tract tea con­nois­seurs from all over the world. But while Asia Tea House takes pride in its Darjeeling teas, such as the Vin­tage Musk and the Sil­ver Nee­dle, its nearly six- decade old neigh­bour is known for its hand- rolled green tea ( three times more healthy and ex­pen­sive than the av­er­age green tea) and ex­otic herbal fu­sions. The ma­jor­ity of the clien­tele is ex­pat and both the tea shops of­fer tea leaves packed in hand­crafted wooden boxes for quick gift­ing so­lu­tions. Asia Tea House has a branch in Ben­gali Mar­ket and Mit­tal Teas has two more out­lets in Con­naught Place and Lodhi Road. IN­SIDER’S TIP Tea tast­ing be­fore buy­ing is a con­ve­nient op­tion of­fered by both the shops. WHAT WE LOVE Dragon Balls from Asia Tea House and mango- flavoured tea from Mit­tal Teas. THE PLAN­NERS PRE­DICT

Chandni Chowk: Walk­ing down the lanes of Chandni Chowk, it is not hard to pic­ture Delhi as it would have been a cen­tury ago. Just re­place the rick­shaws with ton­gas, imag­ine wider roads with lesser riff raff and shops with mar­quees in­stead of mod­ern- age sign­boards. No other shop­ping desti­na­tion in Delhi of­fers the retro vibe that Chandni Chowk does. But there’s more to Chandni Chowk than the famed parathe waali gali and Karim’s. Don’t be afraid to get dirty, and the hid­den in­ner lanes will re­ward you. Make your way to the

be­jew­eled lane Dariba Kalan, fa­mous for shops sell­ing sil­ver and gold jew­ellery at mar­ket- beat­ing prices, tro­phies, pre­cious stones and more. And if you are in mood for some numerol­ogy, chat up the owner of Ra­jka­mal Jewellers, Jawahar Verma, who not only sells birth stones but also pre­dicts in­ter­est­ing, al­beit not al­ways ac­cu­rate, in­for­ma­tion about your­self, based on your birth date. A few shops down Ra­jka­mal Jewellers lies a gold­mine of Bud­dhist hand­i­crafts. Singing Bowl Cen­tre is the cor­ner most shop in Dariba Kalan that sells all kinds of brass, wooden and cop­per ar­ti­facts. The en­trance re­veals lit­tle of the jewels hid­den in­side, but don’t let the un­will­ing- to- help own­ers and the shop in­te­ri­ors that look like an old gov­ern­ment flat bring you down. From prayer flags and Bud­dhist masks to Bud­dha stat­ues and cop­per plates, the shop is over­flow­ing with the ar­ti­facts that cost half of what you might find any­where else in the city.

SPICE ROUTE

Khari Baoli: If you can take the strong aroma of spices that has in­fil­trated even the walls, head down to Khari Baoli, Asia’s largest spice mar­ket, just be­hind the Fateh­puri Mosque. Hag­gle for dry fruits be­fore you ven­ture deep into the labyrinth for spices and herbs. Cover your nose be­fore you take a turn in to Gado­dia Mar­ket and save your­self a sneeze- fest that might get trig­gered thanks to heaps of vi­brant red chill­ies. IN­SIDER’S TIP A set of un­lit and dirty stairs in the cor­ner most build­ing of Gado­dia Mar­ket takes you five- storeys up and of­fers a spec­tac­u­lar view of the en­tire ex­panse of Chandni Chowk. Ob­serve the chaos from the top be­fore you plunge back into it. WHAT WE LOVE The kohla­puris of Bal­li­maran. Cheap, sturdy and al­ways in style.

CRAFTED WITH LOVE

Dastkaar Bazaar: Lo­cated at And­he­ria Mod, this lit­tle shop­ping hub is known for hand­i­crafts and ecofriendly buys. There’s a new theme al­most each month, where ar­ti­sans from across the coun­try setup shop. Colour­ful cane bas­kets, ter­a­cotta ear­rings and hand­wo­ven bags and kur­tas are a hit all year round. From

hand painted wooden stat­ues and sil­ver fur­nish­ings to ac­ces­sories like silk stoles and zari em­broi­dered bags, there's some­thing of in­ter­est for all. And when all that shop­ping makes you hun­gry, feast on del­i­ca­cies that range from a Ra­jasthani thali to Hy­der­abadi biryani. Both the food and craft stalls keep chang­ing with each ven­dor be­ing pro­vided few days to dis­play their wares. This year, Dastkar Na­ture Bazaar ( 18 to 26 Oc­to­ber) will show­case the works of over 160 craft­groups, NGO, small pro­ducer groups, and new de­sign­ers. Around 22 States will dis­play their crafts and or­gan­ise art work­shops where visi­tors can learn from and in­ter­act with the crafts­peo­ple them­selves. WHATWE LOVE The cul­tural per­for­mances

ART’S OWN SPACE

Lado Sarai: In a city ob­sessed with bling, it is dif­fi­cult to fathom a place ded­i­cated to aes­thet­ics. But Lado Sarai, touted as Delhi’s own SoHo has some­what changed per­cep­tions to­wards the city. Home to over 15 gal­leries, all next to each other, Lado Sarai is where art lovers can head for an evening of wine, cheese and art. Lat­i­tude 28, Art Pos­i­tive, Neeraj Art Gallery, Stu­dio Art and Won­der­wall are some of the gal­leries that have found their haven at Lado Sarai. It is an in­ter­est­ing melt­ing pot of cul­ture— it’s here that you’ll find a lo­cal salon next to an up­mar­ket art gallery, cows tak­ing a stroll down the road brush­ing against SUV’s, art afi­ciona­dos ask­ing cu­ri­ous vil­lagers for di­rec­tions. Art gallery own­ers have even planned an art night here where they all open their ex­hi­bi­tions on the same date and the gal­leries stay open till late night, giv­ing the per­fect op­por­tu­nity for art lovers to gallery hop. Adding to giv­ing the per­fect mish­mash to the artis­tic am­bi­ence are the life­style stores here. While Port­side café, an up­mar­ket fur­ni­ture store ups the snob value of Lado Sarai, there’s K2 In­dia, prom­i­nent in­te­rior de­signer Su­nita Kohli’s de­sign stu­dio. Even if you don’t want to buy any fur­ni­ture, stop by to peer at the state- of- the- art pieces. IN­SIDER’S TIP Sit down for a chat with one of the art gallery own­ers. They’ll up­date you on what’s the lat­est. WHAT WE LOVE While at Lado Sarai, do walk in to Ma­haraja Car­pets, the old­est shop in the mar­ket which has seen Lado Sarai come up from be­ing just a vil­lage to the art hub it is now.

RE­TAIL RO­MANCE

San­tushti Shop­ping Com­plex: Don’t go to San­tushti for just shop­ping. Go here to in­dulge your­self with not just

a full shop­ping bag, but also a soothing treat for your senses. Per­haps one of the most peace­ful mar­kets in the city, this com­plex, run by the Air Force Wives As­so­ci­a­tion, is the per­fect haunt for an up­mar­ket shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. Around 30 swanky stores are sprin­kled all over a beau­ti­ful green lawns, with pretty flow­ers bloom­ing here and there. From a dis­tance, you might even mis­take this place for a red­bricked re­sort, with cot­tages scat­tered all around! But start walk­ing around and you’re sure to empty your pock­ets. Step into the big­gest store, San­tushti— The Con­cept Shop, a life­style store. Here, you can find a gift item for any­one— a sil­ver ear­ring, a pe­riod show­piece or a silk kurta, and ev­ery­thing at sur­pris­ingly af­ford­able prices. From here, walk up to the six- month- old Sad­hika store and be floored by the col­lec­tion of leather ac­ces­sories. While there are so many other stores which de­mand your at­ten­tion, we highly rec­om­mend Kas­tros, an ex­clu­sive cigar par­lour. Even if you’ve never held a cigar in your hand, step in just to ed­u­cate your­self. The ex­pertly main­tained cigar par­lour has brands rang­ing from David­off to Rocky Pa­tel stored in the right tem­per­a­ture and looked af­ter like ba­bies. You’d sure have an urge to pick one up, just for the fun of it. And as you browse through the col­lec­tion, you can’t ig­nore the aro­mas em­a­nat­ing from the Basil and Thyme restau­rants, just op­po­site. Set­tle down here for a hearty meal as you watch pea­cocks danc­ing away to glory in the mar­ket. IN­SIDER’S TIP Stop by at the San­cha Tea Bou­tique for your com­pli­men­tary cup of ex­otic tea. WHAT WE LOVE Umeed counter at San­tushti— The Con­cept Shop which sells prod­ucts made by spe­cially abled chil­dren.

DE LUXE DESTI­NA­TION

DLF Em­po­rio: “I like my money right where I can see it… hang­ing in my closet.” How hon­est was Car­rie Brad­shaw, the fash­ion icon from Sex and the City, when she said this? It’s not se­cret that the lux­u­ri­ous DLF Em­po­rio Mall in Vas­ant Kunj gives you am­ple op­por­tu­nity to hang oo­dles of finest fash­ion pieces in your wardrobe, only if you can af­ford it. A class apart from most other malls that have sprouted in the city, Em­po­rio is all about ex­tra­or­di­nary so­phis­ti­ca­tion and ex­clu­sive de­signer brands. While the top floor of the mall is set aside for In­dian de­sign­ers such as Surekha Jain, Satya Paul, Fal­guni and Shane Pea­cock, Ro­hit Bal, Rina Dhaka and Tarun Tahil­iani, the rest of the mas­sive, palace- like space is oc­cu­pied by the cream of in­ter­na­tional fash­ion de­sign­ers. Join­ing the ranks of Louis Vuit­ton, Gucci, Burberry, Roberto Cavalli Tom Ford, Fendi, Missoni, Ver­sace, Gior­gio Ar­mani and more, world- renowned fash­ion de­signer Michael Kors’ name­sake brand made its de­but in the In­dian mar­ket by open­ing a store at Em­po­rio about two months ago. The 1500 sq ft store re­flects the la­bel’s luxe aes­thetic through the use of rich leather fur­ni­ture, sleek metal fixtures and mir­rored sur­faces. On dis­play are Kors’ typ­i­cal lux­u­ri­ous ac­ces­sories, footwear, watches and ready- to- wear. IN­SIDER’S TIP The mall will re­tail ex­clu­sive Di­wali gifts and ac­ces­sories from Oc­to­ber 7 to Novem­ber 2. WHAT WE LOVE Sip­ping cof­fee at Cafe Em­po­rio, which en­joys a cen­tral lo­ca­tion in the mas­sive atrium of the mall, and soak­ing in the ex­trav­a­gance.

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