If you are looking for a shopper’s paradise in India, it has to be Delhi. Be it the latest designer brands or the best handicrafts in India, Delhi has all options. Many visitors drop in to Delhi just for doing a round of the markets. The markets range from the traditional bazaars of Chandni Chowk to the posh malls of Vasant Kunj. What may be of interest is that shopping in Delhi does not necessarily burn a hole in your packet. You can find decent goods at affordable prices if you just look hard enough.
To prove our point, we are letting you into some of the best kept secrets of Delhi. Here is a list of some of the spots where you can get amazing stuff within your budget. To make our pint, we have kept a random ballpark of Rs 500 (that is less than USD 7) per item. From experience we can say, the merchandise is durable, aesthetic and will keep you yearning for more.
Handicraft Markets in Delhi NCR
The best handicrafts in India are available in India. Sometimes artisans themselves come with their creations and do business directly. This eliminates middlemen and any resultant inflation of prices. Some of the best handicraft markets of India are located in Delhi and you get amazing stuff in less than Rs 500 here.
Dilli Haat, INA Market
Top on the list is Dilli Haat, INA Market. Next to INA Metro Station, this spot was built like a village market where artisans could connect and sell products to customers directly without the intervention of agents or middlemen. While prices in Dilli Haat can reach 6 figures for exquisite stone or wood carvings or rugs, you can buy a host of handcrafted and hand-woven items here in less than Rs 500.
What to buy at Dilli Haat –For Rs 500, you can look out for men and women kurtas (Indian shirts), scarves, bags and costume ornaments, small pieces of silver like nose pins and toe rings, small paintings, terracotta dolls, basic handmade toys, food items such as papad, churan and pickles.
Janpath Market, New Delhi
If you are looking for affordable souvenirs and gifts, you can come to the Janpath area where Janpath hits Connaught Place. Most of the shops here are temporary stalls and people often hawk goods sitting on footpaths. Bargaining for prices is the norm here.
What to buy at Janpath Market – For Rs 500, you can buy miniature paintings, Rajasthani paintings, cushion covers, ornaments, metal table lamps, clothes and cheap souvenirs. Prices work better here if you buy more than one item from the same vendor.
Sector 56 Market, Gurgaon
If you were in Gurgaon, you might have noticed a few peddlers setting up stalls with barbeque ovens, some wood carvings and ceramic pots just after sector 56 petrol pump. That non-descript spot has now turned to a something like a flea market where one gets all kinds of handcrafted home décor items. Again, bargaining is the way to buy whatever you fancy and you will find many cool ethnic stuff at less than Rs 500.
What to buy at Sector 56 market, Gurgaon – We have bought pottery, small mosaic lamps, wood candle stands, medium -size ceramic planters, garden ornaments, pickle jars within Rs 500. The market is more affordable during weekdays.
Clothes Markets in Delhi NCR
Where can I buy cheap clothes in Delhi? We get this question often and finally address it here.
Sarojini Nagar Market, Delhi
People in South Delhi do not need any introduction to this market. Situated behind Dilli Haat, INA, this is a one stop shop for your affordable clothes needs. Hawkers here sell cool looking clothes at a fraction of their designer prices. You can hackle your heart out for lowering prices and nobody minds. Flipside is that the market is pretty much in the open and you can’t try the clothes before buying.
What to buy at Sarojini Nagar Market – You can look out for cool t-shirts, polo shirts, scarves and bandanas, tops and shorts in less than Rs 500. To confess, we have found cool looking adult denims being sold for Rs 200 here.
Central Market, Lajpat Nagar
Lajpat Nagar Market in South Delhi is another shopping hub that covers the whole gamut from designer stores to street fashion. Although we do not find it as affordable as Sarojini Nagar, the Central Market has good bargains. Lajpat Nagar is like a maze. So do have some time on hand to explore the lanes and by lanes.
What to buy at Lajpat Nagar Market – For a cap of Rs 500, you can look out for t-shirts, tops, polo shirts, sportswear, bed-sheets and table covers, quirky printed socks, bags and so on. You can try the shop Maximum here. They sell export surplus goods at affordable prices.
Palika Bazar, Connaught Place
Literally hidden below the heart of Delhi – Connaught Place, Palika Bazar was traditionally the hub for all things cool. The latest MTV fashion items here were available here for fraction of the price. While they also sell electronic items, we could never trust these goods here. But the clothes, especially accessories, would surely appeal to the young and the young at heart/
What to buy at Palika Bazar – Lookout for cool accessories such as sunglasses, chains and bracelets, quirky rings and ear rings and bags, scarves, bandanas and socks with quirky prints. You can easily get these items in Rs 500.
Food zones in Delhi NCR
Delhi is called the Food Capital of India not for nothing. There are countless food hubs that we are still exploring. Some of them are so affordable that we often fall off the chair when we see the bill. The below, in our opinion, are the best.
Dilli Haat, INA Market
There are many state-wise food stalls in Dilli Haat and you get a wide range of dishes here. We have often made lunch, tea or dinner here and more often than not, in less than Rs 500 for 2.
What to eat at Dilli Haat – The must haves here are momos, chicken noodles, thukpa, puran poli, fruit beer, tea, coffee, dosa, sandwiches and full meals or thalis.
Paranthewali Gully, Chandni Chowk
The famous Parathewalli Gully is a hotspot for stuffed bread or parathas. The shops here are more than a century old and have still retained their simple charm. If you are ok sharing tables, then you would love this place. The parathas here are vegetarian.
What to eat at Parathewalli Gully – They have numerous stuffings in parathas here and everyone has their favourites. We love papad paratha, bitter gourd paratha, dal paratha and among sweets we always order rabri paratha, khurchun paratha and wind the proceedings up with dry fruit paratha and a glass of lassi. Sheer bliss and its like a party for Rs 500!
Chawri Bazar, Old Delhi
This part of Delhi saw its golden age under the rule of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan in the 17th century. Many food practices of that era still era and you can easily make a meal for 2 in less than Rs 500.
What to eat at Chawri Bazar – The must haves here are kebabs, biryani, rumali roti and sheermal. If you are here during Ramzan, your options multiply 10 folds and you can read up more on that in our Ramzan Food Trail post. The must haves at this time include mango ice-cream, shahi tukra and mohabbat ki sherbat. You can go berserk here at Rs 500 per head.
This post was like an epiphany. There is just so much content here and we have presented above what can be called the mere tip of the iceberg. As and when we discover any new spot where you can shop for value, we shall update this post. Also, if you think we have missed any spot, please leave a comment.