balaramapuram kaithari: traditional clothes
Again a shopping tip for traditional saris .Woven by Hand loom weavers society.Here you get inexpensive beautiful traditional cotton saris and dhotis.
traditinal keralite clothes are sandal wood coloured cotton clothes with gold boarder.
The weavers for making such clothes were brought to balaramapuram from Tamil Nadu by the Travancore kings and they were given land to settle .
What to buy: sari.dhotis
Connemara Market: Local Shopping
This market sells mostly fresh produce, spices etc. Although not as big as markets in Mumbai or Delhi, it is worth the visit.
I bought the sweetest bananas here, and believe me, there are thousands to choose from.
It seems to be the place where locals buy there fresh produce.
S.M.S.M Institute: Gifts from Kerala
SMSM Institute is situated behind the Secretariat Building. This is easy to find on MG Road. A great variety of cultural artefacts, handicrafts etc are to be found here.
There is not much pressure to buy, which makes it quite a pleasant shopping experience.
The prices are fixed and credit cards are accepted.
What to buy: Local handicrafts etc
karalkada: for traditional kerala handloom saris and dhoti
this shop specialises in traditional malayali sari and mundu. Handloom sandalwood colour with a thin border can be gold thread or cotton.
What to buy: sari, dhoti, and traditional two piece neriyathu set
What to pay: depends whether you want gold thread or not. Not very expensive though.
Wholesale shops: Chalai Market
Chalai market is right opposite the East Fort entrance. This is a wholesale market and you can shop for various items of brass, coir and other handicrafts here. It is better to opt for a fixed price shop here, else be ready to haggle. The market is crowded most of the times and it could be a pain to drive through the lanes, but you can park your vehicles outside and take a walk through the lanes.
What to buy: Nilavilakku, wooden artifacts, coir artifacts, spices, cashew, flowers etc
SMSM Institute: Cultural artefacts
SMSM Institute is situated behind the old Secretariat building which could be accessed from the MG Road. One could find cultural artefacts, handicrafts, handloom furnishing materials etc from here.
What to buy: Sandalwood idols, sandalwood oil, incense sticks, coir artefacts, silk clothing materials, local handicraft items
What to pay: The prices are fixed.
SMSM(Central Handicrafts Emporium): Handicraft
Thiruvananthapuram is famed for its intricately-carved wooden objects, bronze items, Kathakali masks, traditional fabrics and other handicrafts.
What to buy: Some of the best buys are exquisite sculpture in rosewood and sandalwood, ivory figures which carries on a centuries old artistic tradition, traditional boxes and furniture, brass and "bell-metal" lamps.
The other souvenirs are the objects made out of coconut, coir, cane, bamboo and straw. You will also find horn products, wooden toys and lacquerware, as well as significant and evocative masks used for the dramatic Kathakali dance dramas.
The variety is quite wide. Everyone chooses up to his personal taste.
I bought just a pens set made of sandalwood [Rs300], koz i reached the southern city with suitcases loaded with souvenirs.
What to pay: Depends on your budjet.
Prices are fixed.
This is S.M.S.M. Kerala Goverment Emporium
This is S.M.S.M. Kerala Goverment Emporium,
(Had been to Kadaram shopping complex at Kasavasasapuram.
Nothing much to shop there ,usualu things cloths etc u will get anywhere.)
To buy handicrafts&souvenir then the best place is S.M.S.M.
One funny&and good thing is cocunet monkey doll,made by cocunet shell.
Its cute ,must buy :)Only Rs100.
Sandlewood elephent's,and god images are good too.First floor is full Painting for sale.
Central handicrafts Emporium,,Puthenchantal,
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Parthas: Elite shopping
For those of you who are reluctant get into the local shops, or looking for quality clothes, Parthas is the place to be. This large air conditioned clothing store carries a large selection of high quality men's and women's clothes. For women, it's all about sari, churdars and other Indian dresses.
Looking for what locals buy? Go to Chalai. They have sari, churidars, men's clothing, shoes, brassware, gold and silver jewelries. But be alert that Chalai could be hectically over crowded sometimes...
SMSM Institute: SMSM Institute
Looking for a quality goods and don't mind paying a bit more - then you can visit SMSM Institute for some of Indian crafts. You can find bed sheets, textils, wood curvings, jewelry and so on.
I think this place is bit over priced but here you won't be hustled.