In Chennai, try this online shop www.storesondoors.com to make your daily routine easy and comfortable. If you wish to escape the tedious chore of buying grocery, vegetables and fruits, shop at "Stores on Doors" (www.storesondoors.com), the only online portal in Chennai to offer the complete package of grocery, vegetables and fruits. Their slogan “Not just shopping but a lifestyle” is quite tempting because after all who doesn’t want changes in lifestyle! You can order online (www.storesondoors.com) or by phone (044-6515 8534). They are friendly and professional, right from guiding you through the brief registration and ordering processes. Then when you chill out at home, their delivery boy appears at your doorstep at the specified time on the same day with your grocery and veggies with a smile. No vehicle fuel cost, no time waste… quite magical, right? Even the greens are fresh, but the real feel-good factor is their ‘no delivery charges’ policy. What a relief, not having to tackle traffic jams, stand in long queues in billing counters and carry heavy bags of grocery and vegetables at the end of a tiring day! And the most reassuring part is they offer cash on delivery option.
The prices at www.storesondoors.com are actually 10% lesser than any other shop in Chennai. For the price-conscious consumers, Stores on Doors has a 'Smart Budget Buy' section that offers 'unbranded' products of good quality at much lower prices. There is also a zip-zap 'Easy Quick Buy' section for less time-consuming shopping.
The icing on the cake is their social support section through which you can extend our support to the physically and mentally differently abled (www.abilityfoundation.org and www.thebanyan.org), poor senior citizens (www.anandamoldagehome.org) and transgenders (www.sahodari.org). The cherry on the icing is the ‘View Point’ section that lets you watch cute short films like 'Home', 'Mittai Veedu' and 'Oktapodi'.
This online shop is very useful for tourists, short stay travellers, migrants, working couples, IT professionals, senior citizens, physically differently abled people, and families of NRIs and mentally differently abled people in Chennai. ‘Stores on Doors’ offers a smart and eco-friendly shopping option to escape the fast approaching blazing summer in Chennai.
What to buy: Authentic Indian Grocery, tropical vegetables and fruits, silk sarees, Indian and Tamil handicrafts
A mall with world class shopping,entertainment facility. It is located in the heart of Chennai city, housing some of the biggest brands from around the globe along with a five star hotel and grade-A office building. It houses 2 department stores- Westside and Lifestyle. Also houses a host of other international brands including Swarovski, The Body Shop, Aldo, Espirit, Levi's and others. The foodcourt is simply amazing with 2 anchor restaurants- Rajdhani and Sangeeta Desi Mane.
What to buy: If you are looking for indo western outfits head to a store called AND. Designed by Anita Dongre it has some very good clothes for women. Also silver jewelry is pretty inexpensive in Chennai, so head to Uttarika- they have some amazing pieces at unbelievable prices.
I still remember the days when going from Bangalore to Chennai meant a visit to this fabulously large shopping center- Spencer Plaza on Mount Road in Chennai. Well those days are certainly over now, this is but a rundown mall with a very local mix of stores. But don't be fooled by appearances, this may be run down but certainly ain't down and out for a shopaholic!! All you jewelry lovers and handicraft lovers out there remember that you HAVE to head to this place if you are ever in Chennai. My particular source of jewelry is a brand called Uttarika in the 3rd phase of this Mall. They have some exquisite pieces at throw away prices! :-) We also love shopping for DVD's and MP3 cd's here. Some of the stuff you get is a steal! Last but not the least Ebby's Camera Store also in Phase 3 is a haven for camera/photography enthusiasts! They have the best of the best stuff any professional/casual photographer would need in some 800 sq ft store!! Amazing how retail in India is so different from retail in the developed world. These guys sure know how to make the best use of their store space!
Kurti lovers head to Westside in phase 1, you will get them for as little as Rs 499 ($10) and this phase also houses forex offices..so you can get your dollars exchanged here.
On the food front, phase 3 has a decent food court with Pizza Hut, French Loaf, Some local cuisines etc.
Having recently moved here I was on the look out for some interesting decor for the house. That's when I chanced upon D'Hut on ECR (East Coast Road). On first look it seems to be a small store that sells indonesian artistic masks and windchimes, once you step in the owner takes you up two floors full of artistic stuff - all too good to be left behind. AJ and I picked up a couple of carved masks that look really great on our walls. I shall post the pictures here very soon.
What to buy: The wooden masks and bamboo wind chimes for as little as Rs 500 each
If you're looking for books in English, go to the bookshop inside Chennai Central train station - they have a selection of English novels, mostly Penguin classics for reasonable prices. I picked up a copy of Hermann Hesse's Siddhartha for 173INR (about £2.50).
There is nothing that you cannot find in and around the Usman rd, as a student of merchandising and marketing we were asked to make multiple trips to this street on Chennai which is supposed to realise one of the highest SSPD's in Asia!
Sarees, Jewlery, household items, furnishings, home decor, apparel, footwera- you name and they got it.
For saree shopping esp the South India Kancheepuram sarees head to Nalli or RmKV they are my personal fav's. My wedding sarees (see my wedding album) are all from these two stores. rates are printed and mentioned, so buy at the same price, no need to haggle and remember waht you have bought will last you half a century if kept well :D
For jewelry head to GRT Thangamaligai (the name means golden palace). You get light weight gold jewelry there at the best prices in Chennai.
What to buy: Sarees and gold jewelry
What to pay: Sarees anywhere from rs 5000 to rs 10,000 should get you something that you can keep for posterity. otherwise you will find silk sarees starting for even Rs 1000.
Jewwelry again starting at Rs 2000 you will find loads
Spencers' Plaza is one of the oldest and most modern shopping malls of India. It was in existence much before Mall culture came into cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore or Bombay
Spencer Plaza at Anna Salai(salai means road). Spencer is a Chennai landmark that dates back to colonial times. The original was destroyed in a fire, so the current building dates to 1983, but the newest "Phase III" section has a mock Indo-Saracenic atrium in the style of the original. One of the largest shopping malls in India, it has grown to leaps and bounds. it's an excellent place to buy pretty much anything and everything you could possible want from India. Good food courts on the 2nd levels of Phase I and III.
What to buy: You name anything they have it. I bought a cell phone and a pair of Floorshiem shoes originally imported from US.
If you are in the city of Madras ( Chennai), how can you escape Silk and this shop called Nalli. Nalli in Tamil language means silk, they sure are the best. This shop is perhaps the biggest shop in India or in entire world. All the big Indian movie stars, politicians, aristocrat ladies, royalties are their clients. The most famous clients include, Late Prime Minister of India Indira Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi, J.Jayalalita ( Ex.Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu), Hema Malini, Jaya Bacchan, Sri Devi, Jaya Prada, Lata Mangeshkar, Asha Bhonsle, the list is endless.
Apart from the VIPs they also serve the general people with equal care and respect.
What to buy: They specialise in silk sarees as well as silk materials, they are specialist of Kanjeevaram ( a village 40kms from Chennai specializes in silk Sarees for thousand years), Pochampalli, Ikkat, Bomkai, Kosa etc. This has been their traditional business for centuries and for generations
What to pay: Well I have seen sarees worth a few hundred rupees and the best one they showed me was for Rs.2 million. They did not allow me to take photograph as the design is custom built and only one piece will ever be made in it's life time. It had Silver and Gold threads with carved work.
This is a shop selling clothes,readymades,fabrics ,linen,rugs,dhurries(APPARELS AND HOME FURNISHINGS) etc.It was started way back in 1928 and is still one of the leading clothes stores in chennai and is popular all over the country and abroad.The quality and pricing are the main reason for the popularity of the shop.
What to buy: all kinds of clothes and traditional and contemporary fabrics and furnishings.they have branches in other cities like Hyderabad,bombay,bangalore and delhi
What to pay: average
This shop has hygenically made good quality indian snacks and sweets(both south and north indian)The products used are of high quality and the packaging is good.it is professionally run
What to buy: Murukku,seedai,thattai(south indian savouries)
powders to mix with rice or with vegetables(garlic podi,coconut podi,parruppu podi)
Pickles(they are just too good -- onion thokku,tomato thokku,lemon pickle)
the variety of sweets is too much to be listed!
Just go taste and buy
What to pay: might be very slightly more expensive than the low end shops,but the quality is reliable,and the place is hygenic
This shop has an amazing collection of artificial gold jewellery of good quality.their range and pricing is good.simple items here are also good choices for gifts.
they also polish old jewellery.
What to buy: temple jewellery,uncut ruby,emerald jewellery,nose rings,anklets,necklaces,earrings,head jewellery,toe rings and ....
This is a fairly big shop that sells a variety of arts and craft items.They have a very comprehensive collection and the price is reasonable as it is run by the government.The products are genuine and packaging is also good for long distance transport.
What to buy: Statues made of brass,bronze,paper mache(real Indian,ethnic statues);sandalwood products;incense;furniture(Indian);jewellery;Lamps,plates and other such items made of brass,bronze,copper;Wall hangings made of wood,metal etc.. so many knic knacs that truly reflect the local art.wonderful gift items
What to pay: this place is reasonable.You get value for money and there is a varied range to suit different budgets
These two shops sell authentic hand woven silk fabrics and sarees in Kanchipuram.Srinivasa silks has an outlet in Harrington road in Chennai city also.The silk here is of good quality.I have known these two shops ever since I was a two year old kid!!I am now 37!!!
What to buy: Silk fabrics,skirt materials,sarees,blouse pieces,sometimes they have silk ties.
What to pay: genuine silk is expensive
There are rows of shops on the pavement in Mylapore near Kapaleshwarar Temple,these shops sell a variety of things which are all low end.But the glass bangles that they sell are simply amazing and of good quality.The range is mind boggling.They make a meaningful gift too.In India it is auspicious for women to wear and gift/be gifted glass bangles!
What to buy: Bangles
What to pay: Rs.10 to Rs.35 per dozen depending on the designs
Chennai leads the rest of the country when it come to the retail experience with some of the swankiest and largest retail stores setting up shop here first. These stores sell western and ethnic wear. For traditional arts and crafts visit Cottage Emporium, Poompuhar Emporium and Victoria Technical Institute all of which are at Anna Salai. For exotic Kanjeevaram silk sarees Nalli's Rasi and Kumaran silks at T Nagar are a delight.
Both plastic and paper currencies are widely accepted.
Chennai is renowned for a large number of traditional handicrafts that are a must buy during your tour to the capital city. You will find several beautiful brass, stone, wood & ivory goods adorned with exquisite stone carvings that you simply can’t afford to miss during shopping in Chennai. Besides the home-produced specialties, Chennai also provides a wide variety of goods collected from across Tamil Nadu and the country. As such, you can find a host of unique offerings of South India under one roof!
What to buy: Go for Pattamara mats and other traditional handicrafts from Tirunellveli or the magnificent jewelry from Kumbakonam. Tanjavur is famous for its metal castings and Mamallapuram for majestic stone carvings that you can buy while shopping in Chennai. Not to forget the world-famous and the most beautiful Kanchipuram silk saris that are the fancy of every woman and a must buy in Chennai shopping list.