Connaught Place, built in 1931, is one of Delhi's most popular shopping centres. There is nothing that one cannot buy here. all branded company showrroms can be seen here.It also has several eating-houses. The state emporiam buildings are also located in this area so are the head offices of major banks, airlines and other such things of importance to the tourist. The complex, popularly referred to as CP, is an important meeting point for all sections of people and is something. Even tourist don't miss it for nothing else then for its architecture and the humdrum of everyday life
What to buy: All branded international companies showrooms are here so you can buy every things in Connaught Place,
From home furnishings to clothing for men, women and children. You get the different sense of style from the moment you see the exterior part of the shop. Two levels of nothing but brilliant items and most importantly, the prices are way reasonable than most fancy shops that I've been to in Delhi. It's even easy to find gifts in this shop. For me, this is a one stop shopping in Delhi. The items are of Indian essence but with a slight touch of English taste. Somewhere in between of Laura Ashley and locally made crafts. Simply beautiful!
The shop was very up market, everything tastefully displayed, and evidently of high quality. Anyone interested in decor would love it, as all the little things that make a house special could be found here , as well as organic herbs and spices.
What to buy: I had been looking for certain types of compressed perfume and oils, but didn't find the kind I wanted. I did buy something else though at 150 rupes a small bottle.
What to pay: probably more than in a small shop in a less commercail area
Chandni Chowk is Old Delhi's oldest and most popular area for shopping, trading and eating. It is a huge area, always full of people, with thousands of shops. It is undoubtably the largest wholesale market in Asia. It has various sub-markets within, like the shoe market, clothes market, spices market etc. Prices are comparatively cheaper than usual shops. Atleast half the usual price.
The area lies in the historical Shahjahanabad, between the Red Fort and the Fatehpuri Masjid. It is full of historical buildings and narrow lanes.
What to buy: Authentic Indian food, thousands of varieties of sweets, indian clothes, shoes, books, leather items, electronic goods and so on. There are also several popular restaurants and sweet shops.
What to pay: Half the price in other markets. Atleast much less.
A cottage industry with fixed prices. Sarees, bed covers, readymade garments, paintings, handicrafts, jewellery for sale. Can pay by credit card and change money there.
What to buy: Handicrafts
What to pay: Slightly higher than the street fixed prices.
A good place with excellent choice of frames, both non-branded and famous brands- and service is
Seventeen Arcade, at M-28-B, M-Block Market, G.K. I (Greater Kailsah I). This is a popular shopping market with Indians, and they are used to dealing with people from abroad.
I even have had them post me a couple of pairs to Europe via DHL, once they have the data and measurements on their files.
Complete spectacles with non-branded excellent quality frame cost me about 42 euros last year, whereas the same type for my son, who has a lot of astigmatism and needs maximum thinning, with all the anti-glare and other extras, came to about 78 euros. Progressive glasses in a frameless titanium frame worked out to about 135 euros.
You may contact them by e-mail at,
or telephone them (they speak excellent english)
00-91-29232457 / 29230017
Service is very quick, especially for standard lenses.
Remember though that different markets in Delhi have different closing days. The M-Block market closes on Tuesdays, so it will be open all day Saturday and Sunday.
Other reputed ones are Lawrence & Mayo in Janpath/ Connaught place, but I haven't been there for a number of years personally.
Hope this helps!
What to pay: 35 euros for a normal myopia lense with anti-reflective coating etc and a good-quality fashionable frame.
Palika bazar and Connaught Place, land here for a fab range of things to buy. Clothes, electronics, mob accessories, shoes, jackets and the stuff
What to pay: Bargain a lot, a lot. If the shopkeeper quotes 200 buy it for 50, thats a bargain!!
We were dragged to see the kashmiri cooperative by our guide. He said it was his duty to show us the handicrafts as part of the tourist policy.
However, there were few things to see except carpets, clothes and pashminas. The things on sale were very good quality and their service was excellent, offering free shipping to home country etc. But it was hard sell all the way. We had to just glance at an item and it was being pushed down our throats. The Pakistani outfits were expensive, though my maid had asked me to get her one. And the pashminas cost several thousand rupees, but were really nice, sigh!
At least thereafter we declined strongly any attempt to coerce us into a shop.
What to buy: In the end we had to give in, and after a hard fight bargaining got a nice rug at a reasonable price. tabs were sewn on it so it could be hung on a wall. Then it was wrapped in sacking and sewn up. We decided to take it with us rather than have it shipped.
A small rug could be got for a couple of thousand rupees, and bargained down even more.
What to pay: as much as you like, but bargain fiercely
I thought I will share this with you that there is new blogging site which has shopping experiences and tips and advice. Its at www.shoppingdelhi.com , relatively new site and it will take a while to get speed.
There is also a forum where one can put posts and get answers.
Tucked away next to Odeon Cinema in Connaught Place, is a very interesting toy store called Ram Chander and Sons, which also proclaims proudly that it is India's oldest.
It seems that they started in 1890, albeit that was in another city. The Delhi store has been around since 1934, almost from the time that Connaught Place was built.
What to buy: The store has an eclectic mix of some very interesting toys... many of which are imports though. But if you are looking for something specific for your kids, this is the place to get it from. The proprieter who you will find at the shop counter is an interesting person and very helpful with your querries. If they dont have it in stock, they may be able to order it for you.
They have all kinds of toys- for all ages, multimedia education cd's, and other interesting stuff.
I go there to pick up scale models of aircraft- military and civil. Some die cast and others that are ones that you put together patiently at home- piece by piece.
Built in 1931, by the British, Connaught Place is the central shopping district of Delhi. Its official name is now `Rajiv Chowk' named after the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, but its often referred to as CP by Delhi-ites.
Named after the Duke of Connaught, who visited India in 1920, the main structure was designed to resemble a horse shoe shape, and thought therefore to be lucky for Delhi's shoppers and shopkeepers. It was the largest of its kind in India when it was built.
The outer section is referred to as the outer circle and the inner section is the `inner circle'.
The structure was designed for shops on the ground and mezzanine floor, and the architects were Robert Tor Russell and W.H. Nicholls.
Over the years, Connaught place has seen some unplanned additions and chaos due to the growing traffic. The recently built underground metro station helps relieve some of that and now there are plans in place to rennovate much of the structure and restore the original design and look. The central park and the lawns have already been restored, and will soon be open to the general public.
What to buy: CP has several branded goods outlets, restaurants, hotels, cinema halls, travel agents and money changers. Also several street vendors who sell everything from handicrafts to cheap sunglasses...
What to pay: Most shops have fixed retail prices. Though you can bargain with the street vendors...
One of South Delhi's original and popular malls... Ansal plaza is located close to South extension.
The mall consists of 3 floors worth of shops, restaurants and offices, an amphitheater and multi-level parking in the basement.
Weekends can be pretty crowded here and all of south Delhi's shoppers seem to have decended here and finding parking can take a while sometimes, especially in the evening hours.
What to buy: Shoppers stop, Planet sports, Music world, Marks and Spencer, etc are some of the stores here, besides several others... Also, restaurants like Geoffreys, Pizza express, Oriental Bloom and Restaurant de Seoul...
For handicrafts etc- Dilli Haat, Crafts museum, Sarojni nagar market, Janpath...
Dilli Haat is the place i`d reccomend. The stalls are let out to the craftsmen from different regions and there is always some kind of festival/ theme going on. Bargaining is the norm.
There are many food stalls too, managed by tourism departments from the various states. So you an sample a good variety of Indian cuisine...
Shopping malls and markets- Ansal plaza, Connaught place, Khan market, Greater kailash-1, South extension....
There has been a spurt in building huge-swanky shopping malls recently, in every corner thats available. A lot of them have sprung up on the Delhi-Gurgaon highway.
What to pay: at some shops at dilli haat, sarojni nagar, janpath and at lajpat nagar, bargaining is expected... the stuff is relatievly inexpensive in anycase.
From branded computers to pirated software, dvds, every computer part and accessory that you could possibly need, Nehru place is where you need to head.
Its a busy market, closed on sundays. Parking is a little tight, though there is a new approach being opened up. Its largely a grey market trading area, but you can often get stuff with a bill and guarantee as well.
What to pay: Compare prices between the shops. Very often, what you are looking for, is will be available at several shops, at varying prices.
Delhi has a culture of `mom and pop stores'. These are small shops across the road from your house, that stock all the groceries and daily use stuff you`d need. All it takes is a phonecall and they and will deliver to your doorstep. The shopping mall bug hadnt quite caught on here. Even the big brands have exclusive stand alone retail outlets in various different localities and markets.
Over the past few years there has been a huge boom in the construction of shopping malls all over town... A big chunk of them in Gurgaon, one of Delhi's satellite towns, within the `national capital region'.
There has recently, been a drive by the courts directing the authorities to clamp down on unauthorised commercial properties- which basically refers to the shops and stores that have mushroomed all across the city in designated residential areas.
This resulted in buldozers coming out and knocking down parts of some high profile stores etc- some dramatic scenes resulted and lots of protests against the corruption that led to these properties coming up in the first place.
So now, there has been a big push for retail space in these malls and rentals are going thru the roof all of a sudden. And wherever there is space to build, there is one mushrooming...
What to buy: You`ll find all the coffee shops, retail stores for big brands, speciality restaurants and multiplexes within the malls.