There is nothing and absolutely nothing that can compete the flea market tradition of Delhi. Those bylanes, narrow streets bordered with trinkets, embroidered clothes and sandals evoke a cult and unfold stories of the capital’s Mughal, British and Post Partition Past. The Mall culture might have superseded Delhi to a certain extent but it is the cheap flea markets that are the real storytellers of this "city of Djinns”. So while you are in the royal Mughal city, make sure you visit these cheap flea markets for budget shopping in Delhi where every piece of object and every portion of cloth tells you a tale that links you to the past:
10. Karol Bagh- the Punjabi affair
From beautiful pieces of embroidered clothes to electronic items, the Karol Bagh Market is one place in Delhi that has defined the city’s shopping culture. Karol Bagh was majorly established by Punjabi communities who had settled in Delhi after the partition of India. What makes this shopping street to be a shopaholic’s dream is its sheer housing of items that range from electronic items in Gaffar Market to cotton clothes and gold jewelry in Bank Street.
Location: Karol Bagh, Delhi-110005
Operating Hours: 8am-9pm, closed on Mondays
What to Buy: cotton clothes, silver jewelry, gaffar market for electronic items(including iphones and ipads), cosmetics, shoes, Tank road for denims
Where to eat here: Roshan di Kulfi, changezi(for lovers of non-veg)
9. Chandni Chowk- shopping along with legendary food
Chandni chowk is actually synonymous with Delhi. From its sheer gastronomic affair to beautiful clothes to second hand books, Chandni Chowk is one place that every Dilliwala would swear by. Walk by the narrow lanes of this legendary centre and you would come to know why Delhi is called as the city of Djinns! Chandni chowk also houses Khari Baoli, Asia’s biggest spice market.
Location: Old Delhi
Operating Hours: 10am-7pm, closed on Sundays
What to buy: Laces, clothes, household items, spices, herbs, jewellery, wedding cards
Where to eat here: Parathewali gali, Karim, Giani’s Jung Bahadur Kachori Wala
8. Lajpat Nagar- lively and typical Dillish to the core
Noisy, bustling but lively to the core, these are the adjectives that define the Lajpat Nagar Market in Delhi. Established mostly by Punjabis who had settled here in Refugee camps after partition, this cheap market in Delhi today is seen as synonymous with best bargain deals. If you are wondering what to find here, ask any Dilliwala and he would tell you that is the best market for trendy clothes, beautifully embroidered kurtas and stylish footwear.
Location: Central Market, Lajpat Nagar II, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110024
Operating hours: 10am-9pm, closed on Mondays
What to buy: Mats, buckets, utensils, vases, and all the items of house décor are available here at very cheap rates. Also women can purchase lovely Kurtas and sandals from here.
Where to Eat here: Haldiram’s, Bikanerwala, Aggarwal sweet corner
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7. Sarojini Nagar- real Brands at affordable prices
Considered to be every girl’s shopping haven in Delhi, Sarojini market offers you everything from designer, trendy clothes to ethnic objects at affordable costs. Believe it or not! It’s here that you’ll find Zara and Mango at their 1/3rd of original Prices.
Location: Sarojini Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110023
Operating Hours: 10am-9pm, Closed on Mondays
What to buy: rejected clothing at dirt cheap prices, jewellery and sandals
Where to eat here: Khandani Pakodewala, hot Pot, Kulcha King
6. Palika Bazar- the underground shopping paradise
Move to Connaught place and you will come across a whole sub market known as Palika Bazar that has become more renowned than its parent one. Palika Bazar is known for its cheap priced clothes and electronic items. Nestled in an underground air conditioned set up, this market is synonymous with junk shopping. Although you might find walking amidst the cries of the sellers to be bit tough, yet Palika Bazar is the market for budget shopping in Delhi.
Location: Rajiv Chowk, Near Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
Operating Hours: 11am-11pm, closed on Saturdays and Sundays
What to Buy: Denims, clothes, electronic items, college stuff, shades and what not
Where to eat here: Bhowani Junction, Desi Vibes
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5. Paharganj- the old charm meets the trendy style
Known for its bohemian and foreigners crowd, Paharganj market is the best market in Delhi for getting best deals. The market might seem to be chaotic and noisy at first but here lies its charm. Here you’ll find shops full to the brim with books, music, jewelry, bags, clothes, shoes, incense, textiles, wooden statues, and handicrafts. Also what attracts the tourist here is its old houses and hotels that peep through its dazzling shops.
Location: Paharganj, New Delhi, Delhi
Operating Hours: 11am-8pm, closed on Sundays
What to buy: handicrafts, cotton material and other art objects. Books, music, jewellery, bags, clothes, shoes, incense, textiles, wooden statues, and handicrafts at affordable prices.
Where to eat here: Sita Ram Diwan Chand, Sam’s Café, Durbar
4. Daryaganj Book Market- One stop for Bibliophiles
Move out of those posh book stores that offer you books at whooping high costs! Come to Daryaganj market in Delhi and you’ll see knowledge being available to people at democratic prices! A haven for book lovers, college students and teachers, this is one market that will actually get hold of your literary imagination. This is an absolute prized possession of Delhi, and why not, it is this place that has given birth to so many IAS officers, literary writers and CAs!
Location: Daryaganj, New Delhi-02
Operating hours: open only on Sundays, 9am-10pm
What to buy: books, books and books! Literature, science, Mathematics, CA, IAS and what not!
Where to Eat here: Moti Mahal, Changezi Chicken, Bhaja Govindam, Delhi 6
3. Nehru Place Market- the computer market of Delhi
Photo by Adam Geitgey/commons.wikimedia
What would define India’s revolution in IT sector? Definitely it would be the influx of multinational companies but there is one more place where you can find this revolution jumping inside the narrow streets and noisy corners- at Nehru Place Market.
Location: Nehru Place, Delhi
Operating Hours: 10am-7pm, flea market is open 7 days a week
What to Buy: computers, TVs and other related items, android mobiles, laptop batteries, laptop adaptors, mobile SIM cards, digital cameras, pen drives, printer cartridges and stationery.
Where to Eat here: Fidahh, Pind Balluchi, Royal China
2. Kamla Nagar- the student’s market
Kamla Nagar is an absolute shopping haven for the north Campus students! From trendy dresses to kurtas, from jholas to designer bags, everything comes here at an easy price. A number of booksellers and publishers have their offices in this market, especially on the Bungalow Road. Fondly called as Knags by the college crowd, this is a quintessential college market.
Location: Kamla Nagar, New Delhi, Delhi 110007
Operating hours: 10am-9pm, closed on Mondays
What to buy: fashion brands, bags, dresses, kurtas, books
Where to eat here: Chache di Hatti, Bille di Hatti, Bombay Blossoms, Shawarma Wala
1. Janpath- the shopper's path
A mention of Delhi markets without Janpath? Not possible! Janpath is one of the most visited flea markets in India owing to the range of objects that it houses. From books to accessories, from cotton clothing to junk jewellery, this place captures the essence of Delhi and is infact the most photographed site of the city. This market is also famous for its hippy attire, handicrafts, and paintings.
Location: Janpath, New Delhi, Delhi
Operating Hours: 8am-9pm, closed on sundays
What to Buy: Denims, dresses, hippie clothing, jewellery, books and yes Delhi’s essence!
Where to eat here: Pakwan, Monsoon Restaurant, Sagar Restaurant
So which of these markets in Delhi you have been to? Let us know.
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