Whether you’re looking for traditional art forms or modern craft showpieces, the markets in India are perfect for shopping, eating and experiencing the country’s cultural diversity.
What India’s culture has to offer in terms of diversity and originality is huge. These multi-cultural art and craft markets showcase excellent artisanal skills born from India’s deep-rooted tradition, vast geography and rich history. The best thing about these markets? You get the best of all Indian states in terms of art and culture, food, handicrafts et al, in one place. Let’s look at some of the best ones in India.
Arts and crafts markets in India
Dilli Haat, Delhi
Dilli Haat is the OG arts and crafts market in India. This six-acre space opposite INA Metro Station was set up in 1994. The biggest and most renowned market in town, Delhi Haat exudes the feeling of a village market or haat, hence the name. It was set up by the government to provide artisans with a platform to showcase their talent and sell their wares. From bags, cushion covers, wood carvings, embroidered and woven fabrics to carpets, shoes, rugs, saris and other ethnic wear, leather items, jewellery, and paintings — you will find it all. For a lot of people, the main attraction is the food court here, which serves authentic state-wise cuisine from all states of India. So whether you want the best Kolkata fish fry or Goan prawn curry, the address is the same.
Address: INA Market, Dilli Haat, Kidwai Nagar West, Kidwai Nagar, Delhi, 110023
The Dakshinapan Shopping Centre is on Gariahat Road, spread across 57,000 sq ft, is Kolkata’s very own Dilli Haat. The entire complex is filled with state emporium stores that sell everything from clothing items to home decor to handicrafts, specifically designed and crafted in that region. Head to the Gujarat and Rajasthan stalls for the most beautiful flared ethnic dupattas, skirts and tops adorned with mirror work, or the Tamil Nadu stall for the most amazing dupattas. The best part is that even apart from all the state stalls, you can find plenty of small shops and boutiques selling gorgeous clothing items at affordable prices.
Address: Dakhinapan Market, Dhakuria, Kolkata, West Bengal 700068
Bhujodi, near Bhuj
A small town about 8 km southeast of Bhuj, Bhujodi is one of the major textile and craft hubs of the region, thus making it a favourite shopping destination for both tourists and locals. From footwear, cloth pieces, bags and some bric-a-brac, Bhujodi is the perfect place to shop all traditional weaves and art forms of western Indian states. It houses the Hiralaxmi Craft Park and other craft centres that showcase and sell traditional prints and weaves from Gujarat, Rajasthan and Maharashtra. The only deal is strictly no bargaining here.
Address: Bhujodi, Bhuj, Kutch, Gujarat. PIN- 370020, Post – Madhapar
Shilpgram translates to the ‘Crafts Village’, and if the name is anything to go by, you are in for a treat. Shilpgram depicts the lifestyle of the folk and tribal people of western India while giving them a platform to showcase their artistic skills. Spread over 70 acres of land and surrounded by the Aravalli range, one of the best arts and crafts markets in India is adorned with huts of various states that uphold the traditional architectural features of the different ethnic groups. With a potter, carpenter, blacksmith and weaver living alongside each other, this place truly lives up to its name. For pottery, handicraft items, paintings, and clothing, Shilpgram is not only a shopper’s paradise but also educates the younger generations about the rich history of the state.
Address: Shilpgram, Udaipur, Rajasthan, 313001, India
Bapu Bazaar, Jaipur
For the most genuine arts and handicrafts at wholesale prices, head to Bapu Bazar in Jaipur. A one-stop destination for all things artsy, Bapu Bazaar is the hub of art and culture from Rajasthan and its neighbouring states. From textiles, bags, jootis, bedsheets, cushion covers to Rajasthani lehenga choli, showpieces and others, you can never come back empty-handed from this place. Pro Tip: Get ready to bargain to grab the best deals.
Address: Biseswarji, Jaipur, Rajasthan, 302007, India
Kala Madhyam, Bangalore
The Silicon Valley of India is famous for its offices and highrises, but if you are looking for a truly meaningful platform for the craft and the craftspersons of India, Kala Madhyam in Bangalore would be perfect. It comes in the form of a fair at Chitra Kala Parishat twice a year. Handicrafts, clothes, shoes, souvenirs, home decor, statues and figurines, pots and vases- you name it, they have it. The good news? They source and sell items from all over the country.
Address: 45, 8th Main, 3rd Cross, Near-Mahin Communication, Vasanth Nagar, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560052
Masala Chowk, Jaipur
As the name suggests, this place is all about food. Aiming to bring all the famous street foods of India in one place, Masala Chowk is truly a foodie’s paradise. Want to have the famous litti chokha of Bihar? They have it. Want to have an authentic Gujarati thali? They have it. Craving some dal bati churma? Of course, they have it. An open-air food court with amazing seating arrangements makes it a great place to hang out and get the feel of a truly Indian food court.
Address: Ram Niwas Bagh, Rina Rd, Adarsh Nagar, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302004