As a kid, pestering Amma and Appa to buy those golden brown teddy bears and stuffed toys displayed on a fleet of Cars to being an adult, fighting with the vendor to buy a particular necklace for 300 rupees instead of Rs 1000, we grew up! But the area didn’t. Pondy Bazaar didn’t.
Pondy Bazaar is one of the busiest markets in the City. Inspite of sharing it’s limelight with other places like Pantheon road, Ranganathan street and Sowcarpet, Pondy Bazaar stands apart for it’s array of shops. From 5 rupees to 50,000 rupees, you can find it all. In this Blogpost, I am going to TRY and give you all my favourite stores, a few tricks and yeah, that’s pretty much it.
What to buy in Pondy Bazaar?
1. SAREES & BLOUSES
In Chennai, more than 50% of the women wear sarees on a regular basis and 99% of the women love sarees. I don’t even know how someone can hate sarees. Anyway…. Pondy Bazaar is one of the best places to get your hands on really good sarees and blouses for a negotiatable price.
Stores : NAIDU HALL, MILAN JYOTI, KAI RASI
Government has facilitated a separate building located right next to Big Bazaar for the street vendors where they could display their products for sale. And that building is heaven, I tell you. It houses numerous jewellery stores, clothing, book, toy stores etc. They also have fresh flower shops with a wide range of local home grown flowers and they sell like hot cakes.
Sorry for getting carried away! We were discusssing…jewellery. Right. That government building houses a jewellery store on the left side of ground floor. They are amazing! You can get the latest trends from Mumbai which hasn’t even come to Chennai for a super duper affordable price. Please don’t expect high quality from them. These are absolute junk which you can wear on a regular basis and throw once it breaks. TRUTH.
Stores : Government green building
There are SO many clothing stores. But after a lot of research ( ok maybe 2 visits to the market), I concluded that there a few stores which needs to be mentioned here. One is Siva Anna’s store in the Government building. I bought 15 items for 3000₹. Yes. A lot of house wear for my mother and a few every day wear for me. Their stuff is really cheap. Quality again, mediocre but if you are looking to wear it at home or just for running erands, then it’s more than sufficient. Stores like Bobby and Flora Instore is really good. As in, you get good quality stuff for affordable cost. I get most of my leggings, Patialas, Dhoti pants from Instore.
Stores : Government building, INstore, Colour choice, Bobby
Four books for 200₹. Can we all take a minute to fathom this? I couldn’t click a picture of the store as I was completely immersed but I bought the whole Shiva Trilogy by Amish for 200₹. This particular book store sells 2nd hand books and I just love it. A rustic store located in the ground floor of the government building, it makes you jump around like a little child in that tiny space.
There are so much more but these are the reasons why I go to Pondy Bazaar. Also, I am not a guru but heres a few tricks and tips on surviving the shopping experience.
1. Don’t Commute by Car. I always drive and suffer to get a parking while my friends who come in Scooters are already done shopping. I would recommend you to use public transport but if that’s not comfortable atleast come by Cabs, scooters or get a driver.
2. Carry a huge shopping bag. Apart from the fact that you are consuming less plastic, having a big bag ensures that you aren’t carrying so many items at once. This will avoid misplacing of the items and also, you are carrying a cool ass bag.
3. Dress comfortably. Since the government buildings do not have a changing room, you need to be prepared to wear the desired dress over your existing dress. Ensure that you wear comfortable clothing and shoes because you also need to walk a lot.
4. CARRY CASH. While 90% of the stores including the teeny shops accept card payment, carrying cash and paying by cash allows you to bargain more and the whole process is more comfortable. Some stores even charge 10% commissions on Card payment so Modi ji, jai ho.
5. Be a smart Bargainer. Please bargain only when you know that there is a scope for it. If the shopkeeper seems to price it unreasonably high, then go for it but don’t bargain for the sake of it. A smart bargainer will be able to finish off a product 50% lesser than the original cost.
6. Don’t invest in shoes/bags. There might be a lot of shoe stores in the bazaar but they won’t last you for more than 10 days. I was tempted and I remember that my brand new jhoothis broke in my office and I was so embarrassed when I was limping around the premises with just one shoe. It didn’t happen to just me but to others as well. I personally like to invest on good shoes and bags because I know it’s going to last me for a long time. So I don’t advise you guys to shop them from here.
I can keep on writing but it will become too boring for you. Hence I stop. Hope you found this post useful. Let me know in the comments below.