Popularly called as Banaras or Kashi, Varanasi is one of the most ancient cities in the world which is quite blissful and peaceful. This city of light happens to be one of the most astonishing pilgrimage sites for Hindus where most of the people come to this place to wash away their committed sins by taking a dip into River Ganges.
Strolling around the gorgeous ghats and capturing the mesmerizing and soul-soothing beauty of sunrise and sunset on the River Ganges is something that every traveler craves for and thousands of tourists visit here for several purposes. Being a spiritual city, Varanasi is bestowed with several markets where you can shop almost everything you look for. There are separate shops and markets for clothes, handicrafts, accessories, idols, and many more things.
We are sharing a beautifully compiled list of some of the great market areas in Varanasi where you can shop out your heart content.
One of the most preferred and crowded markets in the city Thatheri Bazaar attracts shopaholics with religious artifacts made of copper. This happens to be the only place in Varanasi where travelers can buy antiques that are adorned with stone trim work. If you love doing street shopping then Thatheri Bazaar is a perfect place for you as brass vendors sit on the road and sell the products.
Quite famous for silk and brocades, the market is flooded with different shops selling silk and woolen items. Also, if you have a keen interest in designing and decorating your home and want to get some home decor items then you must take out your time to come here.
Timings: 10 am to 8 pm
What to buy? Copper products, brass products, religious items, handicrafts, and silk products
One of the must-visit places in Varanasi, Godowlia Market remains crowded with local folks as well as Indian and foreign travelers. There are numerous shops lined up one after one selling different items especially household items. You can also buy clothing materials, hardware items, and décor items at reasonable rates but you might have to haggle a lot for this.
In simple words, we can say that it is one of those places where you can get almost everything that is needed for your everyday life.
Timings: Between 10 am and 9 pm
What to buy? Décor items and clothing material
An exciting place if you are looking for some street shopping in the city, Vishwanath Gali provides you some of the best options where you can find the stuffs within budget. Dresses, Benarasi Sarees, music CDs, jewelry, sweets, handicrafts, etc are some of the most bought products. Designer Kurtis are also the favorite items among the locals as well as travelers.
Also, if you are looking for the idols of brass and wood then you must visit this shopping hub here. The moment you enter into this Gali you see innumerable street food stalls established at every corners of the area.
Timings: Between 10 am and 8 pm
What to buy? Benarasi Saree, Jewelries, Dresses, Music CDs, Devotional Objects, and many more products.
Harmony Book Shop
Those who have a voracious appetite for books shall definitely keep Harmony Book Shop high on your list. Here, at this shop, you can buy some exclusive books on Hinduism, Yoga, and facts about the city. This happens to be the only place in the country that you can get your hands at on “Forest of Bliss”, a famous book and documentary by Robert Gardner. City Book Shop is the other popular and worth visit place near Godowlia.
Timings: Between 10 am and 8 pm
What not to miss here? Do not forget to read or buy “Forest of Bliss”.
Zindagi Jewelry Shop
Jewelry is the most obvious thing that women really care about and never gets satisfied with the collection. However, Varanasi is filled with some really tiny yet wonderful jewelry shops but you need to be very alert while buying your heart contents as you might get fooled and looted with the artificial products. In this market, you get to see some really amazing modern and traditional designs of jewelry.
What makes your shopping more special is that the shops share some percentage of their earnings for women empowerment and other social causes. The staffs and the store owner are very polite and ensure that they provide the best services to their customers.
Timings: Between 10 am and 8 pm
What to buy? Gold and silver designed jewelries
The Bed Silk and Pashmina
This magical city of Uttar Pradesh is also visited for the exciting and interesting shopping options as here one can get the best quality silk products at very affordable rates. The Bed Silk and Pashmina shop is considered to be the best shopping hub for those who are looking for silk products and Pashmina. The store is well known in the city for the table covers, pillowcases, Pashminas, bedsheets, clothes, etc.
Timings: 9 am to 7 pm
What to buy? Bed covers, pillowcases, table clothes, etc.
Favorite of Varanasi Souvenirs
People come to this city for all possible reasons and below mentioned are some of the best recommendations as souvenirs to bring back for your family and friends.
Banarasi Silk Saree
Having a Banarasi Saree in the closet is a dream and desire of almost every Indian woman even if they don’t prefer wearing a saree. The city is worldwide famous for its silk products especially silk saris. No matter which street you enter, you are surely going to find shops of Benarasi saree where one can find a variety of colors and shades.
Explore some of the most popular areas in the city from where you can purchase the finest quality of Sari for your grandmother, mother, sister, or wife. Wholesale shops in the Thatheri Bazaar and Peelikothi area of Varanasi are the two massively crowded market areas where you can buy the best quality products at reasonable rates.
Timings: Most of the shops open at 10 in the morning and closes by 9 pm.
What to buy? Benarasi Silk Saree and hand-knotted carpets
Ganga Jal- The holy water of River Ganga
Inarguably, Ganga Jal or the holy Ganga water is the biggest export from Varanasi and as you stroll around the ghats you would see heaps of plastic gallons of varied size. Devotees buy these cans to fill them up with the holy water and take it back to their homes. If you are coming from a distant place then go for small cooper cans that are nicely packed to prevent any leakage.
Dharwad Pedha and Mathura Pedha are believed to be the two types of Pedhas that dominate South and North India respectively. Varanasi is very much famous for selling sweets and Lal Pedha, the more roasted version of the Pedhas. The sweet is stuffed with dry fruits and loaded with ghee and this gives it a crunchy flavor. Try buying it from the shop near Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple or the sweet shops of Kachori Gali.
Crystal and Stone Shivalinga
The moment you share about your Varanasi trip with your family, friends, or near and dear ones they will ask you to pick up a crystal Shivalinga or Sphatika. These transparent white Shivalingas are made up of crystal and Hindus keep it in their homes to worship and even some people keep it in their bags for good luck. These Shivalingas are found in different sizes and the smallest one costs you around 100.
The textured seed of the Rudraksha tree is believed to be the most organic jewelry that the saints have been wearing from time immemorial. Rudraksha happens to be the earlier form of Shiva and means tear of Lord Rudra and is believed to be a very spiritual seed that is worn with a lot of devotion and faith. Do not forget to take it off when you go to the washroom or any unclean or impure places.
The city is pretty reckoned for an array of clay, brass, and copperware products that are generally used on some special occasions like puja rituals. The brass water pot or the “Kamandal” is a favorite pick amongst other products made of brass. If you are also interested to purchase it then visit the areas near temples where the shops are lined up with such products.
The hidden or lesser-known craft of Varanasi, Gulabi Minakari is a carving done on precious metals like silver and gold. The silverwork generally happens in western India- Gujarat, and Rajasthan. The Gulabi Minakari in pink color is done only in this spiritual capital of India and you should visit the bylanes near Gai Ghat to witness the hard work of craftsmen.
So, which one of the above-listed products attracted you, and is your favorite pick? Do you have any suggestions or recommendations to add to this list? Write them down in the comment box and we ensure to add them up to the list.