Sarojini Nagar Market– my Mecca in Delhi

I forget when I first went to Sarojini Nagar Market. It was probably in 1981 when I was a student in Delhi. Always hunting for cheap but trendy clothes-most of us would take the blue and yellow Delhi Transport Corporation buses to either Janpath in central Delhi or to Sarojini(Nagar) market in South Delhi to play the sport of bargaining and buying.
My relationship with the market blossomed further when on our last posting in Delhi we stayed in one of the beautiful D-II flats in the leafy locality of Chanakyapuri–with Sarojini Market a bare kilometre away. My daughter and I would find innumerable excuses to go to the market and return triumphant with an article of clothing,junk jewellery, crockery, bed linen, towel, bag,fresh vegetables–the list goes on. Oh ! And did I mention the most important thing ? It was all so very cheap ! Most things selling today at an average price of Rs 200 or Euro 4 !

Named after Sarojini Naidu,the poet and freedom fighter, this market is in its own way a microcosm of the diversity of India–there are about 200 regular shops selling anything from electronics to suitcases to clothes–and about 500 vendors on the streets– an incredible number !

This time round I HAD to go again–it is, after all, my Mecca in Delhi.
I don’t mind crowds-and it can be quite crowded- and I usually stick to the vendors- that is where the thrill lies of discovering a fabulous piece of clothing that is just right.

Interestingly there is a distinct division of business between communities and states.
Jewellery is sold by beautiful Rajasthani men and women. I found groups of these lovely women in gorgeous orange chunnis(long scarves)
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Clothes,which are usually export surplus, are sold by men from Uttar Pradesh, more specifically from the region of Azamgarh .They are usually happy when I lapse into a dialect which is similar to theirs and tell them I from a city near theirs but smart business people that they are, they refuse to bring down their prices too much !

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Beautiful glass lamps and wooden cases sold by men from Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh-IMG_7227

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Belts and socks by men from Bihar

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The regular shops, of course,are owned by the predominant community of Delhi, the enterprising Punjabis. The actor John Abraham, I found, was promoting VIP suitcases outside a shop-

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Sarees, including the latest net, embroidered ones which my daughter would love- selling from Rs 200 (Euro 4)to Rs 3000 (Euro 50 )
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After you have shopped for yourself and your entire household you can stop by for the famous Delhi chole-bhature (spiced chick peas served with fried bread)and chaat ( a range of crisp-sweet-sour-hot-cold snacks that Indians love to eat). And you return home feeling very satisfied.

This picture I had to put in-that of Sarla–a lovely young woman from Rajasthan who posed for me-showing off her ear-rings-

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Just look at the riot of variety and colour–don’t you just love it ?

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About Adity

Hello ! You are either already a friend or will become one--through this medium! I am an artist and jewellery maker, a wife and mother to two lovely children. Beautiful homes, food, nature and wonderful things happening around me make me ecstatic. That is why I started to write this blog-- to share with you all of these things. After all what good is any experience if not shared !
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9 Responses to Sarojini Nagar Market– my Mecca in Delhi

  1. Amita Sathe says:

    Love the pics and the insights into the demographics of doing business in SN! Do you really get such lovely jewelry in SN? Do you buy it for yourself? Asking because I am not much of a shopper and never know the where to get the best deals….

  2. Sonia says:

    Hi Adity, Good to know that you are back in Delhi.
    Enjoyed reading about Sarojini Nagar Market.
    Getting tempted to visit again … after reading your blog.

  3. Uttora Ratna says:

    Fabulous! Haven’t been to Delhi in a long time. Miss spending one day alone in SN doing my own thing and having a bargaining ball. You brought it back to me here.

  4. shikha chaki says:

    Hi Adity,what lovely pictures of my favourite market in Delhi,never miss it when I am there.

  5. Grace says:

    Beautiful ! Hope to visit India someday.

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