The mere mention of shopping in Bangalore brings to mind the word silk! The bolts of light silk that are manufactured in neighbouring areas and sold in the city are world famous, and justly so. While other products are also for sale throughout Bangalore, such as multinational brands in cosmetics, clothes and accessories, you'd be missing out if you didn't search for the best silk you can find in this city – it's a no-brainer.
This street actually comes at a crossroad to MG Road. You can pick up all kinds of electronic goods here from a walkman to a washing machine. You can also find the official handicrafts showroom of Tamil Nadu state known as Poomp Puhar on Brigade Road. The other Indian states also have their handicraft showrooms nearby on Residency Road. These include Gangotri from Uttar Pradesh, Mrignayani from Madhya Pradesh, Utkalika from Orissa, and Gujari from Gujrat.
All these showrooms showcase the art, crafts, textiles, pottery and any special handicrafts produced by the respective states – a nice place to go hunting for little treasures and decorative artifacts. As they are fixed price showrooms with the price list being decided by the government, there is no danger of paying anything extra.
- Location: Just five minutes from MG Road in central Bangalore.
This store in Bangalore is the flagship store and contains the full range of Fabindia products. Open from 10:00 to 20:00 you can shop to your heart’s content for all the cotton and fine silks that you want. They have ready-made tops and Salwar Kameez available as well as material that you can get worked on later.
They also have a range of organic beauty products which include some very nice scented soap and have diversified into some typical Indian preserves and pickles which are available in sealed bottles. Branches also exist at main Commercial Street and the Garuda Mall.
- Location: 54 17th Main, just off commercial street, 20 minutes drive by Taxi from Central Bangalore
Krishna Rajendra Market (City Market)
This is a wholesale market and is bustling with activity. You can pick up a few bargains if you have the time to browse. It is a predominantly Muslim part of town and you can also travel a short distance to the Jama Masjid and have a look at the lilac building. It is located just off KR road on Silver Jubilee Park Road, walking distance from the city market.
- Location: KR road, about 15 minutes from Central Bangalore.
Mahatma Gandhi Road (Formerly known as South Parade)
This is where you can pick up multinational brands. Most of them have their showrooms in this area. If you are looking for something traditionally Indian you can head for the Bombay Store. Located at 99 MG Road, this shop has Indian artifacts, gift items, small and big souvenirs, cotton linen, incense sticks and ecological beauty products available.
It is a bit more expensive than shopping in the city market and is also a fixed-price shop, but the quality of the merchandise here is good and they have excellent quality control. If going in for any of the dyed clothes or hand block printed linen, be sure to ask if the colours will run.
- Location: This is the heart of British Bangalore and the new city centre as well.
Mysore Saree Udyog
The south of India is known for its printed silk saris and plain silk saris with gold borders. The best place to get these in Bangalore is at the Mysore Sari Udyog. You will also find shops in the city market and the MG road area selling silk saris, but the quality of silk here is guaranteed top notch. It is a bit more expensive than the bargains you can pick up in city market, but they more than make up for it in quality.
Most silk needs to be dry cleaned and if you ask for thicker silk it can be hand-washed at home you will save on the dry cleaners bill in the long run. Some saris have an attached blouse piece while others will need you to pick a separate matching piece of cloth to make one.
- Location: On the first floor of 294 Kamaraj Road, near Commercial Street, five minutes from the city centre by taxi.