New Delhi is a whirlwind city filled with honking cars, traffic congestion, auto rickshaws that zoom in and out inches from the next vehicle and an efficient, safe metro system. I never saw an accident but thought we would surely collide on multiple occasions. Traffic lanes do not exist although the roads are marked.
On a good day the air pollution is passable. On a good day, I could muster the stamina to visit two or three places — a museum or two, a textile boutique or emporium or folk art exposition.
Where To Shop for Textiles in New Delhi
Based on recommendations from my textile expert friends, Nidhi Khurana and Aditi Prakash and what I discovered on my journey, here is my list of where to shop for great cloth in New Delhi, India.
- Fab India*, retail shops with fine Indian clothing and silver jewelry
- Crafts Museum* Gift Shop, near Connaught Place
- Kamayani* (private boutique), 16 Anandlok, Khel Gaon Marg, New Delhi. Tel. 011-262-58680
- Kamala*, opposite Hanuman Mandir near Connaught Circus
- Khadi*, A-1, Baba Kharak Singh Marg, New Delhi, Delhi 110001, Tel: +91 11 2334 3741
- Anokhi Clothing and Outlet*
- Nature Bazaar*, Andheria Mor, Kisan Haat, near Chattarpur Metro stop. A curated, rotating artisans exhibition that features vendors from throughout India. Wonderful!
- Raj Creations, 30 Hauz Khas Village, Tel. 91-11-26963602. Clothing gallery owner Sunaina “Dimple” Suneja curates a stunning textile collection from throughout India. Don’t miss the historic archeological site at the far end of the village.
*Takes international credit cards.
- If you like it, buy it. You will likely never see the same thing again.
- Once more, if you like it, buy it. Each textile in India is unique.
- Fixed prices in retail shops. Don’t bargain.
- You can bargain in big local markets, if you wish. I didn’t. Exchange rate is 70 rupees to the US dollar.
- Get rupees at the airport or from your bank before you leave the USA. There’s a big cash crunch. You need cash to pay taxis and vendors. Still no $$ in ATMs throughout India.
- Many shops that “take credit cards” are not set up to accept international credit cards, only those issued in India
- Sign up for Transferwise, an easy way to wire transfer funds from your bank account to a hotel or textile artisan
- Ask your hotel if you can charge the car/driver to your room to save spending rupees
How To Get Around
The best way to get around is to hire a car and driver for the entire day at around 1200-1800 rupees (about $17-25 USD). The downside is you can sit in traffic for an hour (or more) to go a few miles. But the driver takes you door-to-door and waits for you. For intrepid travelers who like an independent approach, I say, try to adapt.
If you use the Metro, you still need to get from the Metro stop to your destination, a challenge in and of itself. Sure, you can save a few dollars but you’ve spent time trying to find a vehicle and then communicating where you want to go. It’s always a choice about how to spend your time.
Walking is impossible.
Where To Stay
Saket Bed and Breakfast, extraordinary hospitality and accommodations, walkable to Saket metro stop. French press coffee. Great food. Dinner available. Accepts credit cards. Easy to arrange car/driver services. Clean and comfy. Currency exchange services available. Close to Nature Bazaar, Sanskriti Museum and Hauz Khas Village.
If you have any other recommendations, please add them in the COMMENTS section!
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