Ima Keithel, Imphal
Situated in the heart of Imphal, the Ima Keithel, popularly known as the ‘Mother’s Market’ is Asia’s and perhaps the world’s only market managed and run entirely by women. Every day, as many as 5,000 women traders sit in a row and sell a variety of goods, ranging from groceries, local produce and authentic food items to clothes, handicrafts, bamboo products, utensils and everything in between. Only married women are allowed to run the stalls in this Market of Matriachs, and this tradition is passed on from one generation to another.
The origins of the market date back to the 16th-century, and it has been going strong since then. Even if you do not want to buy anything, just experiencing the beautiful sights and sounds of this market can be equally remarkable.
Devaraja Market, Mysore
Located just off the central Sayyaji Rao Road in Mysore, this covered market dates back to the time of Tipu Sultan. It was further expanded Chamaraja Wodeyar IX in the late 1800s. In this lively bazaar, you will find all kinds of items such as flower garlands, incense, spices, household articles, mounds of turmeric and vermilion, lush green betel leaves, vegetables, fruits and more, each in its own specific section. Along the outer perimeter, you will find some famous sweet shops specializing in the iconic Mysore Pak.
Johari Bazaar, Jaipur
This market is catching the attention of visitors with stones and fabrics. Johari Bazaar means Jeweler’s Market, thus you will find here hundreds of shops selling thousands of varieties of precious and semi-precious jewels, gems, and stones. Most of the stones are cut and polished here by local artisans.
This market is also famous for Kundan jewelry which requires a lot of skills and craftsmanship. Johari Bazaar can also attract you with its sarees, especially with golden thread work. Johari Bazaar is surrounded by many traditional markets like Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar. These are famous for leather products (shoes, bags and purses), clothes, utensils that give a taste of Rajasthani culture.
Kannauj Market, Uttar Pradesh
Known as the ‘Perfume Capital of India’, Kannauj is an ancient city set on the banks of River Ganges. The Kannauj market is located in the Kannauj district, and is said to be one of the oldest markets that deals in everything scented, from essential oils to traditional Indian attars (perfumes). This spot has wonderfully-fragrant options for all. There are over 650 scents on offer, prepared using ancient techniques, i.e. fragrance of wet earth is distilled into small glass vials.
Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
Once known as “Shor Bazaar” (or noisy market), this famous market in Mumbai was renamed Chor Bazaar (which translates to thief’s market) due to mispronunciation by British colonists. It is full of stalls selling almost everything you could think of, handicrafts, bronze statues, vintage gramophones, clocks, lamps, furniture, trinkets, Bollywood posters, authentic (and not so authentic) antique items, and much more.
Dadar Flower Market, Mumbai
The city of dreams is much famed for its street shopping. This flower market is something different and unique experience to look forward for. The market is a wholesale one, although one can still find small vendors coming to make their daily purchases. The place is an indoor market and is paradise for photographers and equally for tourists.