Chennai (Madras) Shopping Tips by IoannaE
Chennai (Madras) Shopping: 35 reviews and 28 photos
Nalli's in T. Nagar is actually two shops: a huge, showy multi-story emporium and the more modest (and more interesting) old shop which looks like it hasn't changed much in decades.
My Madras friends say Nalli's is a good place to shop when you know what you're looking for - it can get frantic at times, and it's worth watching your bag - but on my visit it was relatively quiet and since I'd already been to a few shops I could fake some knowledge.
There's a huge selection of saris in most Southern Indian styles, especially the whole price range of Kanchi silk.
T. Nagar, and specifically Usman road, is a very lively shopping area; worth visiting just for looking around.
What to buy: Kanchi silk and other sarees
What to pay: from 2000 to 20000 Rupees and counting....
Address: Nageswara road opposite Panagal Park
Directions: Just tell the auto-rickshaw driver 'nalli's, T. Nagar' !
Phone: 2431 0101
Theme: Women's Clothes
Saris on display
Kalpa Druma is situated across from the Chola Sheraton and features home textiles and handicrafts, so obviously it caters mainly to tourists. That said, the variety and quality of both home furnishings and textiles is superb, and the location is convenient, so it's worth visiting. I found a beautiful Orissa ikat silk sari for 4800 rupees - a normal price for India, I think, and certainly not cheap, but a very good price to pay for 5,5 meters of pure silk with a beautiful design! Also purchased Bengali-style jewellery, cushion covers and handbags.
What to buy: Everything from saris to shawls to tablecloths.
What to pay: Expensive for India, reasonable if you're coming from Europe.
Address: Radhakrishnan (Cathedral) road
Directions: opposite the Chola Sheraton (IF you can manage to actually cross the street!)
Theme: Home Furnishing
Choosing a Kanchi sari for my sister at Sundari's
Judging from the clientele, I have a feeling this must be the classiest silk shops in Chennai. I discovered it thanks to a wedding I attended: I had noticed the bridal party's unusual and tasteful saris - they'd all been purchased at Sundari, including a lovely antique purple one.
The shop is low key and quiet, easy to navigate, its large and comfortable ground-floor sari showroom featuring icons of gods in a neat row above the shelving. They also sell men's readymades and some nice handicrafts on the second floor.
There are many silk shops on Usman road, but I must say this was my favourite. (Maybe because I had a bunch of classy friends advising me - see photo!)
What to buy: Saris: Kanchi silk for traditionalists (and tourists!); chiffon, crepe and georgette are more trendy.
What to pay: average prices for this material.
Address: 54-55 N Usman road, T Nagar, Chennai
Theme: Women's Clothes
Rasi is an old silk and saree shop in Mylapore right across from the fascinating Mylapore temple. After you've seen the temple you can buy raw silk in a huge range of colours for about 2-5 Euro per metre, or saris in various styles (some can be made into Western clothes too), Kashmiri shawls, shalwar-kameez etc. Definitely worth a stop.
What to buy: Silk!
What to pay: 150- 180 Rupees per metre for raw silk
Around 4000-5000 Rupees for a Kanchipuram silk sari.
Address: No. 1, Sannadhi Street, Mylapore, Chennai 4
Directions: Near Kapaleeshwar temple
Phone: Tel : +91 - 44 - 24941906
Theme: Women's Clothes
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