Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Great wedding Shopping Destinations in India: PART 3

In the third series of this article, I take you to the city of Joy that once served as the capital of India. Once the centre of modern education, industry, science, culture and politics in India, Kolkata remains truly rich in terms of its art, culture, literature, theatre, simplicity and spirit!

What makes this city splendid is the Spirit of the city, enthusiasm of its people, their tolerant nature, their warmth and love for all things beautiful!

Today, the skyline of Kolkata is deluged with hoardings and banners - and more hoardings and banners, and these have an indubitable influence on trade and commerce. Shops and arcades are cropping up everyday. So are the shopping malls and super-markets. In this day of glamour and glitter, the concept of the age-old 'Haat' or special market still remains in kolkata. These ‘Haats’ are very popular as they sell many essential items of everyday life as well as several amazing, interesting and spectacular things at remarkably cheap prices so that the masses can afford them. I will first take you through one such notable 'haat' or special market, of Kolkata and then take you through all great malls/ markets of Kolkata.

MANGALA HAAT : It is so named because the special market is held on 'Mangal Baar' or Tuesday. For arriving at 'Mangala Haat', you have to get down at the Bangabasi stop, near howrah maidan. The road in front of the Bangabasi Cinema Hall assumes a festive look every Tuesdays when the 'haat' is held. This weekly market is unparalleled not only in Bengal but in entire Asia for its variety, richness in quality and availability of all types of garments at incredibly low costs. People from remote areas and the suburbs of Bengal start flocking here from Sunday afternoon. They come here with their commodities mostly hand-made, and erect teeny, temporary shops on the pavements. The entire region is flooded with such shops. The merchants come to the 'haat' with all types of ready-made garments. The products range from children's wear to clothes of old men and women i.e. skirts, shirts, frocks, salwar-suits, T-shirts, sarees, casual wears and several other fancy garments. Even school uniform and sports outfits are available. What makes this market stand out is that in most cases, the sellers themselves are the manufacturers of the garments. In a nut shell, Mangala Hut is a paradise for low budget customers, where they can purchase all types of colourful and trendy dresses at reasonable rates.

Well, If you are not the ‘haat’ types and would prefer to shop the regular way, then you have loads of options.

Shopping is a great amusement in Kolkata. From street vendors to super markets the city has it all. The city contains numerous showrooms of reputed national and international brands. There are fabric stores, ready to wear stores, home appliance stores, gift stores and more. While shopping in Kolkata golden rule is to bargain. There are many fixed price shops in the city but the preferred ones include those where price negotiations are allowed. The speciality of Kolkata include Taant sarees, cotton fabric, handlooms and handicrafts.

Shopping in Kolkata is more or less like a treasure hunt. The treasure hunt in Kolkata takes down the alleys and into the popular markets, most of which are in the heart of the city. The renowned places as such include Chowringhee Road, Sudder Street, Shakespeare Sarani, Bowbazar, College Street, Salt Lake City, Kidderpore, Dharamtala, Camac Street. Most of these are general markets and sell all the amenities. At Chowringhee there is Central Cottage Industries Emporium merchandising in crafts. The Hogg Market which happens to be the oldest market in the city has several blocks. The New Market that constitutes one of these blocks has, as speciality clothes, footwear and jewellery. Bertram Street Market provides leather goods, jewellery, garments, toys, flowers, confectionery and fabric. The open air complex at Dakhinapan mainly houses state government outlets. It is the best place to buy hand looms and handicraft articles. The Fancy Market at Kidderpore is famous for smuggled electronic goods, jeans, perfumes and glass ware. The Shreeram Arcade and Treasure Island, likewise, are happening places for the shoppers. These markets are new entries and house great collections of apparels and music. One more treasure spot is the Vardaan Market. The air conditioned market provides outlets to various domestic and foreign brands.

Details of Kolkata Markets:

New Market:
Located on Lindsay Street, this is one of the oldest and most renowned Municipal Markets. A huge Complex, where a whole range of products are sold. You can buy Jewellery, silverware, leatherwear, Cutlery, Crockery, Glassware, garments, confectionery, fabrics, dry fruits, poultry products, fish, meat, vegetable, flowers etc. Don’t forget to eat the kathi rolls at Nizaam’s when visiting New market. Nizaam’s will not appeal visually to you, infact when I first visited I was very scared of eating there. But the first bite into that juicy Roll and We said, Bring it on!

Shreeram Arcade:
A market located opposite Light House Cinema in Chowringhee area near the central transport point, Esplanade. It has around 275 shops under one roof in four floors, all neatly decorated. Glass capsule elevators and sparkling fountains attract the shoppers. Shopping is a real pleasure out here due to its overall ambiance.

Treasure Island: This complex is located in Madge Lane, beside Globe Cinema. Within the New Market shopping zone, this air-conditioned market is a drop-in point for regular New Market shoppers, who are not satiated enough.

Air Conditioned Market:
This multistoried complex is on Shakespeare Sarani, previously known as Theatre Road. Starting from garments and watches to consumer durables like electronic household gadgets are on display for sale.

Vardhan Market: Located on Camac Street, this air-conditioned market comes complete with an escalator for shoppers' convenience. Novelties, watches and other consumer durables are the ones that this market specializes in.

Bagri Market: On Canning Street, is located this wholesale/ retail market for plastic toys and other products like stationery, dairy manufactures, electrical goods and appliances, glassware, moulded luggage etc.

Bowbazar Market: The Bowbazar market on B.B. Ganguly Street is known for its jewellery shops besides other shops dealing in wooden furnitures, musical instruments, shoes, seasonal fruits, fresh vegetable and flesh meat etc.

Burrabazar Market:This oldest wholesale/retail market of Kolkata on Mahatma Gandhi Road, is the place to shop for whole sale business of textiles, cereals, food grains, spices, dry fruits, edible oils, sugar, salt and other groceries. There are good number of renowned retailed shops located in this market complex where the retail buyers sometimes buy products at the whole sale price.

Chandni Market: This market located off Dharmatala Street, in Central Kolkata near Esplanade (popularly knows as Chandni Chawk), is a very old one, known for its stock of metal products and commodities, hardwares, paints, clothes, steel trunks/suitcases, electronic components, audio/videos, housing/cabinet etc.

China Bazar: Old China Bazar Street houses this market mainly dealing with paper, paper bindings, foils, envelopes, streamers, stationery, crockery, glassware, domestic goods, etc.

Dakshinapan Market:
Adjacent to the Nazrul Mancha, near the Dhakuria flyover is this sprawling multistoried marketplace. This market comprises of various State Emporiums dealing in handlooms, textiles, handicrafts, imitation jewellery and fancy goods.

Fancy Market: Located near Khidderpore, this is the market where a variety of imported goods including electrical And electronics appliances can be purchased at an affordable price.

Gariahat Market: This buzzing marketplace is located on Rash Behari Avenue and Gariahat Road Crossing. Textiles, readymade garments, electronic gadgets, and almost every other thing can be found here. Besides the regular shops, are the makeshift shops that crowd the sidewalks. These shops are the ones where one gets to purchase something at a bargain price.

Jadubabu's Market: Located on Ashutosh Mukherjee Road in Bhawanipore of South Kolkata, this old market sells vegetables, fish, meat, fruits, groceries and utencils

Koley Market: This market is located near Sealdah in Central Kolkata. Wholesale/retail vegetable, fish, meat, milk, poultry products etc.

Lansdowne Market: Located in South Kolkata on Sarat Bose Road, this market stocks mainly vegetable , groceries etc. Also a large number of motor mechanic garages are found in the vicinity. The Kolkata Motor Vehicle Authority's office is closely located to this market.

College Street Market: As evident from its name, this market is located at College Street. It is known mainly for its collection of leather goods, footwear, sarees, musical instruments, vegetable and meat etc. Most of the Book shops and Book Publishers have their place of business transaction near this market. The area is well referred to as BOI PARA (Book Market).

Lake Market: This market is located on Rashbehari Avenue between Deshopriya Park and Rashbehari Avenue. It is famous for fresh vegetable, flesh, flowers, grocery items. It is also the main market for the Indians from the southern part to have commodities from this market for their unique food preparation.

Park Centre: Located on Park Street, in Central Kolkata near Chowringhee, this market has more or less the novelty product ranges and ready made garments for sale.

Charnock City, Salt Lake City, Sec-II: This complex, with an unique architectural flamboyance, is the latest addition to Kolkata's list of markets. Under one roof one can buy any commodity in this market. The market is located at Sector III of Salt lake City near the Salt Lake Stadium.

Phew! I know, it was difficult reading this blog! It was immensely difficult writing it as well and that is when I haven’t touched the Malls and Showrooms! Let’s see, maybe in the next blog I will cover the malls and showrooms famous for wedding shopping.

For further queries, write to us at: dreams@theroyalshaadi.com.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Great wedding Shopping Destinations in India: PART 2

Continuing from my previous article, I take you on to the next great wedding shopping destination in India. Other than Delhi, the next city that comes to my mind that’s great for wedding shopping is- JAIPUR- The capital city of Rajasthan.

JAIPUR - One of my favorite cities in India. Favorite, not because I live here or because it is famed to be the land of forts and Palaces, the land of riches, color and unparalleled heritage. Favorite because, this city offers so much that money can and cannot buy! Favorite because of the hospitality and the kind of treatment you will receive from the people during your shopping excursions and otherwise. Favorite because this is the city where you can find India at its colourful best!

Let’s start with what all you need to shop for that you can find in JAIPUR? Considering that, we get married once and want the best for ourselves, our life and the people in it. There is a lot to shop and find. Some of them are:
o Invitation cards
o Bags
o Home furnishing
o Home d├ęcor stuff
o Silverware
o Trousseau packing
o Gifts
o Authentic arts
o Handicrafts
o Exquisite gems
o Jewellery (Silver/ Gold/ Color stones)
o Designer marble products
o Traditional print, block Print garments and textiles
o Blue pottery
o Rajais (blankets/ quilts)
o Trinkets
o Lak ki chudi (ethnic bangles)
o Mojdis (special Rajashtani footware)
o Bandhani work (Traditional Rajasthani Tie & Dye)
o Miniature paintings
o Kundan jewellery
o Marble figures
o Gold filigree and inlay work...

Phew, the list seemed endless

The Jaipur bazaars are a treat for those who love to explore and discover. They are located in and around the famous Hawa Mahal, which is part of the walled city (The OLD JAIPUR City). Johari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Chaura Rasta, (also called the Sawai Man Singh Highway), Tripolia Bazaar and the Mirza Ismail Road (Popularly known as M.I. ROAD) are some of the main shopping areas. Johari Bazaar is the one stop for jewellery and tie dye sarees, fabrics, suits, lehengas and textiles. Gopalji ka Rasta, and Haldiyon ka Rasta houses numerous establishments selling jewellery, gems, sweets, silverware etc. The Old city markets remain closed on Sunday. For handicrafts like puppets, bandahwars, wall hangings, white metal artifacts go to linking road next to saraogi mansion- Bapu Bazar. For wonderful trousseau packing visit Ratan textile and a few tiny shops next to Ratan. When in bapu Bazar do not miss the golgappas and kulfi faluda.

Bapu Bazaar and Nehru Bazaar, are also a must visit place for textiles, local perfumes, shoes made of camel skin (jutties/ mojaries), Rajasthani trinkets and bandhani work. Bapu Bazaar also Houses the famous SARAOGI MANSION Market- that has many famous stores, known for Indian bridal trousseau.

If at Saraogi Mansion, you must see the collection at Nikhaar fashions, Utsav Sarees, Pratapsons and for great banarasi handloom fabrics visit Banaraswala. These markets are completely closed on Sundays.

Tripolia Bazaar and Chaura Rasta too have textile outlets in addition to shops selling utensils, ironware and trinkets. It is also closed on Sunday.

If you are interested in carvings in marble and sandstone then head for Khazanawale Raasta. Close to this is the popular M.I. Road which houses a large number of emporia with a variety of goods ranging from jewellery, brass work, textiles, antiques, handicrafts, print fabric, vegetable dye fabric, block printing fabric, famouse lassiwala (Awesome must try drink), Suryamahal veg restaurant, Natraj, Handi & Copper chimney to grab a bite post your shopping sessions etc. The MI Road shops stock a large variety of articles to satisfy the tourists’ need like souvenirs, curios, gifts, handicrafts etc.

For block printed specialities, Kilol, Soma Shop, cottons, chhipa, Cotton curio, Gulabchand, Suruchi and Anokhi are great places to visit. Rajasthali, the official store of Rajasthan tourism, is a must try to find a galore of products under one roof. But if you are flying out, then the Sanganer village area, which is close to the airport, is worth going to for blue pottery and other specialities.

For wonderful and cheap home furnishings do take out some time and visit Seekar House. Bedspreads, bedsheets, Table mats, Table runners, Tablecloth, curtains, Quilts, name it and you got it all squeezed in the small seeker house market. You must bargain a lot to strike a great deal.
For more details on what all you can buy from Jaipur read another article on this BLOG: http://theroyalshaadi.blogspot.com/2008/08/mementoes-for-wedding-guests.html

For more details or shopping assistance in Rajasthan, feel free to write to us at dreams@theroyalshaadi.com

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Great wedding Shopping Destinations in India: PART I

Engaged and all set to tie the knot??? Have the money & the time to go across country to shop for you trousseau? Then this article and many more in this blog is going to be an interesting read.

This is the first article in this series. First because, my country is so full of splendor and great things across the length and breadth of its boundaries; that there cant be just one destination to mention.

We start with my favourite shopping destination and heart of India- DELHI. The Capital of the country definitely has a lot to offer- whatever your budget maybe. Delhi is definitely shoppers' paradise.

Home to many of India's leading and most talented fashion designers such as Tarun Tahillani, Manish Malhotra, Rohit Bal, Ashima & Leena, Aki Narula, Suneet Verma, Ranna Gill, JJ Valaya etc as well as has a lot of wholesale places across city.

Delhi is also home to some of the most well established clothes shops and jewelers in India, which have reinvented themselves over generations and are nationally if not internationally renowned. In recent years a great range of affordable but none the less, fashionable boutiques have comeup all over Delhi, catering to a variety of tastes and budgets. These are most prevalent in the Karol Bagh, South Extension and Greater Kailash areas.

For those with less in their pockets, Delhi has Chandni Chowk- where you can start from your wedding invite, go on to jewellery, then to cosmetics, shoes and finally the wedding day attire. Lajpat nagar, rajendar nagar and Karol bagh are also great for A to Z budget wedding shopping. from clothes to jewellery. Shoes to hand bags. Cosmetics to luggage you can buy everything in the shops/ markets of these areas, and that too within a great budget!

Certain areas of Delhi, notably GK, South Extension, Hauz Khas Village, Khan Market showcase some of Delhi's finest boutiques, but remember they will burn a hole in your pocket! Since you wont get married everyday, so its well worth it! If you are shopping in this section (South Delhi) do visit the designers mentioned above as well as don’t forget ushnakmal, meena bazaar, Nalli, Regal shoes, Da Milano, OOgaan, CTC Plaza, Design Vault etc.

However, if you are a more budget conscious shopper, do visit a few shops in these areas to get an idea of the latest styles and designs and then try and find similar items (which certainly are available) in the more affordable, but none the less chic shops located in Karol Bagh, Connaught Place, Lajpat Nagar, Kamla Nagar, Chandni Chowk etc.


You must research before your trip, to get an idea of the colors, styles and designs of outfits that are in and goes with your taste and budgets. Browse through wedding magazines, surf the web and ask your friends and family for their input.
Whilst shopping in India, it is very easy to get overwhelmed and confused by the amazing variety of items that are available. Make a list of what you like in each shop so that you can make an overall comparison and shortlist what you finally want to buy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Indian Bridal Jewellery-symbolism & connotations

Jewellery plays a Vital role in Indian Weddings. Wedding and jewellery go hand in hand thus no Indian wedding can be complete without jewellery.

Indian Bridal jewellery is usually heavy and made of gold & precious gems. Each piece of jewellery has a religious and aesthetic connotation. Gold is the symbol of wealth and prosperity. Precious stones/ gems symbolizes color and beauty.

The jewellery worn by the bride from each region in the country is different. Every state has its own style and form, glimpses of which are seen in the jewellery worn. There are some pieces of jewellery that are worn by brides almost everywhere in the country. These include the Mangalsutra, Bangles, Necklace, Maangtika, Earrings, Nose Ring, Anklets, Haath phool, Armlet, Rings and Toe Rings.

In western weddings, the ring symbolises the marriage similarly in the Indian wedding the Mangalsutra meaning ‘auspicious thread’ (a small gold pendant worn on a black and gold beaded chain) is the main symbol of marriage. The groom ties the Mangalsutra around the bride’s neck and this is one of the most important parts of the Indian (Hindu) wedding ceremony.

It is believed that a married woman should always have here arms adorned and never should she keep them empty. Thereby bangles play a vital role in Indian bridal Jewellery. Green and red glass bangles along with gold, silver, lac and other colorful bangles are a must for Indian brides

Maangtika - is a designer bridal jewelry, which glorifies the center parting. It comes in different styles and colors using various gemstones primarily diamonds or kundan/polki (rosecut, uncut etc) coloured gems and pearls. It usually consists of a string hooked at the top with some elegantly designed centerpiece resting on the other end. It can also be in the form of a crown. The trend of Mangtika will never fade.
Earrings - Well, the choice of earrings depends on your trousseau style and color too. If your bridal attire is very gaudy in shades of reddish maroon or copper brown, you should go in for gold jewelry. If your wardrobe is in pastel color is done you can opt for the delicate pearls, diamonds and other studs. Danglers give you a chic look. In case you want to maintain sobriety, then you can go in for studs and small hoops.

Nose Ring - nose ring should be chosen according to earring color and style. The traditionally worn nose ring called "Nath" consists of studded ring with a long chain hooked up in the hair. Lot of innovations are taking place in its designing. It has become a fashion statement today with more and more women getting their nose pierced.

Necklace - necklace is the most eye catchy jewelry. It should blend with your earring and nose ring design and color and should also match with your wardrobe neck cut. The style and pattern of the necklace is chosen based on the neckline of the dress. A choker style necklace is worn with a smaller neckline and a longer necklace with a deeper neckline. People with short necks should wear attire with plunging necklines and accordingly choose necklace.

Anklets And Toe rings
- Anklets and toe rings give you a chic look. These bridal foot jewels flaunt your feet in the most elegant manner. Intricate designs in works of meenakari, kundan and beads do wonders. In some regions like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, it is compulsory for married women to wear the toe ring all the time.

Traditionally all jewellery is made of gold or silver. But today you see different types of metals being used. Gemstones are in vogue and apt for summer season to match with your cool fabric and light shades. In winter season you can go in for heavy gold work to complement your bright colored heavy warm fabric.

You can find some stunning bridal jewellery on the following blog: http://thevoguejewels.blogspot.com/ or checkout the facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=68992567598

For queries and guidance on buying bridal jewellery mail us on: dreams@theroyalshaadi.com

Friday, May 29, 2009

Summer Wedding Cosnsiderations

If you are planning to get married this summer and you are planning a summer wedding in Rajasthan, then there are a few considerations you must make.

Today's blog is about the current temparature scenario, venue availability and other must take into account situations for those planning a wedding in rajasthan between june-september time frame.

First and foremost, this year has been hotter than average for all of us in Rajasthan. We have already faced 36 Degrees to 48 Degrees and above heat this year. To add to that, rains seem more than far off.

So for your wedding, closed venues would be best suited. you can consider air conditioned banquets as well as heritage properties that have Durbar Halls. If you still insist on open venues, look for pool side properties or lawns/ gardens with lots of fountains. For example, one can consider the jai niwas lawns at the City Palace of Jaipur, sisodia Rani Ka bagh- Jaipur, lawns of mandawa castle- Mandawa, Bal samand lake resort etc. to name a few.

Day entertainment / activities for your guest is another area you need to plan for, well in advance. Owing to the scorching heat sight-seeing, polo tournaments or elephant safari are not great options. Instead, we recommend SPA sessions, private cultural performances, henna tattoo artistesu with classical singers to entertain while your guests enjoy ornating themselves with henna tattooes and shopping tours.

June till August 2009 is busy wedding season. So if you havent booked your venue and hotel already, then you are too late for a great Indian wedding.

Transportation is another factor you need to consider for summer weddings. Pre planning is a key to ensure you get good vehicles with well functional air-conditioners.

Pre-Planning your beauty and styling is another consideration you must make for a summer wedding. There are plenty of Spa & beauty salons across Rajasthan, however it will be sensible to pre-discuss your make up and styling preferences with your wedding planner and smart to book a salon in advance. Your planner will be more than glad to help and guide.

Be very sensible while choosing your Indian trousseau. Lighter shades and lighter fabrics are most recommended. Go for pastel shades and fabrics like chiffon/ Georgette, Silk Nets etc. Raw silk, crepe, velvet and heavy brocades are an absolute Noooo!

Picking up sensible footwear and jewellery is a must. Heavy Jewellery and closed footwear are an absolute no. Diamonds and light weight traditional jewellery in polki/ kundan is a good option. one can also consider the pachhikari jewellery made of colored and precious and semi precious stones.

These are few must make considerations. Once you have made these,carried loads of sunscreen lotion, an appetite for all the wonderful spicy delicacies and a spirit warmer than the Indian summer, a summer wedding in Rajasthan is a cake walk!

Happy weddings!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Traditional Rajasthani jewelry with a Modern Twist

Are you looking for jewelry that is traditional yet very wearable with modern day outfits? Are you looking for exotic rajasthani jewelery, which is light on pocket? Are you looking for colored gems and classy designs? Are you looking for High-Fashion Jewelry? Are you looking for costume jewelry?

Well, if you are looking for all the above & more then Vermeil Jewelry is just the right thing for you.

Hand crafted with precision and purity vermeil jewelry is extremely attractive and pocket friendly! Made of Silver (92.4% Pure- Certification can be provided), 2 to 4 Microns of 18 Karat Gold and precious &/ or semi-precious stones like Ruby, Emerald, Carnelian, Onyx, Garnet, Turquoise, Chinese Pearls etc-vermeil jewelry is every woman’s fantasy. Excellent for gifting, extremely wearable and classy rajastani vermeil is truly exotic.

Here are a few designs, especially handmade by artisans. The collection is massively diverse with a great attention to detail. With only a sample of the total releases seen here, many designs possess multiple finishes including sandblasted matte black, gloss black, sandblasted matte gold, gloss yellow gold and oxidized silver.

For more information on vermeil Jewellery or buying, the same mail us at dreams@theroyalshaadi.com & visit our page on Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=68992567598

You can also visit http://www.thevoguejewels.blogspot.com/ AND http://abgsvermeil.blogspot.com/ for some stunning Rajasthani briadal, everyday and party wear jewellery.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Wedding Jewelry at times of Recession

The buzzword of 2009 is RECESSION! Cutting costs, minimizing needs, doing away with elaborate- is the focus. The Topic I picked up today for my reader is keeping the ongoing recession in mind.

Jewelry is an integral part of any wedding and is an element we cannot completely do away with, while planning a wedding. With ‘The Recession’ tugging at our sleeve we need to look for alternates and options that not only makes for the perfect accessories but also is light on our wallets!

I am writing today about one such great alternate- Vermeil jewellery.

Vermeil: Pronounced "vair-may", is sterling silver, which has been plated or rolled with gold. A thin layer of gold, usually 18kt or 22kt, is overlaid onto the silver surface. The Rajasthani vermeil jewelry has .003 inch or more of 18Kt /22Kt gold overlaid in different textures and finishes and is extremely popular form of jewelry in these times when saving our resources are primary.

The vermeil jewelry prince range starts at $40 i.e. INR 2000 and goes up to $200 i.e. INR 10000 approx. Vermeil is available in a variety of designs and a lot of precious and semi precious stones/ gems are used to ornate and enhance the pieces. Stones like ruby, emerald, pearl, coral, onyx, carnelian, fluoride, tanzanite and sapphires are used in almost all vermeil pieces. Vermeil jewellery has been used by brides to create a complete set of accessories to match trousseau for the D-day! Too many options can be done in vermeil. One can create sets containing- Earrings, bracelets, necklace, hair pins, brooches, hand bag buttons, shoe / slipper enhancements, anklets, armlets, tiaras, rings etc.

For buying Vermeil Jewelery from internationally certified jewelers, mail us on dreams@theroyalshaadi.com.

For any other wedding shopping assistance from Rajasthan feel free to visit us at www.theroyalshaadi.com.