At a time when online shopping and air-conditioned shopping malls have become the norm for the new generation of jewellery buyers, several traditional markets for gems and jewellery are fighting hard to stay relevant.
Here’s a look at five famous G&J markets pan-India, which are known for combining the best of India’s age-old jewellery-making traditions with a slew of contemporary options.
Johari Bazaar (Jaipur)
Located in close proximity to one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions – Hawa Mahal – this ancient market specialises in all kinds of traditional jewellery. From Thewa to Polki, Kundan to Meenakari, Johari Bazaar is crowded with hundreds of shops that sell all this and more. And if jewellery is not the only item on your shopping list, you can also shop for artefacts, sarees and handlooms here.
Mahidharpura Diamond Market (Surat)
It’s probably the only place in the city where you will find people rushing about carrying small bags – filled with diamonds – as if they were ferrying groceries. Welcome to Mahidharpura diamond market, one of the city’s main hubs for checking, cutting and polishing diamonds from all over the world. Not surprisingly, it’s also a meeting point for buyers and sellers who converge here and transact deals often worth a king’s ransom.
Laad Bazaar (Hyderabad – Telangana)
Located near the iconic Charminar, this beautiful old market is known for its large variety of intricately-designed bangles encrusted with coloured stones. Laad actually means lacquer which is used to make bangles. It also houses many shops that sell jewellery adorned with semi-precious stones and the famous Hyderabadi pearls. Useful Tip: It’s a great place to test your bargaining skills since prices can get unrealistically high here.
Zaveri Bazaar (Mumbai)
As the name suggests, this bazaar is a jewellery souk that hosts a slew of small-to-big jewellery shops selling everything from gold, silver, precious stones, platinum jewellery and more. Situated just north of the sprawling Crawford market, the myriad lanes and roads of this bazaar also host some of the biggest jewellery retailers (TBZ, Tanishq) and is said to be the venue for over 60% of bullion deals in the city.
Manek Chowk – Ahmedabad
This market has a distinct dual personality. During the day, it functions as one of the city’s noisiest and most popular markets for a host of items including – spices, fruits, fabrics and jewellery. The central plaza of this market which is located in the city’s oldest district – The Pols – includes an array of gold and silver merchants with a huge of selection of jewellery on offer. No wonder it’s the preferred destination for pre-wedding shopping. Come night however, the whole area gets converted into a huge food court packed with fast-food stalls and hungry Ahmedabadis.