The fabric of the world is patterned with a variety of textiles. Japanese silk and English muslin aside, the Indian subcontinent has to its credit various textiles, each representing a different culture. At markets in Hyderabad, however, you will find the entire country’s materials and cloth represented in one, from Kashmir to Kanchipuram and Benares to Begum Bazaar. Hyderabad has a lot of markets, where you can visit to pick up unstitched fabric or stitched clothes in the latest of fashion, at the lowest of possible prices too. Let us talk about them.
1. Madina Market
You will find all kinds of dress materials, dresses, sarees and upholstery materials at this market where you may even pick up material wide enough to be used to cover a double bed! The shops here offer them as do the roadside vendors, who spread their wares on the footpath or pushcarts to display their items. Do stop here on your way to visit the historic Charminar and the justly famous Lad Bazaar, which specializes in the most beautiful bangles.
- Specialties: Dress materials, sarees, bedsheets, dresses and upholstery material
2. Begum Bazaar
Named after Humda Begum, wife of Nizam Ali Khan Nizamul Mulk, Begum Bazaar was established on land gifted by her. This is market has existed for over 150 years and is the age-old retail and wholesale market for many products including clothing, commodities, nuts, and spices. The bazaar is close to Hyderabad’s historic Charminar and Osmania General Hospital and has a sub-market of brassware and household utensils. Head here to buy clothing and anything from safety pins to sophisticated equipment.
- Specialties: Clothing, Household commodities, Bidri ware, brassware, cosmetics and many more.
3. General Bazaar
Visit here for amazingly cheap but quality clothing, both stitched and unstitched, from nightwear to wedding finery. The road is impossibly narrow but the shops keep you focused on the task at hand, as you walk deeper into this bazaar in Secunderabad. With over 300 shops, this bazaar offers all varieties of clothing, whether handlooms, chiffon or brocade at unbelievably low prices. Don’t take that to mean that men cannot shop here because the place is a treasure trove even when you shop for shirts, trousers or suiting material.
- Specialties: Clothing for men, women, and children, Brocade sarees, Footwear, Artificial and Gold jewelry
4. Choodi Bazaar
This place is filled with shops stocked with millions of colorful, shiny bangles in rows upon rows. Before you lose yourself in trying on the different varieties of bangles and start haggling with the shopkeeper over the price, remember that we promised to tell you about all the markets in Hyderabad for clothing alone. The bazaar is famous for cloth too, but not of all varieties. You can find an amazing variety of traditional, highly embellished Khara dupattas and silk sarees here.
- Specialties: Khara dupattas, Silk Sarees, Bangles, Perfumes, and Cosmetics
5. Industrial Exhibition
The exhibition (Numaish) is opened every year on the first of January and is closed on the 15 the of February, having run for 45 days without any break. You will find every type of dress and clothing from all over India, sold at highly reasonable prices to the discerning customers who can bargain smartly. It’s the time to makeover your bedrooms, with the pillow covers and bedsheets from here. There’s a carnival of sorts at this time, with rides, food and every kind of entertainment possible.
- Specialties: Clothing, Upholstery, Kitchen equipment, Everything under the Sun
The Shilparamam Crafts Village is another place in Hyderabad, where you can find incredible shopping mixed with entertainment, during festive occasions and holidays. This place is meant for handicrafts of all types but also sells all kinds of handloom dress materials and sarees from every state all over India. Embroidered clothing and upholstery items for your household can be purchased here, provided you know how to strike a good bargain.
- Specialties: Handlooms, Dresses, Nightwear, and Handicrafts
7. Koti or Sultan Bazaar
For unbelievable prices on every kind of clothing, head to Koti. You will find most of the items being sold on the roadside, and some being sold in the shops lining the street. The variety of items available here will make you completely forget your schedule and miss whatever plans you made for the rest of your day. Expect to find dresses reflect the height of current fashion and also look for footwear, handbags, pillow covers and home decoration items at highly reasonable prices.
- Specialties: Dresses, Nightwear, Bags, Silver and Household Items
Come Ramadan, it becomes extremely difficult for you to drive through the roads here (if you thought you would take an auto, you will find them refusing your fare outright) as the throngs of shoppers go around shopping at this bustling market. Ornate fabrics, dresses in the latest fashions, ethnic clothing, sherwanis and dress materials can be bought here at reasonable prices. You can also buy dazzling jewelry and authentic pearls and footwear here.
- Specialties: Ethnic and Fashionable Dresses, Footwear, Bags and Household Items
Considered a shoppers’ paradise, this area is full of shops which stock all kinds of household electronics and clothing items including school uniforms, curtains, and pure woolens, for foreign travel. Bargaining is impossible in this premier shopping destination, but shops like Meena Bazaar have genuine discounts, and you can really get very good bargains. There’s an imported goods market of the street called Jagadish Market, where you will find a dazzling array of mobile phones and accessories.
Considered a poor man’s alternative to Abids, Ameerpet is full of shops jostling each other for space and customers. The variety of clothing items available here is completely unbelievable and can only be experienced to be believed. There are huge clothing stores here and smaller shops and everyone offers you some kind of fashion nirvana, with each of the items stocked. Buy silk sarees, dress materials and clothes by the kilo here (I kid you not!) because this is a regular marketing gimmick at some of the shops you find in Ameerpet.
Make sure that your excitement at the price does not blind you to any problems with the quality of cloth or the cut and the stitch. If you are not familiar with street shopping, it is better to take along a friend more familiar with the markets and the prices to be expected.