All Delhites have heard of, if not explored the popular main market of Greater Kailash Part I. A hub of shopping, yummy food and lively banter, it is one of those few street markets, aka non-air-conditioned retail spaces- where you will brave the weather to enjoy the pleasing environs. And pleasing they are no doubt, with a fine mix of branded stores and street stalls at which to empty your wallets. If you are visiting for the first time, this rectangular concrete mini-jungle (oh, wait, there’s a small park in its midst) there are some things you need to know:
• The market may overwhelm you with its abundance of buying options. Don’t worry, I’ll help you with that soon.
• The street stall owners are very astute and can sense naive, non-hagglers from a mile away. So beware!
• All big food chains, from Starbucks to Burger King have outlets here. But these you can visit anywhere. Go in for local specialties instead like the famous “Aunty ke momos” or Prince Paan’s flavoured treats.
• The market it always crowded. Always! But on all evenings and the weekend, you will literally be rubbing shoulders with excited shoppers. So mornings, past 12pm actually (these GK people love their sleep), is the time to visit if you are on a serious shopping excursion.
• There are a couple of rather temperamental ATMs here. It would be a good idea for you to stock up on cash, especially if you are up for street shopping.
Well, these are the basics you need to know. Now the important stuff – what are the best shops that all divas must visit? I have to warn you though, the list that follows does not mention any of the big brands – you obviously need no help there. My focus is the lesser-known shops where you can get yourself a good deal.
This is like a boutique-style-street-stall. What sets it apart from other shops is that it has a good collection of fashionable clothes (both casual and party wear) but not the typical stuff you get at street stalls. Buy from here and you are not at risk of spotting the same dress on another female while on a round of M-Block market itself (yes, that may happen if you buy from a street-stall). The USP of this shop is that the prices are good (almost as low as the clothes outside) not too expensive ordinarily and no short of steal-deals during sales.
Address: M-21, Lower Ground, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
If you want to shop for Indian clothes, and slightly dressy ones at that, this is where you should go. Madame has a good collection of ethnic clothes as well as jewellery and accessories, so it’s your one-stop-shop for Indian occasion-wear. The prices are decent as well, lower than the likes of Meena Bazaar.
Address: M1-B, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
For cosmetics, this is the one store which will offer the widest possible range, including those international budget brands like Boots, Jergens, etc and also high-end perfumes at slightly discounted prices. Plus, the latest products by all common brands like Lakme, Colorbar, etc, find their way to the counters here very quickly. The staff is very helpful and will make useful suggestions in a way that isn’t bothersome in the least.
Address: M2, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
M-Block is also the hub of all things hip and wild. You want a good, safe, permanent tattoo, this is where you go in Delhi. Though there are several popular tattoo parlours in this market, many claim that Devil’z Tattoos is the best in Delhi (having got two tattoos done here personally, I have no reason to doubt those claims). Do book an appointment in advance though – there’s a big rush here, especially on weekends.
Address: M-53, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
While Devilz’ is for tattoos, the best piercings happen at Siloffer. It is one of the oldest, most famous piercing salons in Delhi, with experienced staff to puncture holes in your skin as desired (I got three-sets of ear piercings done from this place and can hence vouch for its quality service). They have a huge range of silver and marcasite jewellery as well, though the prices are slightly inflated, as compared to those at other markets.
Address: M-51, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
Back-side Street Stall:
As far as the clothes’ stalls go, there are at least over 15 of them in M-Block. They sell the latest must-haves of street fashion – trendy tops, dresses, suits, jumpsuits and more. There is one which sells innerwear and lingerie as well. However, as mentioned above, many a times, they keep very common styles which are available at every other vendor, only at a higher price than those at Lajpat Nagar or Sarojini, given the up-scale environment around. So go to the street vendor opposite the car-park-entrance and next to Bengal Sweets (at that end of the market where famous eatery Brown Sugar is). He has a large collection with several pieces you won’t spot everywhere. You will have to browse through stacks of merchandise but will end up picking up a few items for sure. Remember to bargain for a good deal.
Address: Well, it’s a street stall!
If you want to buy lingerie, nightwear or beachwear even, head to Laxmi Store which is a basement shop, right next to The Body Shop outlet. It has all the regular budget brands such as Lovable and Enamor, as well as mid-range ones like Amante, Triumph and Bwitch. You won’t get the likes of La Senza and VS here, but those you’re more likely to find in malls anyway. They have, of late, also stared stocking sari blouses here.
Address: M-34 Basement, M Block Market, Greater Kailash I, Delhi
So these are some insights into my favourite Delhi market (after Select City Walk of course. But then again, that’s a mall, so this is #1 Market for me). If you are visiting the city, do drop by!