Travel Magazine

Top Antique Markets in India

By Dinesh Singh @travellerpath

Those who look for antiques often have to peep into virtually inexistent corners. Sometimes, you may ransack a whole 6-storeyed mall but ultimately find that satisfying piece in a small dingy corner on a less trodden Delhi street. So, the best bit of advice we can give to an antique-lover is to look at antique corners (mostly the old bazaars and traditionally run small shops) instead of rummaging through those gaudy retails at complex-style malls.

Here, to help you a bit more, we present a rundown on the top antique markets in India (in no ranking order):

Khan Market, Delhi: If you reside in Delhi, Khan Market won’t sound unfamiliar to you. On the popularity count, it gets 10 on 10. It is a point where you will find more tourists than locals. So, prices tend to be on the higher side. But on the other hand, you can squeeze some really rare pieces in your shopping bag from this place.

Chor Bazaar, Mumbai: Though the ‘City of Dreams’ has got umpteen supermarkets and malls, it is this ill-famous Chor Bazaar where the middle-class comes for picking up cheap clothes and the tourists trickle in to grab a chunk of dilapidated old things, also called as antiques. Discovering an old gramophone or a deliciously old Grandfather Clock is no tough task, though you need to have the power of haggling to bring down the price to a decent level. Best tip that we can give you is to take along a wife (or your girlfriend) since when it comes to bargaining power, it is the female community which are the Powerpuff Girls.

Jew Town, Kerala: Kerala is amongst the best destinations in India and it is the number one destination in southern India. So, there is a strong chance that you will find yourself standing atop Kerala’s soil some day. So, make use of your trip to do shop antique-shopping at this place called Jew Town. This market has an assortment of old-style jewelry, décor products, wood carvings, statues and all other kinds of souvenirs. Some of the antiques which are sold here hail from the colonial era and are not just rare but heavily in demand. As compared to cities like Delhi or Mumbai where it can be tough to pick the genuine product from a hoard of counterfeits, the Jew Town will help you get the right product at the right price.

Markets in Jodhpur, Rajasthan: Rajasthan is amongst the top tourist destinations in India. So, no doubt, it will have a bunch of good markets. Though the capital city Jaipur doesn’t lack good markets, if you are seeking antique treasures, the best shops are huddled at Jodhpur. Rajasthan Art Emporium and Rajasthan Arts & Crafts House are some of the top names, though once you scout through these markets, you are bound to make rare discoveries.

Phillips, Mumbai: Mumbai’s best antique market is called Phillips. The name may not look apt for a warehouse of old-age products, but as they say, one should not judge a book by its cover. This market is where you can get the famous Tanjore paintings and furniture of Portugal art. Do keep an eye for counterfeits, though!

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