P is for Pondy Bazar & Panagal Park #BlogchatterAtoZ

‘Pondy Bazar?! YOU go to Pondy Bazar, and you love it too?’ This question, almost always followed by an incredulous expression is what I still hear at the mention of a market I truly love.

It was love at first sight for me when I visited Pondy Bazar. Chock a block with shops selling everything, from Fresh flowers to Baubles, from Vessels to clothing, this crowded street market is one place I enjoy visiting.


Pondy Bazar has street side shopping, branded stores and a number of food joints too.

Stalls selling Fresh Flower Garlands welcome you at the start of the street, and the shops lining either side of it make it a kaleidoscope of colour all the way.

My ‘Temple of Steel’

Pondy Bazar has Rathna Stores!  My reason for repeat visits! When I first stepped into this ‘Temple of Steel’, as I refer to it as, I was mesmerised. I hadn’t seen so much steel together, all in one place, and in such beautiful shapes too. The steel vessels you can buy in Rathna Stores are unlike anything available elsewhere. Just between you and me, I have sometimes bought a vessel even when I didn’t need it and simply because the shape of it was oh so adorable! This 50 year old store is a must visit when you are in Chennai.

Those plastic baskets sticking out like sore thumbs? They are for you to shop with:)

Pondy Bazar leads you to Panagal Park (also just between you and me, I realised this fact only as I was researching for this post. Till now I had happily assumed that the entire stretch was Pondy Bazar )

Every Saree Store that you may have heard of, can be found standing shoulder to shoulder here. Nalli, Pothys, Sri Kumaran, RMKV Silks, Palam, Co-optex, Sundari, you name it and Panagal Park has it. A saree for every budget and choice could be found here.

If you’re done with your Saree shopping you must get jewellery to match right? Whether the real thing or costume jewellery, take your pick from an array of known Jewellery Stores, and Cosmetic Jewellery Shops, thoughtfully located either opposite or near the Saree shops.

Festive season around the corner? Have Mehendi (Henna) applied to your palms here. Yes, Panagal Park is where you’ll find an entire stretch of footpath dotted with plastic stools seating men applying Mehendi at a dizzying speed.

So now you know where you need to head to when you want to shop up a storm in Chennai!

Written for the theme

My A to Z of Chennai: The City Viewed Through An Outsiders Eye


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  1. I loved Pondy Bazar as well though I wasn’t aware of Panagal park until today. We have shopped for clothes here but more than that, it was amazing to walk around the market filled with such variety of stores.

  2. Now, this is quite informative and this is going to be one stop shop for all the ideas from where to shop

  3. Commercial street of Chennai!! 🙂

  4. Mayuri Nidigallu Deepa

    I already love pondy bazaar. It reminded me of Jaynagar in Bangalore. I am a fan of such markets too and I can see why you love it.

  5. I haven’t read your series yet, but just one post reading and am missing my Chennai days. P. S. Most of my kitchen items were brought up in Ratna stores

  6. Chennai is the only city that I have least visited. Nice of you to take across through your posts. Wonderful!
    #ContemplationOfaJoker #Jokerophilia

  7. Hahaha…I am loving ur enthusiasm for places in South India. Steel stores here too are like that. People down south prefer steel. Me too compared to melamine. Most of our relatives from Delhi used to shop from here. I have been to Pondy Bazaar and I like such places where there is a melange of stuff.

  8. I have been a forever customer at Rathna stores 😛 Such fond memories, thanks, Mayuri for this!

  9. I love visiting these bazaars, they are so vibrant. Need to visit this one too.

  10. Oh my God!! I love this Temple of Steel. Rathna Stores is certainly number 1 on my list to visit places in Chennai. I can relate to buying things because of their unique/cute shape… I do that all the time too. 😀

  11. This market looks like Aminabad market of Lucknow where you get everything at one place. Temple of steel looks massive.

  12. Mayuri Nidigallu Noor Anand Chawla

    The best way, at least in my opinion, to get the real flavour of a city is through it’s street markets. Pondy Bazaar is going on my must-visit list for sure.

  13. This is one place in Chennai I did visit. Yay! I went to Pothys and bought a beautiful cotton sari and dress material from there. The whole lane is so crammed but people flock it for shopping like crazy!
    I wish they sent someone to apply mehndi here too. Dreading doing it myself today. 😉

  14. Very good choice for P. Pondy bazaar is the essence of Chennai

  15. The variety at Rathna stores looks never-ending. I think these are must-visit places for shopping 🙂

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