‘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.
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.
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!
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