S is for Sarees & Silver Shopping #BlogchatterA2Z


‘Hey, hi!’

‘What is this place you have sent me to??!’

‘Where are you?’

‘I’ve just bought some Sarees, and they won’t give them to me…’


‘…they are worshiping them!’

My Saree loving friend was visiting  Chennai, and when we caught up our conversation, but naturally, veered towards shopping. ‘You are in the right city’ I smugly told her, adding ‘Chennai is THE place to shop for the best sarees.’

I shared the names of my favourite stores with her and she was super excited to go shopping. The next morning I got the above mentioned frantic phone call from her. The thing is, I had told my friend where to buy and what to buy, I had just forgotten to add what to expect at a Saree Store.

In Chennai they just don’t bag your Saree and hand it over to you when you purchase it.

No, Sir!

The purchased Saree/ Sarees are placed before a Picture or Idol of God. A packet of Haldi Kumkum, a Betel Leaf, an Areca Nut (Supari) and a string of fragrant Jasmine is placed on it. The Saree is ‘blessed’ by a prayer being said for it, ‘May you always wear this in auspicious times’, and then for you too. Only after this rite is the Saree handed to you. This ritual is conducted by an in-house priest hired by the store for this purpose.

The first time I experienced this, my reaction was much like my friends was. I kept turning to my Husband asking him what was going on. Now I look forward to this little ritual, and love it. Being blessed is always a good thing, isn’t it? 

I don’t know if this ritual takes place in every saree store, but it does where I shop. If you want to experience it, I’ll tell you where to go.

If you are shopping in Chennai you must shop for Silver too.

Puja items (especially the Deepams / Diyas), Gift Items and Jewellery top my list. I have a special affinity for the Toe Rings available here. The designs are mind boggling and the toe rings mould themselves to my toe. I wear them 24*7 and they are so comfortable, that I forget I am wearing them!

Toe Rings

I have found the quality of Silver available in Chennai to be far superior than the other cities I have purchased it from. And oh, the designs and the intricate craftsmanship! Over the years I have realised that the Silver here not only retains its shine but is easy to maintain as well.

Written for the theme

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


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  1. Wow , I am a forever saree lover .And I am missing the name but there is this particular market which is famous for saree there. Also is this always done? Like placing the saree in front of idol and the entire thing.

    1. Panagal Park is where you will find all the Saree Shops, Mansi. This ‘worshiping’ is done at Pothys and Varamahalaxmi.

    2. Interestingly, in Bangalore also they do puja before giving you the saree – but not in all stores. I also found it nice! 🙂 Lovely post !

  2. What a quaint little custom and sweet too. I love these small traditions.
    I hadn’t noticed the toe rings. They are indeed beautiful.

  3. In some ways, I envy women when it comes to clothing… especially when we say sarees, the sheer level of choices not just in material but colour and work is amazing… for us guys, at the end of the day, it comes down to half sleeve, full sleeve and then plain, checks and stripes with about 10 shades of 10 colours truly acceptable.


  4. Mayuri Nidigallu Deepa

    I didn’t know about this and this is really a sweet tradition. I remember visiting T nagar when I visited Chennai and was surprised to see many jewellery shops with so much variety of everything. Will buy silver next time.

  5. I love toe rings too! I am always on the look out for some nice, comfy designer toe rings. I think I should add Chennai to my bucket list now.

  6. Chennai is THE place to buy sarees. And the jewellery and silver shops in Chennai are out of the world. As a kid, I used to go with my family when we visited saree shops for buying sarees for my mother and I used to insist that I select the sarees. And I remember one particular instance when I really cried the place down when my mother selected a saree which I did not like. I cried my heart out and it was only after my parents bought me my favourite ice cream that I gave the go-ahead for her to buy the saree in question.

  7. In Bangalore, we saw this ritual for the first time at Deepam Stores on MG road. So when we had the same ritual done at Pothys (mostly that’s how it was spelt), I had no reaction. And my entire silver set of jewelry is from Chennai, either purchased when I went to meet my bestie or gifted by her.

  8. This little puja is new to me. Next time even if i dont want to buy saree’s i will go to the shop to see this.

  9. Mayuri Nidigallu Noor Anand Chawla

    The only time I’ve visited Chennai, albeit very briefly, was to shop for my wedding trousseau! We bought some truly stunning saris on that trip. I didn’t know about the silver jewellery otherwise that would’ve definitely been purchased too. We particularly loved the collection at Sarangi, but I don’t remember the ritual that you’ve mentioned!

  10. Mayuri Nidigallu Priyanka Nair

    This is something new for me, I have never heard anything like this before. A great experience it must be, I have discovered so many amazing aspects of Chennai through your posts. There is so much to discover in a city.

  11. Amazing, this is why Chennai is known for following the traditions to the core. A lovely surprise for the first time buyers, but thanks to this post now we know what to expect.
    Silver, yes. I have heard it many times in childhood from mother and out family jeweler about Madras ki chaandi, now I know why.

  12. I have lived all my life in Andhra and never saw this saree tradition. Silver is really good in the South. We get really beautiful toe rings here.

  13. That puja ritual after buying a sari is amazing and new to me. Though I dont wear sarees now-a-days, but I wouldnt mind shopping for one from this shop. Will ping you when I am in your city!
    Your toe-rings and nails and feet are beautiful!!!

  14. This sounds a lovely ritual. I love such traditions. Your toe ring looks pretty, great design. As I also wear it all the time, I look for the sleek ones and yours is just perfect. Also, I have affection for silver jewelry, antique even better. Your posts really want me to visit Chennai once, Mayuri. It seems to be much different from what I perceived earlier.

  15. Never heard of the sari ritual but boy I would love to see it! Such positive vibes induced in a garment will surely make it feel auspicious when wearing it.
    Do take me silver shopping there, M. Whenever I come. I love silver jewellery and would love to explore the market there.

  16. The variety of sarees in Chennai is amazing especially if you are a silk saree fan. My Mom is crazy for these sarees even if she doesn’t wear many. I wasn’t aware of this ritual actually so nice. I love your toe ring so pretty.

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