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Hugely popular for the skillfully crafted shawls, upholstery and scarves, Baba Black Sheep is a favorite destination of tourists in Varanasi. The silk here is woven with utmost care and precision; the owner often willfully offers to describe the tedious process. Neatly stacked in two sections the exquisite fabrics will charm you with a grand assortment of colors and design. A leading exporter of Pashmina (Cashmere wool) Shawls, this shop holds the privilege of being listed in popular travel books and magazines. Do visit for the impressive collection of genuine silk products.
Silk is synonymous with Banaras and the city obviously has an abundant range of silk shops claiming unique weaving techniques and assured quality. Rinku Silk House on the Pandey Ghat is a popular place in the city which has an exuberant collection of silk products including saris, shawls, and dress materials. The finely woven silk pieces stacked inside the store itself is a sight to watch; and the range of colors will surely delight! Do visit this store located next to the Sita Guest House and Chausatti Ghat and take home a piece or two.
Consistently dishing out a mind-boggling range of fresh and tantalizing traditional sweets since 1968, the family-run Ksheer Sagar uses 100% natural ingredients in all its preparations. Literally translating into Ocean of Milk, this shop does roaring business no matter what time of the day or year. Locals flock here to pick up delicacies such as gulab jamun, jalebi and shrikhand (a sweetened yogurt served with cardamom, pistachios and saffron). If the proof of the pudding is in the tasting, Ksheer Sagar wins in a heartbeat!
Vishal Mega Mart has grown to become a firm favorite with the locals of Varanasi who flock here to this one-stop shop of sorts. The supermarket culture has piqued the interest of the general public who have always had their shopping needs fulfilled by the humble corner shops and vegetable markets. This air-conditioned store is a novelty of sorts that stocks all kinds of groceries and home ware within it. Tourists too are often spotted here.
Banaras Art Culture allows you to soak in Varanasi's art and culture right from the time you cross the street and peek into their glass windows that are adorned with sculptures of Ganesha and other Gods in the Hindu pantheon. The interiors are lined with a stunning range of marble sculptures, wooden carvings, paintings, terracotta crafts and other art work. Yes, the prices are quite high but there are enough takers which explains the continued presence of this shop which is housed inside a beautiful antiquated house.
Varanasi has long been associated with traditional wooden toys that are crafted and polished with lacquer, and of the best places to buy these is from the quaint Agrawal Toys Emporium which is in the same building as Sahi River View Guest House. The toys are more for center-table display than for kids to play with however, this does not act as a deterrent to families and kids who are equally intrigued. Souvenirs, CDs, cassettes, post cards and handicrafts are also on offer here. A good idea would be to visit the adjacent Harmony Book Shop later and then head to the breezy Assi Ghats steps for a sojourn.