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Lassi, a yogurt drink topped with fruits and spices, is hugely popular in the Northern side of India, and Varanasi has the atmospheric Blue Lassi Shop to boast an exclusive shop. Painted in blazing blue, the small outlet is on the narrow alley leading to the mighty Kashi Vishwanath Temple. The small seating area has a nice display of photographs. Served in earthen pots, the drink is a must-try while in India; look no further than this blue laden charmer to try it out.
In a city that is synonymous with the celebrated Banarasi Silk Sari, there is no dearth of shops selling this exquisite Indian garment worn by women across the country. Hira Silk Palace is one such example which is hard to miss owning to its prime location on the main Dasashwamedh Road. Not just pure silk, you can also pick up Baluchari, Jamdani, cotton and other interesting variations in a hue of colors to suit your taste. This shop manufactures its own sarees which makes it yet another reason to stop by. The well-informed staff will do their best to give you a quick lesson on the finer nuances of this elegant garment.
With a visiting card that reads 'Save your Time & Money', Raghulal Sri Saree Factory surely stands out from the heaps of garment shops that line Dasashwamedh Road. This shop does not welcome slimy touts or guides who are paid commissions for roping in unsuspecting tourists. The result : authentic sarees at factory rates! An interesting range of colors, styles and fabrics await you here, but while in Banaras, picking up the much talked-about Banarasi Silk Saree is definitely in order!
Visitors to India are fascinated by the endless pantheon of Gods in all forms, colors and sizes. Rajasthan Moorthi Kala Kendra caters to this fascination by letting you take home these deities in the form of marble and stone idols. Exquisite carvings are a signature with this shop, whose owners are from Jaipur - Capital city of Rajasthan (another must-visit Indian State). It's also possible to get names engraved onto the gift items. A visit to this quaint shop tucked away along Dasashwamedh Road is a must! Bargaining is possible.
Prince Silk Palace may not appeal to the budget-conscious traveler as it tends to deal mostly with affluent charter tourist groups or on a commission basis with touts and guides who convince travelers to visit their 'uncle's shop. It is recommended to enter this shop as a walk-in and preferably without the accompaniment of a guide; this way you won't be paying 30% extra for the guide's commission charges. Raw silk, fine silk, leather silk, Gandhi silk, silk pashminas, ties, scarves and bed covers are all on offer. The portly owner who goes by the name of Prince will set you down on his cushioned floors and unfurl an array of sheets, shawls or sarees before you. Prince offers good options for those wanting to take home a piece of the famed Benarasi silk works.
Making the most of its prime location along the busy Dasashwamedh Road, Sunita Beads Shop is one place where you will be spoilt for choice. Every inch of space on all three walls are taken up by jewelry on display. Whether its shiny bracelets, earrings, anklets, necklaces or colorful glassy beads that catch your eye, it's all for the taking here. Be warned: you may have have a tough time deciding what to finally pick up especially since the mind-boggling number of displays spill from the walls onto the floor.