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Maa Silk & Handicraft Industries is located right by the side of Om Communications in the Tripura Bhairavi area of the Old City. This is where travelers head to purchase and take home memoirs of Varanasi's legendary silk sarees. Bed covers, silk ties, brocade, raw silk, pure silk, scarves, batik prints and even leather silk is sold here. A good idea is to come here alone and not accompanied with touts, tourist guides or 'friendly' locals who want to take you to their 'uncle's' silk shop.
Dasashwamedh Sabji Mandi is the main vegetable market along Dasashwamedh Road which assures you heaps of farm-fresh veggies to choose from at inexpensive rates. Walk through this market and watch the locals go about their daily purchases whilst bargaining for better rates and bigger quantities. Photographers are most likely to have a field day with the riot of colors and piles that lay carefully stacked once dawn breaks; whether juicy red tomatoes, deep purple aubergines or cool green cucumbers, you're sure to find it all here!
Tucked away in the by-lanes of Varanasi's Old City lies the Vishnu Tea Emporium whose hand-painted signs are seen on almost every wall of the ghats area and its alleys. Young Vishnu who speaks a smattering of French proudly discusses how he explains the tea-making process to French tourists in their own language. Home-made spices and coffees are up for sale, while those wanting to sample a hot tea before buying it can do so too.
Located near Shanti Guest House, the entrance to this bakery is quite unappealing. Though it nullifies the first impression to an extent with a classic range of breads and pastries and a compact, colorful dining space. The place doubles up as a multi-cuisine restaurant with amazing choices of Indian, Italian, Continental and Chinese cuisines. May be a bit on the louder side as it is right in the middle of a narrow alley, the atmosphere is still conducive for a relaxed meal. Burning Ghat and Lalita Ghat are in the close vicinity. Also an attraction not to miss around here is the Nepali Temple which is just meters away.
Shiva Musical House has an abundant collection of musical instruments for sale. Indian instruments like sitar, tabla, flute and a lot more exciting options line up for music-lovers. Many visitors take these pieces home to keep as a decorative possession. Arranging music classes as well, this store has a reputation for quality and services. Prices start from INR3000. Hotel Alka, Visalakshi Temple and Dharmesh Temple are nearby.
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.