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.
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.
A local market made famous as a treasure trove of brass products, Thatheri Bazar lies close to the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. A walk through its narrow lanes lets you explore the various kinds of brass ornaments and utensils made by the local smiths. The brass water pot, called 'kamandalam', is a popular item sold here. Additionally, one can also shop for intricate minakari accessories, clay pots, copper bowls and hand-made rugs.
Nestled in the heart of the buzzing Maheshpur town, Godowlia Market is swarming with local traders selling all kinds of stuff at great bargains. Found at a short distance from the nearest railway station, it is labeled as one of the busiest open markets of the city, and quite rightly so. The cramped lanes are packed with stalls selling household essentials, ethnic jewelry, handmade shawls and zari garments, among other intricately designed apparel. Post a tiring shopping spree at Godowlia, one may choose the visit the serene Kashi Temple lying a few blocks ahead.
Located a few minutes away from the Kashi Vishwanath Temple, the Raj Bandhu Sweet Shop is buzzing with activity during all times of the day. Selling the choicest sweetmeats in town at fixed rates, you can even sample a few of the usual suspects such as gulab jamun, jalebi, motichur laddoo and others. Spicy deep-fried snacks that Indians consume at tea time are also on offer. This shop is hard to miss because of the line of policemen who sit right by the entrance to guard the little streets leading up to the temple.
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.
With a network spanning over 120 countries, United Colors of Benetton is one of the world's leading luxury brands. Serving Varanasi with the elegant designs is this store inside SSD complex in Sigra. Located next to the Puma store, this outlet has a vast choice of casual shirts, t-shirts and denims for men and women. Definitely a stop over for the brand conscious and the style conscious, this shop has an attractive demeanor. Also visit the nearby IP Mall Sigra for a more elaborate shopping experience.
Maharani's Art Palace is a one-stop-shop for those looking to take home souvenirs and gifts from the unforgettable city of Varanasi. Choose from a range of vintage collectibles including ashtrays, candle-holders and pretty lanterns to light up your night. Wall-hangings, statues, art works, photo frames as well as home ware like dishes and bowls can be bought from here.
In a city where non vegetarian food is scarcely available, Mellow Bakers is hugely popular with its large collection of imported canned meat. Located inside the classical Kuber Market, this bakery has a regular customer base. Delightful pastries and fresh bread is another appealing prospect at this store which also stocks a lot of grocery. Raymond shop and Tanishq Diamond Store are also located inside the same complex.
With more than 20 stores spread in eight different states, this is a leading retail chain in Northern India. The Varanasi outlet, located adjacent to Hotel OK International in Luxa Road has an inviting atmosphere. Apart from trendiest designs for men, women, and kids, the store also has a large collection of sandals, leather products, jewelry, soft toys and crockery. Reasonable pricing and efficient customer service are signature traits of the store which sees a decent crowd all the time. With exciting offers and discounts during festival times this is one popular shopping destination in Varanasi.
Indica books, located at the Godowlia Crossing opposite to Sushil Cinema, will enlighten book lovers with an authoritative collection of books about the culture and heritage of India. Indology, the academic name for the study of Indian culture is the most covered area here. A vast collection of resources for researchers, academicians and students are available at this charming store. Do visit this book haven, which lies in proximity to the ghats of Ganges and Kashi Golden Temple.