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One would hardly imagine the possibility of buying a Pierre Cardin pen in the heart of Varanasi's crowded Old City. Calling itself the 'An Exclusive Pen Shop,' PENCO offers you not just designer pens but a whole gamut of office and school stationery including calculators, files, journals, color paints, erasers, charcoal pencils and more to choose from. Stop by for a visit if you are ever in need of quality products at fixed rates.
Think Benares. Think Benarasi Paan! And where better to experience this delicacy than at the highly patronized Deepak Thambal Bhandar which lies right by the Kashi Vishwanath Temple main entrance on Dasashwamedh Road. For the uninitiated, paan is simply a betel leaf smothered generously with lime paste and sweeteners and spices. Eaten and spat out with great gusto (not necessarily into a spittoon), men with red-stained mouths chew lustily on this delicacy that Varanasi has grown to become synonymous with. Deepak Thambal Bhandar serves up delicious variants of paan which should be sampled at least once even if it is an acquired taste and not necessarily something that grows onto you immediately or ever!
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.