Shopping In Guwahati
The gateway to the seven other northeastern states, Guwahati is a vital tourist link point, besides
being an attraction in itself. It is encircled by the fascinating scenic beauty of the mighty Brahmaputra and evergreen valleys that surround the city. The place is well known for its picturesque sights and also its ethnic trade and traditions. Guwahati is the epitome of a mixture of blended panorama with its antique history, pristine rustic meadows and the urban metropolitan life. Apart from enjoying the eye alluring landscapes of the city, collecting souvenirs is a common activity for all travellers; be it a history buff or an adventure junkie.
Shopping in Guwahati is the perfect activity if you want to keep a piece of the city with you after your vacation comes to an end. Bargain markets or posh shopping centres and malls, Guwahati has them in plenty and the shopper in you will not get tired of shop hopping!
Fancy Bazar is the prime shopping centre of Guwahati. It is a huge market area, which is also known by the name Faasi Bazar. In simple black and white, it’s Fancy Bazar but colloquially this huge market area is called ‘Faasi Bazar’ and this is what you should tell your cabbie or autorickshaw driver if you want to avoid any confusion! The market has big and small complexes and showrooms. It is a heaven for the shopping buffs, especially if you love store hopping and hunting for the perfect buy at the perfect bargain rate. The market is cramped and crowded, like any other other Indian market but there are some really good deals in local souvenir shops. You can enter the narrow lanes of the market through the main road and be a part of the buzz. The streets have specialized tribal jewellery, wooden crafts, artificial flowers, wind chimes, handbags and decoration items. You may also purchase the ‘Jaapi’ and ‘Gamosa’ -The Great Significance of the Assamese traditions. Fancy Bazar is also famous for the Mekhela Chadars woven from pure Assam silk. It is a place for a number of silk showrooms and emporiums. As the shopping hub of the city, Fancy Bazar is a heaven for tourists hunting for good deals on souvenirs. Overcrowded as any Indian street market, the bazaar features narrow streets lined with specialized stores selling everything from food to electronics, clothes and accessories etc.
The academic hub of Guwahati, Paan Bazar is equally well known as a shoppers’ paradise with an extended range of shops and showrooms selling almost everything. Be it clothes, jewellery, furniture, souvenirs, home décor items, accessories, food items, footwear–Paan Bazar is the one-stop address. Paan Bazar is alive with young shoppers and hence you will find a legion of bookstores and publishers in every road of the locality. Cotton University, which is also known as one of the most historic colleges of Northeast India is located in Paan Bazar, Needless to say, book lovers from every corner of the state swear by this market and its collection of rare and out of publication books. Even if you are not into books, the shopper in you will not go sleepy during your stroll along the alleys of this vintage part of Guwahati. Keep an eye for the odd souvenir stall dealing in all kinds of traditional
Assamese showpieces and decoration items. Bargain shops are in plenty here and if you know how to play around price, you will not have a dull moment here. There are many restaurants and food joints in Paan Bazar; so after a tiresome shopping spree, you can indulge in some mouthwatering savouries and take a relaxing stroll in the Nehru Park.
Though there are many places to cover while you fill your bags with trinkets to take back home – make sure you don’t forget a trip to Paltan Bazaar. Sitting next to Guwahati railway station and home to Assam State Transport Corporation bus terminal, Paltan Bazar is a thriving marketplace and trade centre. The entire area is stuffed with hotels, restaurants, shopping complexes and street shops. The furniture market here is the answer to all home and office needs. Home decoration materials are also in plenty in the myriad shops and stalls. Go busy bargaining over bamboo products, northeastern tribal garments and articles made of clay and wood in the roadside establishments or shop for various types of tea at the Indian Tea House. Other famous articles sold here are items made from clay, bamboo, and wood. Toys sold from those materials are extremely popular, as well as those made from mud or cloth.
Due to the railway station and the bus terminal, Paltan Bazar is one place in Guwahati that never sleeps; so whatever time of the day it is, there is something or the other for the compulsive shopper! Paltan Bazar is a home to many restaurants and dhabas serving Indian and Chinese food items. The restaurants around this bazaar also specialize in Assamese cuisines and various food preparations like Tenga, khaar, laru, bah gaaz, pitha, etc. Have a meal at Paltan Bazar you will never feel the hunger pangs after all the walking and haggling!
Part of the old Guwahati area, Uzan Bazar is a place best suited for evening walks and store – raiding. Mostly visited by the locals, Uzan Bazar’s fish market, also known as maas ghat, is the main attraction among the fish–lovers. The Brahmaputra flows nearby and a fresh catch pulls buyers from all parts of the city. Despite the fact that it is a local favourite, travellers can also indulge their inner shopaholics in the alleys and lanes of this thriving area. The famous Digholipukhuri, with all its boat rides and other recreational activities, lies near Uzan Bazar and the surrounding roads are crowded with restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops and tea stalls. There are also shops that sell artefacts and showpieces and in order to collect your souvenir, you just need to locate these stores to add more goodies to your travel bag.
The Short form of Guwahati–Shillong Road, G.S. Road runs through the length of Guwahati and is a hub for shoppers. An upscale address for various business establishments and government offices, G.S. Road is home to numerous showrooms and brand outlets. Clothing, footwear, accessories, home décor, electronics – name it and you have it here across national and international brands.
Clothing, footwear, accessories, home décor, electronics – name it and you have it here across national and international brands.
One interesting thing about this happening stretch of road – all the major shopping malls of Guwahati is located beside it. If you are a relaxed shopper who prefers to get everything done under one roof, visit these malls and shopping complexes where you can make your purchases of various branded clothes, shoes, bags and accessories all in handy! G.S road is not only a hub of trendy shopping complexes but is also furnished with expensive fashion boutiques. From multiplexes to some finest A1 restaurants, G.S road in recent times has become one of the most classified places in Guwahati.
This market derives its name from the Ganesh temple located nearby and is an unmistakable landmark in Guwahati. Thanks to its proximity to the state capital Dispur, this place is considered to be the commercial centre point of the city along with Fancy Bazar. Ganeshguri is a hub for designer wear for occasions like weddings, pujas and Bihu. Locals swear by the variety and diversity of fabric and design available in the market and once you land here, you know they are right!
Clothing is not the only parallel in Ganeshguri; you can hunt for crockery, footwear, household
items, music stores, cosmetic items and decoration pieces in the different shopping complexes of the market. Home to a few very popular food joints, Ganeshguri specializes in Assamese food and other Indian delicacies. Apart from these, the presence of several bars and pubs make Ganeshguri a nightlife haven and the perfect place to unwind after a day full of the shop–hopping. Don’t miss out on the Bhoot Jolokia, also known as ‘Ghost Pepper’ (world’s hottest chilli) that are easily available with the roadside vegetable vendors.
Travelling has myriad dimensions and different people travel for different reasons but one thing that lies
common among them is the urge to collect souvenirs. Mementoes are like alarms set in the future that go off the moment you see them only to make you recall, and cherish, the time and place where you collected them. The best places to collect souvenirs are the major shopping areas of a city/ town where you can get the satisfaction of driving a hard bargain and get good value for your money. Go crazy shopping in the mother of all street markets, Fancy Bazar; collect traditional Assamese party clothes across various price ranges in Ganeshguri market; handpick some rare books from the used book sellers of Paanbazar and mix evening walk with shopping in Uzan Bazar. When in Guwahati, you will find several such shopping hubs where you can go for a high octane shopping spree. And if you are into brands and shopping malls, this city is not going to disappoint you either.