Yoga clothes in Rishikesh...
Rishikesh is 138 miles from Delhi. It's a holy city for Hindus and a famous centre of pilgrimage. It's also known as the gateway to the Himalayas. This “yoga capital of the world” is a relatively serene town that meanders along the jewel-green Ganges River as it cascades through a beautiful valley among the Himalayan foothills. There are many safe accommodation options in ashrams and guesthouses and lots of opportunity to take yoga classes, study and meet other women traveling alone.
Rishikesh has some surprisngly good clothing stores, mostly concentrated around the Madras Cafe in Ram Jhula. You can get flowing kurtahs (tunics) and wide-legged trousers in light cotton, perfect for doing yoga Indian-style.
(Submitted by Mariellen, Toronto, Canada).
Book shopping in Darjeeling...
I'd like to recommend a really nice bookstore I came across in my travels. It is the Oxford Bookstore (telephone 2254325) in Darjeeling, West Bengal, India. The store has a large selection of all sorts of books in English. I found a book I was looking for that was out of print in the United States. Of special interest -- when I was there I saw so many books on the history of India, Tibet, and mountain climbing in the Himalayas etc.
(Submitted by Linda, Fairbanks, Alaska)
Gift shopping in Mumbai...
Mumbai (Bombay) is a shoppers paradise and the number of places you can get gifts at is mind boggling. But if you are coming to the city and want to take gifts home, you would like them to be of a certain quality. I am listing below three stores that offer the gamut of Indian handicrafts in a variety of price ranges.
Tresorrie: Linking Road, Santa Cruz West, Mumbai; Infinity Mall, New Link Road, Andheri West, Mumbai -53.: offers handicrafts of all sorts; also stuff made of handmade and recycled paper, furnishings and little gifts...like the well loved Ganesh -- our round bellied GOD -- statues, lamps, frames, et al
The Center (also known as the Center for Arts and Crafts), Juhu shopping complex, Gulmohar Road, Mumbai: little knicks and knacks, Rajasthani mirror work, liltle statues, paper weights, pashminas, ladies tops, furnishings, carvings, et al
FabIndia: Pali Hill, Bandra West, Khar West, R-Mall Mulund: Offers the gamut of Indian handloom fabrics. They also offer dresses, skirts, jackets, scarves and the like in Indian fabrics, designs, motifs.
Whenever I have travelled abroad, I have picked up gifts from these three stores and the reactions of the recipients has always brought a warm glow to my heart.
There are many more but I have taken foreign colleagues, friends and family to these stores and we have never returned empty handed. Warm regards to all.
(Submitted by Kirti. Mombai (Bombay), India)
Shopping scoops in New Delhi...
In New Delhi there are two shops that all the expat women simply rave about. So bring along an extra bag and devote some time =to tracking down these 'made in India' specialties. It's great fun!
Fabindia offers a stunning selection of carpets, bedspreads, bed linens, cotton tablecloths, napkins and placemats. Expect to pay at least a half of what you spend at home. Perfect present potential! Their address is 14 'N' Block Market, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi.
Bonus tip -- Make note of your table and bed measurements before you leave. Carry swatches of material if you want to match your purchases with décor you already have. Carry a tape measure so that you can be sure that what you are buying will fit properly.
At Anokhi, 32 Khan Market, New Delhi, Journeywoman found the best selection of cotton fashions at very reasonable prices. Their cotton bathrobes are simply wonderful. However, while their t-shirts wear beautifully, they need to be handwashed in order to keep their shape. Mine are still perfect after two seasons of wear.
P.S. If you are worried about finding these places on your own, ask your hotel to book a reputable car and driver for you. Their half day rates are far more reasonable than you would imagine. Better still, team up with another woman and share both the fun and the transportation expenses with her.
(Source: Evelyn Hannon, Journeywoman Editor)
More relaxed shopping in Delhi...
I love shopping in Delhi, but I know it can be an overwhelming experience for the uninitiated. If you want to shop in a more relaxed, upscale environment, follow the diplomatic crowd to Khan Market in central New Delhi, close to the Lodhi Gardens. You can easily spend at least half a day in great stores like Anokhi, Biotique (for Ayurvedic skin care), Amrapali Jewellers, Fabinidia and the Full Circle bookstore; and stop for lunch at the Big Chill, the Market Cafe or the Turtle Cafe. And if you are missing food from home, specialty food stores carry European cheese, British biscuits, American breakfast cereal and even Canadian maple syrup -- for a price.
Click here to watch a video about Khan Market. It will give you a great idea of what it's like.
(Submitted by Mariellen, Toronto, Canada)
She shops around the world