Shopping in Ahmedabad

Shopping in Ahmedabad

From the denim, sarees, shirting and trouser materials produced by the city’s textile mills to the rich embroidery, hand-block prints and tie-dye work of Gujarat’s artisans, from traditional utensils sold in the bazaars to modern malls and designer boutiques, you will surely be spoilt for choice in Ahmedabad.

Bandhni:

The bright and colourful patterns of bandhani or bandhej fabrics have become symbolic of Gujarat. These fabrics are produced through a tie-dye process. Bandhini is an intrinsic part of Gujarati culture - sarees called gharcholas and panetars are made for the bridal wear and wedding trousseau of brides of various Gujarati communities, odhnis and chaniya-cholis for the Rajput community, tie-dyed pagdis (turbans) and waistbands for men to wear for weddings and occasions, and dowry and gifts were wrapped in bandhani fabrics. These days bandhani fabrics are also made for salvar kameez, dupattas, stoles, scarves, kurtas, etc, and have become part of fashion ensembles around the country seen on the runways of fashion weeks, in TV serials and at boutiques.

  • Shopping areas:

Rani No Haziro in the walled city, the Sindhi Market and other shopping areas near Panchkuva Fire Brigade, and Ratanpol are good places to look for good bandhani products.  Many saree shops and boutiques on Relief Road, Ashram Road, CG Road and SG Road have trendy bandhani sarees, dupatta and dresses.

A number of stores in western Ahmedabad are run by the Vanza community of Jamnagar.

Books:

As the home of major institutions like IIM, NID, CEPT, MICA, IHM, LM College of Pharmacy, etc, Ahmedabad is a very good city to look for books on art, design, management and other subjects. 

As the heart of Gujarat, Ahmedabad is also a good place also to shop for Gujarati literature.

  • Shopping areas:

Hunt through the books and stationary markets below and around Fernandes Bridge. Patience can yield first editions, out of print books, rarely available books, collectibles, a variety of academic and technical books on a cross-section of subjects, and used books at throw away prices.

Another potentially productive area for used book hunters is the Sunday Market called Ravivari or Gurjari where a variety of second hand products including furniture, appliances, equipment, utensils  and books come up for sale. The book vendors here have a treasure trove of books, magazines, journals, documents, etc from which you could get something rare or interesting.

Vendors in the university areas near IIM, CEPT and Polytechnic can be tapped for used and new books on design, management and technical stores. Art Book Centre near Ellisbridge is known for books on arts, architecture, handicrafts, design, etc.

Besides these academic book markets, Ahmedabad has a number of reputed book stores on Ashram Road, Mithakali Road, SG Road, Gujarat College Road, CG Road, etc.

Block Printed Fabrics:

The intricate art of printing fabrics using carved wooden blocks is still practised in Gujarat and Rajasthan. Some major craft centres are Pethapur in Gandhinagar, Dholka in Ahmedabad district, Jetpur between Rajkot and Junagadh, Dhamadka, Ajrakhpur and other villages of Kutch district, Barmer district of Rajasthan, Bagru and Sanganer near Jaipur, etc.

Shopping areas:

Explore markets like Rani-no-Haziro near Manek Chowk in the walled city for block printed textiles. Some of the boutiques and night markets in the western side of Ahmedabad also stock block printed textiles.

Contemporary Art

Ahmedabad has a pool of known and emerging artists, mainly because of the excellent fine arts faculty of MS University in Vadodara, and city-based fine arts institutes like Sheth C.N. Vidyavihar Fine Arts College (Kala Vidyalaya) and, Kanoria  Centre For Arts, like Kanoria and CN. For those who want to buy or invest in paintings, sculpture, prints and other works of art, some key art galleries are:

            1. Amdavad ni Gufa:

Better known as Hussain – Doshi Gufa, this subterranean art gallery housing murals of artist MF Hussain comprises gleaming white shell forms designed by architect Balkrishna Doshi, with a black painted cobra that winds its way across the visible surface.  Next to the underground gallery is an exhibition hall used for workshops, exhibitions, etc.

2. Archer Art Gallery

Archer House, 
Opp. Gujarat Tennis Academy, 
Gurukul Road, 
Ahmedabad – 380 052. (INDIA) 
Tel:  +91 79  27413634 / 27413872

Run by fine arts major from M.S. University in Vadodara, Anil Relia, this is an extensively stocked art gallery that offers a variety ranging from affordable serigraphs of well-known artists and works of emerging artists to original paintings by India’s modern masters.

            3. Lemongrasshopper

Lemongrasshopper has an attractive art gallery in a beautifully landscaped garden at Shilpgram on the Gandhinagar highway. They have regular exhibitions and workshops.

N 23, Shilgram 1,

Jaspur-Lilapur Road,

Opposite Vaishnodevi Mandir,

Sarkhej-Gandhinagar Highway

Ahmedabad

Tele Phone: 09898034499, 09824252956

             4. Marvel Art Gallery

This art gallery stocks original works of well-known and upcoming artists, and sells limited edition serigraphs printed by its own international award winning graphic and printing studio. 

Shapath, Opp Rajpath club,

 S G Road,

Ahmedabad 

Tel 079-26878801

Art shows are also held at Sheth C.N. Vidyavihar Fine Arts College (Kala Vidyalaya) , Kanoria  Centre For Arts, Karma Art Gallery, Alliance Francaise, National Institute of Design, Shri Ravishankar Raval Art Gallery, Hutheesing Visual Arts Centre,Contemporary Art Gallery and other venues.

Designer  Clothing and Accessories:

Ahmedabad’s premium design institutes, National Institute of Design and National Institute of Fashion Technology-Gandhinagar have created a pool of talented designers in the city. There are many fashionable boutiques for prêt and couture at Mithakali, CG Road, Ambawadi, Bodakdev, Satellite and SG Road.

Embroidery, Beadwork and Applique:

Gujarat is known for its rich embroidery traditions.

This repertoire of embroidery skills embellishes cloth pieces, garments, household linen, bags, purses and footwear available across the city.

  • Shopping areas:

Dalgharwad and other markets of the walled city are worth exploring for embroideries. The night market outside Law Garden can be good to buy embroidered souvenirs like cloth bound files, purses, handbags, bedsheets, dress materials, etc.   There are also many NGO/self-help group outlets in Mithakali, CG Road and other areas of western Ahemdabad. Handicraft emporia at Kamdhenu Complex in Panjarapol and in areas like Panchvati and Swastik are also good for embroideries.

Furniture

Gujarat’s woodwork skills have made Ahmedabad a major hub for furniture. Traditional carved furniture, including antique reproductions, can be bought in areas like Dani Limda and the Shivshakti Industrial Estate of Narola. The Shahpur – Mirzapur area is also worth wandering to look for old pieces of furniture that could be restored.

Gujarat is also a centre for lacquered wood furniture. Generally referred to as Sankheda Furniture, because Sankheda near Vadodara is a major production centre for this kind of furniture, the vermillion patterned settees, swings and chairs are ubiquitous in Gujarat. Another interesting form of furniture made in Gujarat is Meenkari furniture from Rajkot. These can be found in handicraft emporia on Ashram Road.

Ethnic Garments:

Gujarat’s rich textile traditions have made Ahmedabad one of the best cities in India for chaniya choli, salvar kameez, kurtas and other ethnic attires. Ashram Road, Paldi, C.G. Road, Judges Bungalow Road and SG Road are some of the shopping areas worth exploring for these.

Gujarati Snacks:

Gujaratis are known for their farsaans, fried or steamed snacks.  An interesting aspect of these snacks is that they travel well and can keep for a long time making them good gifts to take home from Ahmedabad. Some popular snacks that are good to carry back are muthia (vegetarian kebabs), dhokla, khandvi, patra, fafda jalebi, khakhra, sev khamani, ganthia, khaman, lilva kachori, etc.

  • Shopping areas:

The lanes in the walled city, specially those around Manek Chowk and Raipur Gate, are traditional favourites to shop for and savour Gujarati farsaans. Many well-known farsaan vendors have now set up shop near Nehrunagar Cross Roads, Stadium Road and other areas of western Ahmedabad.

Handloom and Handicrafts

Gujarat is known for its traditional textiles and a variety of handwork.  Being the city of Mahatma Gandhi, khadi emporia abound in Ahmedabad. Ashram Road, Kamdhenu Complex at Panjarapol Cross Roads, Gujarat College Road and CG Road are good places to look for handloom and handicrafts. Around Gandhi Ashram you can find a handmade paper factory and khadi shops.

Mata ni Pachedi

Mata ni Pachhedi or the cloths of the Mother Goddess are ritualistic kalamkari paintings done in a distinctive style using colours made from vegetable extract and other natural colours. Less expensive ritualistic cloths are created by block printing.

Where to get them: 

For hand-painted Mata ni Pachhedi, you can visit master artisans in Vasna. For inexpensive block-printed Mata ni Pachhedi, you could find people at work in the walled city.

Sarees

Ahmedabad is an excellent place to get sarees made by textile mills and factories in Ahmedabad and Surat, printed sarees from Jetpur, handloom woven sarees from around India, and also sarees from West Bengal, Bihar and other parts of India.

Where to get them:

Ratanpol, Sindhi Market, Panchkuva, Sarangpur and other markets in the walled city are excellent places to shop for sarees. Also explore the trendy saree shops at Mithakali, CG Road, Ashram Road and Judges Bungalow Road.

Sweets

One of the best gifts that can be bought from Ahmedabad to take home is a selection from the superb variety of sweets available in the city. Gujarat’s popular sweets like monthal, boondi, ladoo, maghaz, masoor, sukhdi, Rajkot and Bhavnagar pedas, Cambay’s halwasan and Surat’s ghari travel very well and can be carried for long periods. As Ahmedabad has also grown cosmopolitan, the city offers a good selection of Bengali, Marwari, Sindhi and other sweets as well. Manek Chowk and Revdi Bazaar are among the well-known places to look for sweets.

If you want to carry back attractively gift wrapped sweets, some of the good shops are located on Gurukul Road, Stadium Road, Satellite Road and Judges Bungalow Road.

Wooden Toys and Decoration

Gujarat’s artisans produce fine wooden toys and artefacts. Besides the lacquerware of Sankheda, this work is also done at Mahuva near Bhavnagar, Zura and Nirona near Bhuj, and other centres. Idar is an important centre making wooden toys.

Where to get them:

Ramakda Market and its nearby streets should be explored to buy painted dandiyas (dance sticks), wooden toys, handcrafted decorations and games. This is also the place to shop for festive decorations like X’mas trees, Santa cut-outs, Christmas stars, Diwali lights, etc.