The Wanderer’s Guide To Shopping In Pondicherry: From Indie Labels To Export Surplus

Ritika posted on 27 November

Yes, Pondicherry {and more so, Auroville) is a great getaway to relax, get in a zen mood and generally do nothing. But it’s also a great place to shop. With most of the major shopping places centred around Mission Street, you’re sure to score some amazing indie designer wear, home decor and even export surplus. So, here’s a handy guide for all you incurable shopaholics.

LBB’s Loving

Janaki

Readers’ Vote

Casablanca

Janaki

Janaki is a project to promote conscious and sustainable living. This is a huge store with two floors full of apparel, pottery, aromatherapy products, hair and skin care products. Janaki is also home to Upasana, a design project from the heart of Pondicherry in Auroville. Following on the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo, Upasana creates sustainable fashion and includes the weaving communities of Varanasi, and the fisherwoman affected by the 2004 tsunami in their work. While they do have a wide range of products, we’ve got our eyes on their indigo sarees and hand-painted skirts!

Clothing Stores

30, Romain Rolland Street, Puducherry

Casablanca

The biggest store in Pondicherry’s busiest street {Mission Street}, Casablanca is home to many independent designer labels. Our favourite is Naushad Ali, who is also based out of Pondy. Known for his simple designs, anti-fit aesthetic and use of heritage fabrics including real fine cotton, Naushad Ali’s designs have a distinct resort feel to it. His collection ranges from indigo printed dresses and kurtas to organically dyed shirts for men and women.

Department Stores

165, Mission Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry

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Cluny Embroidery Centre

If you’re especially inclined towards vintage handwork, be prepared to fall in love with the exquisite work of the women at the Cluny Embroidery Centre. Cluny Embroidery Centre is run by sisters from the Cluny Convent and also has rooms to rent out to guests. Get your hands on classic French-Colonial embroidery of delicately cross-stitched floral patterns done on tablecloths, bed spreads, dinner sets, bath towels, table napkins and bed covers. Bonus — you get a taste of French heritage as the Centre is housed in a heritage building that was built in 1774.

Community Groups

Hotel Lagrenee De Meziere, 46, Rue Romain Rolland, White Town, Puducherry

4.7
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Studio Ebony

Studio Ebony is a haven for contemporary furniture made out of cane and wood. The selection includes lounge chairs, sofa sets, rocking chairs and dining tables with a minimalist design aesthetic. So if you’re looking to buy some beautifully designed furniture from Pondy, remember to also get the nearest movers’ number, as they don’t deliver to other cities.

Home Décor Stores

82, Canteen Street, MG Road Area, Puducherry

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Anokhi

Finally! Apparel with traditional block printing and dyeing techniques without the exorbitant price tags. Anokhi sells ethnic Indian women’s cotton wear with traditional block prints. They’re known for preserving Ajrakh, Bagru, Balotra and many other temple printing styles. Everything is stocked based on colour and design, so you can find exactly what you want. All you have to do is pick your size!

Clothing Stores

1, Casern Street, White Town, Puducherry

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The Cotton House

This one might be a little hard to find and might look like they don’t have much, so set all doubts aside. As soon as you enter, you’re bound to be surprised at the range of home decor they have. Curtains, bedcovers, tablecloths, cushion covers, and pillow cases made with pure cotton, as well as mixed cotton, can be found in abundance so you’ll definitely be leaving with some one-of-a-kind fabric gold.

Home Décor Stores

Jaya Maruthi Coaching Center, 22, Aravindar Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry

3.8
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Kalki

If you’ve been pining after exclusive Auroville products like we have, Kalki is your final stop. Get non-leather footwear, hand-painted silk clothes, incense, oil, ceramics and perfumed candles, all eco-friendly and sustainable. Oh, they also sell an exclusive range of natural home fragrances called Maroma. Kalki is also touted as the best shop in Pondicherry for Auroville products, so stock up lest you don’t make that next trip you mean to!

Boutiques

134, Mission Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry

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Titanic

Ah, export surplus shopping — everyone’s guilty pleasure. Titanic stocks surplus goods from original manufacturers of brands like UCB, GAP, Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren. Don’t write this store off as an outlet for cheap knock-offs. Once you enter, you’ll find that the place is quite big with all kinds of casual apparel for men and women.

Clothing Stores

33-A, Ambalathadayar Madam Street, Heritage Town, Puducherry

3.5
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Auro Wood Works

This place is all about beautiful, handmade artefacts. They create pen stands, bowls, and pieces resembling Hindu gods and, more surprisingly, paintings of Picasso! All the pieces are made out of oak, portia, jack and teak wood. They also ship orders to any place of your choice, so you can unleash your inner art hound without worrying about all the weight you’d have to carry back.

Home Décor Stores

144/E, M.G. Road, Kottakuppam Puduvai, Puducherry

Hidesign Flagship Store

The brand of leather goods that all of us {and our mothers} love so much, Hidesign, was originally founded in Pondicherry. All their handcrafted goods are available at the Hidesign Flagship store in Pondicherry and they also have a cafe on the top floor. Lesser known is the Hidesign seconds store where you can grab some heavily discounted bags as well as impeccably tailored jackets.

Accessories

69, Jawaharlal Nehru Street, MG Road Area, Puducherry

3.9
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