Janpath is such a beautiful representation of one of the most beautiful things about Delhi. It’s so incredibly eclectic and you’re bound to find something interesting, even if you’re barely even looking. From the Tibetan Market to the Gujarati Market, to the fancy stores, to the flea market, to the Central Cottage Industries Emporium.

Whether or not you end up buying anything, Janpath is a shopping experience to be reckoned with. And psst, just btw, there’s no way you won’t end up getting something fun and cool, even in this heat.

Tibetan Market

Photo: Urgyen Joshi

Image courtesy: Urgyen Joshi

Most of the stores here sell similar things, such as knockoff and silver jewellery, precious and semi-precious stones, all sorts of glass, wooden and plastic beads, statues of all forms and sizes, and Tibetan Thangka paintings of gods and goddesses. If you have enough patience and dedication to dig through the piles, you’re more than likely to find an antique bracelet, cool trinket, or a painting that speaks to your soul.

Strike up a conversation with one of the elderly shopkeepers, and he may just take out a special article from under his desk, one he only offers to customers he believes deserves it. And if he doesn’t, or if it’s a tad bit out of your budget even after three chais and some artful bargaining, pick up a few knockoff bracelets that look like they cost a few grand in Jaipur for 100 bucks each.

#LBBRecommends:  Tribal Arts {Shop no. 22}; Tibetan Arts {Shop no.17}

PS: You really have to check the vibe out yourself and see where your heart leads you—that’s the best way to shop in a place like Janpath!

Gujarati Market

Photo: Urgyen Joshi

Image courtesy: Urgyen Joshi

As you reach the end of the line of Tibetan shops, you look to the left and see an explosion of colour extending into the lane before you. Sitting under a canopy of trees are Gujrati craftsmen and women selling brightly coloured bags, pillowcases, bed sheets, umbrellas, kurtas and shirts embroidered with mirrors and even more colour.

From radiant pinks and oranges that make you long for a Goa sunset, to yellows that almost give you sunburn, the sensory experience of this little corner is glorious.

The artisans are as skillful dealing with foreigners staying at The Imperial and out for an afternoon stroll as they are with ditzy NIFT students looking for a bit of inspiration, and their warmth {whether genuine or well-rehearsed, only a few can tell}, will put a smile on your face, even if it ends up emptying your wallet.

Main Market

Photo: Urgyen Joshi

Image courtesy: Urgyen Joshi

One of the shopkeepers in this market tried so hard to convince me that this market is ‘on another level’ compared to the rest of Janpath. Whether or not that’s the case, I can’t tell, but in the Main Market, which is the line of stores between the Gujarati Market lane and the Flea Market, you’ll find slightly costlier, slightly more reliable products.

#LBBRecommends: Leather Smith {Shop No. 79} for great leather products like wallets and bags starting at INR 900; Sat Pal & Co {Shop No. 75} for sarees and shawls starting at INR 700; Tantra {Shop No. 71} for funky tees starting at INR 300; Metro Poles Footwear {Shop No. 62} for juttis and kohlapuris starting at INR 400.

Flea Market

Photo: Urgyen Joshi

Image courtesy: Urgyen Joshi

The Janpath Flea Market is reminiscent of Sarojini, but has its own character to it. Here you’re more likely to find slightly more on-point, trendier clothes; from beautiful flowy pants and dark glasses to denim shirts and jumpsuits to sailor-print sneakers and ‘Oh my God, is that Zara? No? But still…’ tops—all for less {way less in some cases!} than 300 bucks each.

Roam around, keep your eyes peeled and sharpen those bargaining claws {or puppy dog eyes—we all have our own ways}. The layout and products in the market keep changing, so you might not find everything we describe here—but that’s kinda the charm of places like Janpath. You never really know what to expect until you’re there, in the thick of it, experiencing it full on.

#LBBRecommends: Check out the T-shirts with crazy illustrations and quotes on the left side, closer to Janpath road and stop by Monga Handicraft Corner {on the right just as you enter from Janpath} for cool lanterns, wind chimes, decorative birdcages, and other trinkets.

Featured image courtesy: Urgyen Joshi