Sometimes, there are shops which you just want to look at and admire for a moment. Curio Emporium in Esplanade is one of them. Run by father-son duo Ashok and Archit Ahuja (Archit being the fourth generation.), the store is more than 60 years old.
The store has been visited by a rich clientele which includes players from the West Indies cricket team of the 70s and 80s, celebrities like Sushmita Sen and even diplomats. Archit says the look of the store has been kept the way it is to maintain the vintage look and feel, and few of the furniture dates back to the 60s.
A treasure trove for curio connoisseurs, the shop has rare and unusual objects to wow you, and they're all handcrafted. They have products from almost all the regions of the country. You can start with the brass idols and showpieces of Hindu gods and goddesses. We saw a beautiful large sized nataraj brass statue with a hollow circular chalchitra (the background structure). You can also look at the bonded bronze showpieces which start from INR 1,200. The brass figures start from INR 500. You can also get rich sandalwood and wooden figures and showpieces to place them on any corner of your house.
Among other fascinating finds, you can spot conch shells, kali and durga idols, miniature auto-rickshaw, Ganesh brass box to store essentials, a telescope and a binocular. But a couple of our fave picks from them were an HMV replica gramophone and a singing bowl from Nepal. You can also score jewellery and accessories such as rings, earrings, pendants and bangles made of sterling silver.