Shopping in Puducherry: What to Buy and Where in Puducherry(Pondicherry or Pondy) (2021)
Puducherry is one of the most beautiful and quaint little places to visit if you want to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city. While most people know Puducherry, formerly known as Pondicherry, for its white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, the town is also a shopper’s paradise if you know where to look.
The best part about shopping in Pondy (as the city of Puducherry is fondly known) is that it is a duty-free destination for everything. This means that goods available here are much cheaper than in other places in India. While the most popular shopping places in Puducherry are located in Auroville and Mission Street, there are several other shopping places where you can shop to your heart’s content.
Shopping in Puducherry: What to Buy and Where in Puducherry(Pondicherry or Pondy)
Here are some of the best places to shop in Puducherry and what to buy in this town.
One of the most popular stores in Puducherry and one of the more prominent ones located on Mission Street, Casablanca is the go-to place for various designer labels. You will get both well-known designer labels as well as labels from local designers at Casablanca.
If you are in the mood of buying branded goods, then you will not be disappointed at Casablanca. You will find brands such as Body Shop, Speedo, UCB, and Vero Moda all under one roof here. You can also pick up some funky home decor items with a twist. Pottery with traditional artwork is the specialty item of Casablanca.
It is recommended to come to Casablanca when you have time on your hands as shopping in a rush here would mean that you will end up losing out on many of the unique items being sold here.
Located in Heritage Town, Casablanca is open all days except on Sundays, from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
A one-stop-shop for pottery, aromatherapy products, hair and skin care products, and apparel, Janaki is located in the French Quarters White Town in Pondy. The store is also home to Upasana, which is a unique project that focuses on creating fashion and includes the local weaver community of Varanasi. At the same time, Upasana also provides employment opportunities to the fisherwomen community that was affected by the 2004 tsunami.
Hand-painted skirts and indigo sarees are some of the special and unique items you should grab when you are visiting Janaki. The store remains open every day from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm.
When you are in Puducherry and want to buy some ethnic Indian women’s wear at reasonable prices, then Anokhi is the right place for you. Located on Caserne Street, Anokhi sells various ethnic wear, primarily focusing on dyeing and block printing techniques. The store is owned by a Jaipur-based company, and they have a wide presence in Puducherry through retail stores for garments, accessories, and even home furnishings.
The specialty of Anokhi lies in rare printing styles such as Bagru, Ajrakh, Balotra, and Sanganer. Anokhi is often regarded as being one of the best shopping haunts in Puducherry. The store was initially started with the goal of bringing affordable Indian wear to more people. Anokhi has been flourishing in recent years and today has many branches across India.
The timings of the store are from 10:00 am to 7:30 pm on all days.
Auro Wood Works
If you are in the market for buying some handicrafts, then head over to Auro Wood Works located in Auroville. This store specializes in beautiful woodwork and is famous for making breathtakingly beautiful idols and deities.
Auro Wood Works is not a new player in the market. Being around for quite some time, the store has built a reputation based on its high-quality products and services. However, it is a small shop, which often turns off many buyers, instead of feeling intimidated by the small size of the shop, venture in to take a look.
Some of the must-haves from Auro Wood Works are pen stands, stunning sculptures of Hindu Gods, and bowls. The shop is open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on all days. You can even pick up several furniture pieces from here if you want to revamp your home.
Cluny Embroidery Center
India is synonymous with vintage and traditional designs. However, one does not typically expect to find these conventional items in Puducherry, which is steeped in the French colonial era. However, the Cluny Embroidery Center comes as a surprise package for shoppers. The center is run by the sisters of a convent popularly known as the Cluny Convent.
The embroidery available at the Cluny Embroidery Center primarily comprises of cross-stitched floral patterns, bed covers, table covers, and table napkins. If you like having embroidered home furnishings, then this embroidery center will not disappoint you. Even more amazing is the fact that the building in which the Center is located is also a part of colonial heritage and dates back all the way to 1774. It is also possible to stay here as rooms are rented out to tourists.
Located in White Town, the Cluny Embroidery Center is open all days except on Sundays and Mondays from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm.
When you are in Pondy, you must head over to the Cluny Embroidery Center to pick up unique pillowcases, bath towels, bedspreads, table covers, table napkins, and bed covers.
There are many other trendy shopping destinations in Puducherry. Geethanjali, Saram China Market (best known for various fancy Chinese goods and other knick-knacks), Habitart (bargain to your heart’s content here), Nehru Street, Serenity Beach Bazaar, The Cotton House, Titanic, Zuka Choco-La (every chocolate lover’s dream), Sri Aurobindo Handmade Paper Factory, and many others should all find their way when you go out shopping in Pondy. So what more motivation do you need? Start shopping at these hand-picked places in Puducherry and discover that this city is much more than its white sandy beaches and water sports. For sure, once you head over to this shopping paradise, you won’t be able to stop after buying just one thing.