Hyderabad the capital city of the Indian state of Telangana is one of the best places to visit in India. The city has a lot to offer to its visitors from remarkable historical attractions to scrumptious biryanis and the myriad of shopping options. A visit to any new destination concludes with bringing along lots of wonderful memories and along with it some indigenous items as souvenirs which we can treasure for the rest of our lives. One of the best things to do in Hyderabad is to splurge on shopping. And Hyderabad has some great memorabilia to offer to its guests. Here we list down the items one should take as souvenirs on a visit to the Hyderabad – The City of Nizams:
Shopping Places in Hyderabad
Hyderabad is considered to be the largest center for the trading of pearls in India. Pearls have been a favorite since the historic times when the Nizams of Hyderabad loved to adorn themselves with the Hyderabad pearl jewellery and pearl-studded clothing. It is also believed that the royal family used crushed pearls on their skin as well as a beauty enhancement product.
The court of Nizams boasted of some of the best artisans from all over the world. Pearls in sublime shades of pink, yellow, white and grey and the unmatched Basra pearls which ranged from 50k up to 1 lakh all are available to adorn the stunning jewelry sets.
Though it will astounding to learn that the pearls in Hyderabad aren’t local produce but are imported from Hongkong, Japan, and China with China dominating the market. Hyderabad has highly skilled workers for drilling and processing of pearls.
From Patthar Gatti to Laad bazaar surrounding the iconic Charminar one can find numerous pearl shops in Hyderabad. We shopped at the Satyanarayan Jewellers on a recommendation from our local friends. Satya Narayan Jewellers own branches all over Hyderabad.
Attars or Ittars (Natural Perfumes)
As we strolled through the jam-packed shops in the lanes of Charminar myriad of sweet smell beckoned us to the Attar or Ittar shops. Hyderabad produces some of the indigenous natural perfumes called attars which have been favorites from the times of Nizams with shops more than 100 years old. Attar is an Arabic word derived from the Persian word atr, which means ‘fragrance’.
The famous Moazzam Jahi market also has some famous Attar shops. The array of colorful bottles will evoke all your senses with enchanting fragrances of flowers, herbs, and spices. The shop owner with pleasure dabbed drops of attar on our wrist and back of the hand with information of the source. Whiffing the pleasant smell left us in a light trance.
The attars are arranged in beautiful colorful glass bottles which you can buy in bottles of different sizes as per your requirement. We bought a small bottle of jasmine fragrance which is said to be favorites of the Nizams too. We also bought some incense sticks from the same shop. Attars are non-alcoholic perfumes which make an integral part of religious ceremony.
The glitter and shine of the gorgeous bangles will enthrall you with its hues and radiance well before you make way into the ancient Laad Bazaar or the Chudi Bazar from Charminar. Plain glass bangles, glass bangles with shimmers and the famous stone-studded Lac bangles adorn the shops lining the chaotic street of Laad Bazaar.
While hawkers sell out bangles and other bric-a-brac on the streets the traditional shops have bed arrangements where customers sit and choose from a wide range of bangles. The sellers gauge the size of bangles merely by holding the hands or some by just having a look at the hand.
The various ethnic designs bathed in fascinating colors have been worn by the women of Hyderabad including the ladies of Royal families of Nizams since centuries.
Bidri is a metal handicraft made of a blackened alloy of zinc and copper and is popular since the Mughal ages. The evidence of which is evident from the huge collection of bidriwares like vases, ashtrays, trinket boxes and hukka bases found in the museums of Hyderabad.
The term ‘Bidriware’ is believed to have originated from the town of Bidar in the Karnataka state of India which is also a major manufacturing center for the metalware. The craft of Bidri is believed to be originated in Persia and Iran and brought to India during the reign of Sultan Ahmed Shah Bahmani.
Hyderabad artisans excel in the skillful practice of elaborate Bidri work. Abids is a prominent market where one can shop for a variety of bidri items in the city. The unique metalware makes for an interesting gifting item and take-away souvenir.
A visit to Hyderabad isn’t complete without savoring on the mouth melting Osmania biscuits and the Irani chai. Nimrah Cafe near Charminar is frequented by the locals and tourists to try the wide assortment of biscuits from fruit biscuits, Jam biscuits and many others besides the famed Osmania biscuits. Another hot spot for buying some amazing variety of biscuits is the Karachi bakery near the prominent Mozzamjahi Market in Nampally.
Wait, biscuits don’t make for a souvenir? Well, the delectable biscuits make for a great takeaway as well as a gift for friends and family though you may not be able to keep it for life the taste of the biscuits is something you would cherish for the rest of the life.
Apart from these most sought after items for shopping in Hyderabad, one can also go shopping for dress materials, bed sheets, Khara dupatta is worn during the wedding and other items of clothing for which Hyderabad has a wholesale market around the Patthargati neighborhood.
TIP: The knack of Bargaining is definitely a must to crack a good deal. Happy Shopping!
Have you visited Hyderabad? Did you enjoy shopping in Hyderabad? Which is your favorite takeaway?