Chennai (Madras) Shopping
Chennai offers a wide variety of traditional and trendy merchandise for tourists to take home from their visit. The shopping opportunities are seemingly endless!
What to Buy
Chennai is renowned for a large number of traditional handicrafts that are must-buys during your visit to the capital city. You’ll find a variety of beautiful brass, stone, wood and ivory goods adorned with exquisite stone carvings. Besides the home-produced specialties, Chennai also provides a wide variety of goods collected from across Tamil Nadu and the country, meaning you’ll discover a number of unique offerings of South India. Other items to look for include Pattamara Mats, traditional jewelry, metal works and leather (bikinis, bags and shoes). Of course, there is the world-famous beautiful silk saris that are a must-buy.
Where to Shop
The most popular shopping centers are in Rannganatha Street in T. Nagar and Anna Salai. Other recommended places are:
- Spencer Plaza
- Higginbothams Private Limited (books)
- Nalli (silks)
- Radha Silk Emporium
- Kalpa Druma Handicraft
- D’Hut (masks and Decor from SE Asia)
Usman road is also a very lively shopping area.
Buying “authentic” arts and crafts in India can be dicey. There are a lot of swindlers and otherwise well-meaning people trying to earn a living, along with legitimate art dealers. Also, a difficult issue for a foreigner in Chennai is to find a shop oriented to the Western buyer’s preferences. One of the best is Alison’s Fabrics. The shop combines the finest of Indian handicrafts, best quality fabrics including silk “on meter” (difficult to find in other shops including specialized silk houses), lades bags, cotton and silk cushion covers, screens, window shades and the finest antiques furniture.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about shopping in Chennai (Madras).