Laad Bazaar

Filed under Attractions

Mention vacation and chances are, shopping will be among the top three things that immediately come to mind, if not the top two. It is a very fair assumption as shopping is a very common activity for tourists due to several reasons. One, there are things that are indigenous only to a certain place and more often than not, they are not exportable to the international market. Two, even if those things are exportable, they are usually more expensive when bought out of their native place. Finally, selections are always better when bought in their own native area.

In Hyderabad, the place to go whenever a visitor needs to buy something that is uniquely Hyderabadi is, without a doubt, Laad Bazaar. The name is most probably derived from the word “laad” which means lacquer, the main material used to make one of their most popular items, the bangles. The market is located along one of the four main roads that shoot out from another historic tourist attraction, Charminar, and it is very old, becoming popular across the ages for selling bangles and other uniquely Indian stuff. In fact, any visit to Telangana and Hyderabad is considered incomplete unless this market is visited. For women, especially, the experience can be very rewarding as there are a number of stores across a kilometer-long stretch that sell a vast and colorful collection of stuff such as semi-precious stones, pearls, saris, and jewelry. Traditional clothes like the khara dupattas are also available for those who may want to bring back an authentic Indian item when they go back home.

Bargaining and haggling is a commonplace occurrence in Laad Bazaar and indeed, store owners and shopkeepers usually set up exaggerated prices, anticipating the haggling that is sure to follow. Beckoning tactics are employed; most of the time, the shopkeepers place an employee outside their stores to try and beckon shoppers into their shop.

In the stores themselves, shoppers may find a room that is cleanly furnished, with a clean, soft, cotton mattress that covers the entire floor. Customers often sit on the mattress without shoes or lean against the wall with a round pillow while the merchant presents the items on the floor. All business are often done on the floor while the back is usually used to sort items or for sewing.

The market has been in operation ever since the time of the Qutib Shahis and the Nizams. It is truly one of Hyderabad’s most enduring and historical legacies.


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