Bangle Shopping In Lad Bazaar
The street leading from Charminar to the square on the west called the 'Chowk' is known as Lad Bazaar. One of the oldest shopping centres in the city, the Lad Bazaar is an amazing mix of the ancient and the modern - an embodiment of Hyderabad. Indeed, there is no better place in the city for the lady to indulge herself.
Lad Bazaar is said to have been founded by Ladli Begum, the wife of Mir Mehboob Khan, the sixth Nizam of Hyderabad. Yet, another version has it that it was called Lord's Bazaar or the bazaar meant for nobility. Lad Bazaar is a later day evolution of the same name.
The Bridal Treasures at Hyderabad
Known as the 'Bridal Bazaar of Hyderabad', Lad Bazaar is truly a treasure trove of charming articles of beauty and utility that has a lot to offer to every visitor. It's shops offer a mixed bag of henna, bridal wear and cosmetics. But the real draw is the exquisite range of stone studded lac and glass bangles, the pride and joy of the women of Hyderabad.
Buy glass bangles in the traditional jewel-like colours of red, blue and green, or in the more modern hues of orange, pink and mauve. One can also get glass bangles spangled with gold, or Hyderabad's specialty the shellac bangles crusted with semi-precious stones and tiny bits of mirror or gems. These bangles studded with stones and glass glitter in the daylight and allure many women into purchasing them. The entire street jostles with carts of colourful lac bangles.
Festive Season Galore at Hyderabad
During the Ramzan season, the bazaar is at its festive best at night with the area surrounding Charminar well lit and full of bustle. People are out shopping during late hours of the evening and it continues very late in the night, especially during the last days of Ramzan. The shopping goes on amidst traffic congestion and wafting fragrance of perfumes ('Athar'), fine aroma of hot-spiced kababs and spicy tea and the flutter of the feathered friends in the bird market behind. A walk through this bazaar is an exhilarating experience with its rich riot of colours.
Bargain to get your favourite varieties at even half the originally quoted price. The Mehboob Chowk, a torpid looking quadrangle with an imposing tower in the middle marks the end of Lad Bazaar.
The Pearl Specialty
Hyderabad is synonymous with pearls. Cultured pearls studded in gold and silver jewellery of exquisite design are a specialty. A cultured pearl strand is must-have in every woman's jewellery wardrobe and can be worn with everything from a business suit to a cocktail dress to jeans. Shopping for pearls in Hyderabad can be easy and even enjoyable. Areas like Abids and Basheerbagh are flooded with pearl shops.
Prime Shoppers Stops of Hyderabad
One can also shop gold-coated articles, cosmetics, and crockery. Black metal ware and wood crafted articles, which are sold in Lad Bazaar, are designed and made here. The highly praised heavily sequined skirts, bags and belts set with sparkling mirrors and tiny beads of 'Banjara' gypsies is yet, another attraction here.
Charkaman and Mitti-Ka-Sher are the surrounding areas of famous for antique jewellery in 'Kundan' and enamel, old 'Bidri', beautiful tapestries, silver, crystal and pearls. Darushafa is well known for the tissue thin silver leafy sheets that are used to decorate Indian sweets and Bidriware.
One can find dye merchants, lacquer workers, silver smiths, all actively engaged in practicing their craft. The street echoes with the calls of pavement vendors selling bangles, hair-clips, dates, sweet meats, shoes, festive clothes, etc. It is amusing to watch young, good looking 'burkha'-clad women coyly look away as the bangle sellers slip bangles on to their delicate wrists.
Of course, if one talks about buying pearls, Charminar is the best place. There is an entire street which only comprises of pearl shops named - Patther Gatti. Lad Bazaar also has good number of pearl shops, known for their vividness and exquisite quality. Suraj Bhan Jewellers, Basheerbagh; Jagadamba Pearls (Basheerbagh and Secunderabad); Mangatrai Pearls, Basheerbagh; are some of the shops which have exclusive sections for pearls. Secunderabad too has its share of pearl shops.
Natural and cultured pearls can be bought in a variety of sizes and qualities at fairly reasonable prices. The price for natural pearls ranges from Rs 20 per gram to Rs 80 depending on the quality. A good string can cost from Rs 1500 to Rs 3000 and more. Pink and grey natural pearls and cultured pearls are a little more expensive. Besides, if one has the uncanny knack of bargaining, Hyderabad is the best bet.