Is it really worth shopping in Agra markets?

#1 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:10
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Although I haven't been there yet, I have this feeling that there would be no point visiting the market in Agra with a view to buying anything. Since I will be going on to Jaipur, then Delhi, I feel like probably I will find better and cheaper stuff there. Am I right or wrong? Is there anything in Agra that you can't find elsewhere? Or anything that is particularly cheaper in Agra than elsewhere?
#2 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:32
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The first question is - what are you looking to buy?

Agra markets do soapstone-masquerading-as-marble better than anywhere.

It's easier to buy Taj Mahal replicas and post cards in Agra.
#3 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:51
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Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post The first question is - what are you looking to buy?

Agra markets do soapstone-masquerading-as-marble better than anywhere.

It's easier to buy Taj Mahal replicas and post cards in Agra.
I am mostly looking for clothes, shoes, jewellery, perfume, bedsheets/covers... I am not so interested in the knick-knacks and tourist souvenirs.
#4 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:58
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In times past, Agra used to be famous for its leather work (shoes especially) ; not sure if this is the case anymore. As Dr.Rudi has said, the Taj replicas that light up in the dark, are probably the only things worth buying/unique. Delhi has every kind of handicraft, curio you might need and that too for probably the cheapest prices in the country. That's because many of the workshops/cottage industries are based in Delhi.

You would be surprised to know that the supposedly "authentic" Tibetan curios sold in places like Dharamsala, Kalimpong, Darjeeling, are all made and "aged" in Delhi!

There are of course some truly genujine curios but then you need to be a collector to tell the difference!
Some of my ramblings!

http://windowtoindia.me
#5 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:59
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Originally Posted by Ortonesque View Post I am mostly looking for clothes, shoes, jewellery, perfume, bedsheets/covers... I am not so interested in the knick-knacks and tourist souvenirs.
Agra has a reputation for leather, so you might consider shoes there.

Jaipur is renowned for textiles, precious and semi-precious gemstones, exquisite jewellery, and blue pottery. (Beware the Jaipur gem scams).

Perfume - assuming you mean something local, then I actually found Mumbai best for this. Given you are not going there, if you were interested in attars, then get to the local mosque about 30 minutes before Salah - there will almost certainly be a trader nearby.

In Delhi, there are some very good homewares available in Hauz Khas Village; and for textiles get along to Dilli Haat Market (the open air one, a guide or driver may try to take you elsewhere).

http://www.delhitourism.gov.in/delhi...dilli_haat.jsp

Still in Delhi, take a look at Khan Market, and also Santushti Complex; and M-Block in Greater Kailash 1.
#6 Aug 11th, 2013, 14:59
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Ah cross - posted sorry about that! Most of the stuff you really are looking for can be found in the markets of Old Delhi at very reasonable prices!
#7 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:09
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Thanks to both of you!
The mosque reference for perfume - is that in Agra? Thanks in advance.
#8 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:17
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Originally Posted by Ortonesque View Post Thanks to both of you!
The mosque reference for perfume - is that in Agra? Thanks in advance.
Any mosque will do.

I'm sure someone has other experience to add to the mix - that was mine.
#9 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:22
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Agra is known for all kind of Gents Shoes and Delhi for ladies Footwear and Jaipur for 'Rajasthani Jutti' shoes.

'Panchi Petha' (Pumpkin Sweets) of Agra is also famous all over India.
Papaya is a Vegetable and Tomato is a Fruit
#10 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:39
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In Agra my wife bought a leather, tailor-made jacket.
We went after lunch to a small store and it was ready at eight in the evening. It lasted that long since she did not liked the lining they had on stock.

When we collected the jacket in the evening, another tourist ordered a jacket. She was promised that it would be delivered in the morning at her hotel.

In both transactions no advance payment.
#11 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:41
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Originally Posted by vonkla View Post In Agra my wife bought a leather, tailor-made jacket.
We went after lunch to a small store and it was ready at eight in the evening. It lasted that long since she did not liked the lining they had on stock.

When we collected the jacket in the evening, another tourist ordered a jacket. She was promised that it would be delivered in the morning at her hotel.

In both transactions no advance payment.
Ah this sounds interesting! Can you give any more details - where the shop was located and approximate price (if you don't mind revealing)? Thanks in advance.
#12 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:49
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Originally Posted by Ortonesque View Post Ah this sounds interesting!
If you're not aware (and it sounds like you may not be) - many tailors (ladies and gents) offer a very quick turn-around throughout India. Prices are very competitive, and the key is finding a very good tailor.

Dare I suggest your travelling companion who wants a onesie could well have it made-to-measure. They could bring one from home and have it copied easily.
#13 Aug 11th, 2013, 15:52
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Originally Posted by DrRudi View Post If you're not aware (and it sounds like you may not be) - many tailors (ladies and gents) offer a very quick turn-around throughout India. Prices are very competitive, and the key is finding a very good tailor.

Dare I suggest your travelling companion who wants a onesie could well have it made-to-measure. They could bring one from home and have it copied easily.
I was aware of it but not so sure how fast exactly - I thought maybe a few hours or half a day was expecting too much. Also I am a bit lost on pricing, how to know which tailor to pick etc. Now, though, you made me very optimistic.
#14 Aug 11th, 2013, 16:09
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That day I watching a famous play on Doordarshan called " Agra Bazar"
You can search, if it is available on You tube and have idea of Agra Bazar ( but kind of, before last century)
#15 Aug 11th, 2013, 16:10
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Originally Posted by Ortonesque View Post I was aware of it but not so sure how fast exactly - I thought maybe a few hours or half a day was expecting too much. Also I am a bit lost on pricing, how to know which tailor to pick etc. Now, though, you made me very optimistic.
My travelling companion had several tops made in Fort Cochin, inside 8 hours, delivered to our hotel at no extra charge. And we weren't there when they delivered, but they were left for us anyway, and the shop sent someone for the payment the next day.

Men's suits are regularly advertised at being tailored in 24 hours. You need to recognise though, that you're not getting as good a job as getting suit tailor made at home - just on the basis of the time allocated.

In an ideal world you would choose the fabric, and get measured. Have a first fitting; then a second fitting; and a final fitting to collect the suit. And all of that over four weeks and longer. Whilst many tailors advertise 24 hour turn-around, you're really not going to get the best outcome from such a quick job.

I paid 34,200 INR for two suits, and one shirt (that's about $650). I can't recall the split - from memory the shirt was more than I would pay for an 'off the rack' shirt in Australia; the suits were much less than I pay for suits (although, obviously you can buy a $300 suit).

If one isn't familiar with buying tailored clothes, then a quick and inexpensive job in India may not be the best option. From a men's suit perspective (and shirts) you absolutely have to know what you want / prefer; otherwise you'll end up with what the tailor chooses. And you need to tell them, because they won't ask.

As a generalisation, you will find better tailors in Delhi (or Mumbai or Chennai or any other large city) than you will in smaller cities. That's the way the market works.

All of that said, have a look on the forum for threads about tailored clothing in the Delhi and Jaipur forums for suggestions of "good" tailors, or post a new query.

Here's one:

Quote:
I ended up at Bentley's (D block, Inner Circle) also working under the name Sharmas. (Phone 23417220). They were helpful and listened to what I wanted. Their selection of materials was also really good. I took in a photo of a suit I wanted made and ultimately I got pretty much what I wanted. I did ask for pick stitching to start, when I went to collect it there was none, but I decided on the spot that it looked good without it... I am sure they would have been happy to sort it out for me if needed. I chose a 120s fabric and got 2 pants with the jacket, for about 25,000 Rs. The finish was great and it looks good on me.
The other advice I would have, is if you are determined to have clothes made, make finding your tailor the first thing you do on arrival, to give them (and you) the most time possible to get it right.

Also, be aware that many men's tailors also make women's clothes.
Last edited by DrRudi; Aug 11th, 2013 at 17:39..

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