Shopping Bonanza at chennai/Kanchipuram.

Hello All,

I would like to start this post with a note that it is very tough to go for a marriage shopping with all the ladies. I am telling this upon my experience when my parents and relatives came down to chennai for my sister’s marriage shopping.

Traveling half a day in a train, all my relatives along with my parents reached Chennai at 1.30PM on Sunday Evening (28th December 2008). We went to my room and had lunch self cooked by me. There started the local shopping in Saravana Stores. Since it is called as the best suited shop for the middle class items, we chose to go there first to have a look at the stuff  in side. They are all very stunned to see the crowd at Ranganadhan Street and Saravana Stores.

Phase I of the shopping started at the ground floor of Saravana stores which has all the saries and chudidars for ladies. My relatives from both the sides (Bride’s and Bride Groom’s) have started exploring the saries in their own way depending upon their tastes and needs. I was so bored after some time, as I was sick of hearing different types of ladies redymades like Salwar Kameez, Chudidar, Short Top, Long Top, Patiyala, Anarkali Dress etc etc.

Whew…!!!! Oh My god. How many models for Ladies. Are all these things really needed for them? Why are these many models not there for Gents? All these thoughts are roaming around my mind. It is not that easy to enjoy shopping in Saravana Stores because the shopping there is literally like a village festival (Called as Tirunall in telugu, Tiruvizha in tamil) with an exceptionally large crowd. I was not even able to move around becasue of the huge crowd standing every where with out even giving a way to  those who want to pass by. Half of the time I spent in supplying water to my relatives and searching for all of them and unite them at one place. 😦 This way, the Phase I of the shopping ended in Saravana Stores at 11.30PM starting form 4.10PM. However, we reached home very late by 12.50AM because of the remaining shopping in T-Nagar.

The next day started very early in the morning. We started to kanchipuram in MTC bus from CMBT. I was damn sleepy because of the least sleep last night and as soon as i got in to the bus, I slept off. By the time I woke up (After 1 1/2 hour) I realized that we reached Kanchipuram already. Kanchipuram is known for its ancient temples and the original hand woven mulberry silk saries. Even though this is my second visit to Kanchipuram, I explored much of it this time than the last time. The temples of Kanchipuram shows up the spirituality and they were built with the perfect Hindu Temple Architecture with multiple number of prakaras (Bounderies).

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Ekamabaranath Temple At Kanchipuram.

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

Sculpture At Kanchipuram

As soon as we got down at Kanchipuram, I called up one of my cousin studying there. His name is vinay, and he is been a very good guide the whole day. Since we reached early (at 7.00AM), we started with the Temple darshan’s. We visited Kamakshi Temple and then to Ekambarana Nath Temple. Both of them are known for their glowry and ancient ness. Kanchi Kamakshi temple is one of the very few Shakthi Peetha’s in India.  My sister started singing a krithi during the darshan and I was very much involved and enjoyed it. The darshan was very good at both the places.

We then quickly had breakfast and hired two auto’s for the entire day. Now starts the actual shopping bonanza. Since Kanchi is famous for the silk saries, there is always a scope for getting betrayed by the shopkeepers if the customer is innocent. As per the local people, there are few places called “Pattu Societies” which are trustable, as they have been given a certificate of trust from the central government of India. This seal is only for the Quality of the silk in those saries, But the rate may always vary accordingly.

We directly striked to a famous society called KK Society in Kanchipuram. When we are entering it, we have seen the many people making Pattu (silk) Saries using the corresponding machinery (Called Maggam in telugu). We were surprised to see their efforts to make a single sarie. It really take a very long time to come up with a beautiful Kanchi Pattu Sarie. Inside the society, we were been treated very well like their own relatives. One special thing about them is that they know many Indian languages and they are fluent enough to tackle the customers in these languages. The saries in these shops cost from 3000/- to 90,000/-. The shopkeeper will show you different varieties in your expected range and once the selections in differents varieties are decided you can bargain on the price. Every customer will be attended in a seperate room by a dedicated attendee who will be sitting with a blanket before him and an assistant of him will get all the sarries as per his order.

A scene inside the society shop.

A scene inside the society shop.

Our people started in the range of 9,000/- to 13,000/- and selected few saries that are very good looking and damn shining. It took them almost 3 hours to finish this selection and now comes the actual part of the purchase, ie, rate. We were not able to compromise on the rates that the attendee is telling. So, we dropped to purchase there after a very long selection of 3 hours. 😦 Hmm…..! What to do? Its my sister’s marriage. I need to have lot of patience in every activity.

After this we proceeded to another famous society called Kumaran Society, where we spend again a long time. Eventhough we left KK Society, everybody were thinking to go back to it to buy that beautiful sarie which we never came across in any other shop. Kumaran Society is pretty good and the shopkeeper is bargain able. More than half the shopping is been completed over there. We couldn’t stop ourselves to go back to K.K. Society to purchase that sarie which had stolen the hearts of every body in our group. We finally got that sarie for 8,500 /-which was initially told to be 12,000/-

During our last visit to Kanchipuram, we went to a shop called Babu Shah. The rates in this shop are fixed, but they are very reasonable unlike any other society. Even though we came across many other societies, our efforts ended in vain because of the bad varieties and high costs. We finally ended up at our favorite shop Babu Shah, which is as usual very good. All our people were utmost satisfied with the rates and varieties in this shop. We spent another 4hours here and ended out day’s shopping with this.

Nobody had eaten anything right from the morning. We paid 150/- to two auto’s as they have spent with us the complete day and went to a hotel “Sangeetha” near the Bus-stand. Every body ate what ever they want, and we started back to chennai by catching a heavy rush bus. Safely got down at Tambaram Railway station, and reached home by 11.50PM.

My advice to those who go to shop at Kanchipuram:

If you are an expert in finding the quality of the silk and if you are an expert in bargaining, go ahead with different societies. If not, Babu Shah is the best place for you to buy.

I hope i didn’t bore you much with this experience.

Lots of Love,

Durga Prasad.


32 thoughts on “Shopping Bonanza at chennai/Kanchipuram.

  1. Hi,

    Nice to read you too had recommended Babu Sah. Though it is quite late to read as we are done with shopping.
    Happy to know we landed in safe hands.
    I had been on saturday, 18th to Babu Sah. I recommend it truly for the varities, cost, patience of sales man, and above all they can speak almost all south indian languages. We never felt we were some where out of Bangalore. Please dont get into trap of sales man who take you to the shops from whom they are paid. If you go to Babu Sah all your shoppping would be done in one stop/shop.

    Another question, is there a direct bus from Bangalore to Kanchi?

  2. i am regular customer of babu shah. last time i went to kanchipuram with my friend we went to babu sah there was very crowded and we waited for 2 and half hours and then the salesman showed the sarees like he was giving sarees for free i asked him to show me the new design he told we are very busy take the sarees within showed or dont waste our time the same answer i received from the shop owner i was very disappointed.
    My friend recommend me another shop named kusal silks in 91 gandhi road with half mind i visited that shop with my friend. the shop was small after seeing the sarees i was surprised that they have very selected exclusive sarees with good quality and they given some discounts which is i compared with babu sah the prices are cheaper and quality of saress are good in kusal silks.
    The main reason i was satisfied with kusal silks only owners attend the customers they recommand us latest design and showed sarees with patience
    I recommend KUSAL SILKS for to purchase sarees leisure than going for crowded babu shah like fish market.

  3. Hi, can any of you provide me the contact details of babu shah and kusal silks as i will be visiting kanchi in a week.

      No.91 Gandhi Road
      INDIA044 27222127 , Resi : 27226719 Cell : (0) 9842321105

  4. Hello,

    I am going to Kanchi for my marriage shopping. Can i know how much will be the range of saree in Kanchi which is worth 21000 in bangalore? And also put some light on what extent we can bargain? As i dont know any1 who is from local or who speaks tamil.

    • ya babu shah is open in Sundays u can also try the preethi told shop kushal silks in gandhi road call the two shop for ur purchase of sarees

  5. i happened to visit babu shah .always be there when the shop opens .lesser the crowd.the rates are reasonable. very customer friendly.prices are no need to bargain. ask for pure zari sarees if you can afford them. simple calculation about their collection.40x6x40=9600 sarees (approximated)and the best part is all are silk sarees in the 2500+range.sub 2500 sarees in another hall.i am a fully satisfied all wedding saree buyers ..happy shopping wishing a life of bliss.
    balasubramanian pondicherry

  6. Hi, such a good blog.. need to know more details on kanchipuram for my marriage shopping… need shop for myself and also for all my relatives.. totally 30 nos of saree..kindly let me know the shops at kanchipuram..

  7. Thanks Durga Prasad for posting all the information..this would help me a lot as iam heading to kanchipuram tomorrow.

  8. Hi durga,

    Ure blog is very informative. Am visiting kanchi coming August. Hope 2 have at east 2 hrs for shopping. Is Kusal Silk is fixed price? I would need to buy pure kanchi pattu with minimum zari as its for casual use only. Can I get within the budget of rp4000 – 5000?

  9. Thanks a lot for this wonderful review. Wedding is really time when ur actual patience is tested and a review like this definitely helps!!!
    Does kanchi has some good place to stay at night?
    One more question what is the working hours and days for babusha

    Angad nair

  10. Thanks a lot for the information. Planning to go to Kanchi in the last week of September. will try out for sarees in Babu Shah and Kusal silks

  11. Wow, I am so excited reading these blogs. I love the sarees on the website and it is helpful if someone from Kanchi or Chennai can help me to buy the sarees and ship to me in South Africa. Please let me know

  12. One of the best shopping I had in Chennai was Super Saravana Stores. I visited the T nagar ranganathan Street store and the other one in chrompet. I bought all the things for my 9 member family. Hope everyone likes it. They got everything in a cheap price, what you want to shop they will have everything in your price range. I shopped for almost 5 hours. I will keep visiting Super saravana stores whenever i come to chennai. Thank you SS.

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