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.
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.
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,