Shopping in India from Barter to Shopping Cart

Since the inception of human civilization shopping in India has been the inherent need. While the humans used to dwell in the wild, they just relied on hunting to meet out their basic need of food. Later on as the humans race started to live in the settlements, the society took form.

Shopping in ancient India

It is a clear fact that most of the human civilization emerged in the valleys like the Egyptians, Mayans, Indus valley etc. In Indian civilization Indus valley civilization paid a pivotal role. This spread from the north west frontiers to the central and North of India.

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Shopping in the Indus Valley times

The Indus Valley civilization where the people started town planning, religious practices and developed trade and commerce. This is the first place where we can trace back the practices of shopping in India. So far as the medium of shopping was concerned in the ancient India it was barter or the exchange of goods. Later on different other modes evolved such as Cowrie or the coins to purchase the goods.

Shopping in India with Exchange of Things

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Shopping is an activity in which buyer looks for the best available goods for his necessity. In the ancient times shopping in India was done with barter system. A farmer used to produce rice and the other one was growing millets and thus used to exchange. Similarly they used to pay for the services of other people such as carpenters or masons in their crops.

Shopping with cowries

Image result for Shopping with cowries old currency

In India ancient society after the barter system the inhabitants started cowrie as medium to purchase, shopping of clothes and fabrics was done on massive scale as India was very famous for cotton work. If you look at the figurines and statues of Maurya and Kushana era you find these covered with cotton blankets and shawls grown locally.

Shopping by coins

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The word coin is supposed to have it is origin from the Latin word “cunens”. It is conceived by the historians that the coins were first used as a means of shopping and trade in China and Egypt first around 700 BCE.

What did Indians use before coins ?

In India after the barter system and cowrie shells the coins took place as a shopping medium. The Maurayan rulers are supposed to be the initiator of coinage in India. They started punch mark coins and they had sun mark in the one of the five punches. The society in the Kushana era practiced barter and coins were mainly made of gold weighing 7.9 grams.

Types of coins during Gupta dynasty

Gupta rulers namely Chandragupta, Samudra Gupta preferred Gold coins to be made in their mints. They also issued some silver coins also but we hardly find copper or bronze coins of that era.

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The Sultanat period also saw the coins in the markets as a medium of transaction. Alauddin khilaji is known for his innovative market policy rules. The period of mughal was the zenith of Indian coins. In the hey dey of Mughals the prominent mints were established at Agra, Delhi, Lahore, Ahmedabad and some other places. Akbar time is called as the period of gold coins or mohurs.

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During the Babur’s time the coins were known as Silver Tankas .

During the time of imperialism king George VI issued silver one rupee coin and cuivea. After the independence of India Naya Paisa series was started in between 1957. 1963. In the same time after the world war was over new paper currency Note come into existence and became a shopper’s choice.

Ancient Bazaars of India Image result for ancient bazars of india

The India subcontinent is very rich in culture, history and traditions. Different dynasties ruled over the land and left their unforgettable footprints on the cultural compass. In India various markets have been established during the reign of powerful rulers which still foretell the history of bye gone era. These colorful markets in India spread from North to south are the paradise for the lovers of shopping in India.

Kinari Bazaar , Agra

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Kinari Bazaar Agra

This is one of the oldest traditional bazaars of Agra. This market was established during the time of mighty mughals. As the name signifies Kinari which means fringe, the market was a big center of shopping of Gota, Kinari and embroidery work. Mughal harem of Agra fort housed nearly 5000 ladies and Kinari bazaar was a favorite choice of these ladies to browse for their requirements. Still as a vacationer if you plan visiting the iconic Taj Mahal do not forget to include the visit of Kinari Bazar in your travel plan.

Read Related Blog :- Get To Know Before Visiting Taj Mahal

Meena Bazar, DelhiImage result for meena bazar agra

Menna Bazar Delhi has the age old legacy of the Mughal period it is located between Jama Masjid Kalan and Dalan. Besides the sarees, Punjabi attire and Pashmina, this bazaar provides a wide range of Jewelry collection of Necklaces, earring, bangles etc. If you desire doing wedding shopping what can be other good choice in Delhi. Then choose visiting Meena Bazar.

Khari Baoli Delhi Image result for khari baoli market

The ancient market of khari baoli is the hub of the dry fruit trade in Delhi its is supposed to be Asia’s one of the biggest market engaged spice and dry fruit trade, this market is just walking distance from the famous monument Red Fort Delhi.

Johari Bazar, Jaipur

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johari bazar jaipur

As the name signifies Johari which literally means “Jewellers”, the market is famed the globe as the jeweler’s Market. You have a wide ranging Jewellery choice like polka Jewellery, Meenakasi, Kundan Jewellery, Celtoe Jewellery in the famous shops of Johari Bazar jaipur. Another famous market is Bapu Bazar. Besides jewellery you can shop lenhangas, bangles and other objects. Best way to explore the market is to stroll through the streets in the evening.

Laad Bazar, Hyderabad

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laad bazar hyderabad

This one of the famous old Bazar of India is located close to the iconic charminar of Hyderabad. You can buy the best collection of perfumes and sarees in the shops. You have a good choice to buy the pearls and embroidery items at Laad Bazar. As in other markets you can practice haggling with the Shopkeepers.

George Tour Chennai Image result for georgetour chennai

This market was earlier known as Black town and came into existence in 1600 A.D. While St.Geroge fort was built. When King George visited India in 1900, this name was changed to George town.
You name the object and you find in this market whether it may be clothes, jewelry or house hold items while doing shopping you also get to see the architectural marvels of this place. You can visit the famous temples such as chennamallswarar temple and sevasubranya swami temple.

E. Shopping In IndiaImage result for ancient bazars of india

With the reach of Internet to the common folks since two decades back, Indian banks have given the facility to their customers of debit cards, credit cards. This has facilitated the people not only with electronic transfers, but also in doing shopping in India. Today if you want to do online shopping you find easy option of doing online payment.. If you wish to order for any meals you order with Zomato or Swiggy and you can pay online with ease.

Online shopping in IndiaImage result for online shopping in india

As the online portals in India have increased their level of reach, It has turned the game. Now you do not need to go to the markets or to the retailers. Rather you can search online at Amazon or many other e commerce websites for any objects of your daily needs or fashion or the entertainment.

How do online portals work ?

Most of these portals offers the facility of cash on delivery or pay online in advance.They also offer you a facility of paying through Equated monthly instalments.
What you do only after opening the portal use the shipping cart icon to know the number of items and order it. With your order you got the details of delivery date etc. This is useful not only with the commodities but also with the ticketing or looking other services like tours.

Things to Buy in India Tourist Destinations

Since time immemorial India tour and shopping in India has been the passion of the travelers from the overseas. India has been widely known for it’s spices, cotton, indigo, silk, muslin, artifacts and handicraft.

Agra- Agra is famed not only for the iconic Taj Mahal but also for shopping of handicrafts in your Agra Tour you can buy the inlaid marble souvenirs, leather goods, rugs and other artifacts.

Read Related blog:- Famous Handicraft Stores in Agra

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Agra Marble Market


Varanasi- Varanasi or Kashi is widely acclimated for the Ganges and the famous Kashi Vishnwanath Temple. In your Varanasi tour you can include the visit of silk village where you get to see the traditional looms weaving the silken fabrics. You can shop different silk in the famous bazaars of Varanasi.

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Lucknow– In Bazaars of Lucknow the capital city of Lucknow state are full of Chicken Work. You can buy the dresses and apparels of chicken work.

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Chicken Work in Allahabad

Mathura- The religious city of Mathura gives you plenty of options of visiting the famous temples and doing shopping. You can buy the worship materials, Idols, clarions, trinkets and fabrics in the small shops in Mathura.

Read More :- Mathura Vrindavan Temples Facts and Timings

Delhi-The national capital of India offers you a wide range of shopping things in it’s colorful bazaars. You can visit the traditional markets of old Delhi and New Delhi. You can buy the fabrics, handicrafts like rugs and tapestries. Besides you can enjoy the famous sweets of Delhi.

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Jaipur- The Visit of the Pink city Jaipur is a sort of boom to the shopping levers. It is the paradise for shopping offering the objects like- Jaipuri chappal, Jaipur quilts, Jewellery, Chim pottery, Carpets and lacker ware. You can browse the makets near the Hawa Mahal and satisfy your quench of Shopping.

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Udaipur- the lake city Udaipur is famed for it’s exclusive painting work like Bikaner. The markets near city Palace and Jagdeesh temple give you the ample of opportunities to buy the local things.

Image result for Udaipur is famed for it’s exclusive painting work
exclusive painting work in Udaipur

Jodhpur- The desert city Jodhpur is famed for antiques and woodwork the famous Maharani shop and other shops near the clock tower enchant the shopaholics.

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Jaipur Juti

Chandigarh- The planned city of Chandigarh and it’s sector 17 markets would certainly mesmerize you during your visit.

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Sector 17 Market Chandigarh


Amritsar- Amritsar is renowned all over the world for the temporal seat of the Sikhs- The Golden temple the areas close to the Golden temple gives you the privilege to buy handicrafts phulkani embroidery work, sarees, jut’s, sweater and other woolen garments. Pashmina showls of Amritsar are a good choice to buy.

Image result for handicrafts phulkari embroidery work, amritsar

Kullu- Kullu is Himachal Pradesh is widely known as a hill station. It is famous for Kullu Shawls, caps, Buddhist paintings, carpets and pickles. You can visit the Tibetan Bazar for such things.

Image result for Kullu Shawls,

Ahmedabad- Ahmedabad and it’s celebrated markets are known for Patola silk sarees, Handloom and Khadhi. You also buy Bandhani and traditional Ghagra-choli, bangles and jewellery. You can visit the Law yard Market, Sindhi Market or Teen Darwaza markets of Ahmedabad.

Image result for silk patola sarees ahmedabad
Lady clad in patola Lahenga

Mumbai- In the commercial capital of India you can buy Saris and clothing, spices and other fashion items. If you pine for Jewellery do not forget to visit Colaba can seway. If you desire to buy the Budget handicrafts you visit the local markets. You can also move to Kala ghoda which is the city’s art district.










Dr Atul Kumar Singh Parmar

Dr Atul is a graduate of R.B.S College Agra after the graduation did his Masters in Arts (English) Later pursued Bachelor of Education and Doctorate in English fro Agra University Agra. He has been been engaged in the tourism trade since 1995 , Worked as Govt Of India approved tour escort till 2011, He is promoter of 10thGate Tours dba S.A.M Tours and Travels. He is an avid traveler and travel writer with expertise in tours and travels, history, literature, architecture, social and political.

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