One of the most common sights that you will come across on a visit to India is the famous Indian street markets. It is an experience like no other. The closest that most people will come to it is attending a local farmer’s market, but even then it is nothing in comparison to the sights, smells and sounds of traditional Indian street markets.
Indian street markets are usually found at the side of the road and will often sprawl along the entire length of the street. Typical offerings include fruits, vegetables, spices, fish and live chickens. In larger towns you may also find merchants selling clothing, jewelry and household items. The Indian street markets last all day with vendors arriving early in the morning and not packing away their wares until early evening. The busiest time of day tends to be the morning when Indian women will shop for food and other essential items.
Visiting Indian street markets is a great way to see a little slice of authentic Indian life. The hustle and bustle is truly something to behold. The bright colors on display at every stall is a stunning sight and the blend of different smells from food and spices on sale permeates the air. Indian street markets are also incredibly noisy with stall holders calling out to customers and customers and vendors haggling over prices.
Haggling is traditional in the Indian street markets. Many visitors worry about being rude, but in fact the local merchants not only expect it, but welcome it as it breaks up the monotony of their day!
A big part of Indian street markets is of course food. Not only do many of the stalls offer important ingredients for sale including vegetables and spices, but there are usually also several vendors who are cooking and selling Indian street food for customers who are browsing the Indian street markets. Like most Indian food, street dishes will vary from one region to the next with each having its own delicacy and specialty. For example, Indian street markets in the Punjab are are likely to offer Gol-gappy (bite sized samosa style snacks stuffed with a variety of fillings) and Kulcha (stuffed bread) and while New Delhi markets are far more likely to be selling different varieties of chaat and sabzi kachauri (spicy potato curry).
Indian street markets are vibrant places full of lots of hustle and bustle. They are certainly not for those who do not deal well with crowded places! However, if you can stand the noise then you are in for a real treat.
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