Want to know where the Russian tourists and expats in the Capital love to shop? Well, it’s the Yashwant Place complex in Chanakyapuri, which is close to the Russian Embassy. Until the iconic Chanakya Cinema was shut, the complex was known by its name. But now, leather goods, fur coats, fancy jewellery and Chinese food have made it a hot spot with the youngsters. We take you on a tour through the complex.
As you enter the market from Africa Avenue, you will find a line of Chinese eateries on your left. While Momo Point (Shop No. 2) is known for its vegetarian (Rs. 70) and chicken steamed momos (Rs. 90), Chimney restaurant is famous for its Thukpas, both veg (Rs. 70) and chicken (Rs. 100). Another well-known eatery here is Chanakya Bar-be-que, which you will find on your left. This is the only eatery in this complex that serves Hookah (Rs. 200). The best-selling dish here is the Chicken Steak Sizzler (Rs. 200).
Enter the shopping complex from the gate opposite the Chimney restaurant. This two level complex is known to house some popular leather and fur coats. Walk down the slope to reach the lower level. Stop at the third shop on your right — Kakkar Sons, which sells both leather and fur products. Check out the lamb fur coats that start from Rs. 15,000. The price differs depending on the quality of the fur. Leather coats and skirts are also available here from Rs. 8,000 onwards. After passing by about six shops, you will come across Jayson’s Emporium on your right. Here, check out the wooden elephant figurines (priced at Rs. 50 onwards). ABC, another shop in this lane, sells leather and fur wear. “The quality of leather sold here is exclusive to Asia,” says Nitin Mahajan, owner of the shop. The range starts from Rs. 30,000 for long coats and Rs. 15,000 for waist length coats.
When at level one, stop at SGP Jewellers (shop No. 105). “Russians usually wear only earrings and rings. That’s why most of our sets don’t have neck pieces,” says Pratyaksh Jain, owner of the shop. The jewellery ranges between Rs. 15,000 — Rs. 20,000 for gold and Rs. 2,000 onwards for silver. Move ahead to find Gems and Jewels (shop No. 112) on your left. Visit the shop for semi precious stones and diamond jewellery.
What: Yashwant Place Complex
Where: Chanakya Puri
Time: 10.30am to 8pm
Must buy: Leather coats
Must eat: Thukpa (vegetarian or chicken)
Parking charges: Rs. 30 for first three hours
Nearest Metro Stations: Race Course on the Yellow Line
The close proximity of the shopping complex to the Russian Embassy has made this market a favourite with Russians in the city. If you hear Indians conversing in Russian here, don’t be surprised, as most of the shopkeepers here speak the language fluently. “I have been working here for the past 15 years. I can now speak Russian fluently,” says Santosh, a sales person at ABC shop, who has neither visited Russia nor taken any formal training in the language.