Wedding shopping in Delhi: Check out the Inderlok Thursday market | more lifestyle | Hindustan Times
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Mar 05, 2018-Monday
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Wedding shopping in Delhi: Check out the Inderlok Thursday market

Whether you’re a soon-to-be bride, her bestie, a family member, or just someone shopping for fancy ethnics, you must visit the Inderlok Thursday market, which gives Chandni Chowk a run for its money.

more lifestyle Updated: Mar 05, 2018 18:45 IST
Sarabpreet Kaur
The Inderlok Thursday market offers a variety of fabrics, suits, laces, neck designs, and lehengas at rock-bottom prices.
The Inderlok Thursday market offers a variety of fabrics, suits, laces, neck designs, and lehengas at rock-bottom prices.(Photo: Manoj Verma/HT)

If you are a bride-to-be or a bridegroom, or someone looking for anything that spells shaadi shopping, we have something to say to you — skip Chandni Chowk and head for Inderlok.

Unlike Chandni Chowk, the wedding wear market in Inderlok, northwest Delhi, is not a permanent one. It pops up every Thursday, offering everything from wedding saris to the smallest of wedding accessories. The location is the maze of congested lanes, behind the stretch from Inderlok Metro Station Gate No. 5 to a little further than the mosque on the main road.

The first look at the Inderlok Thursday market is a sight for sore eyes — there’s a riot of colours everywhere, bling shining in the sunlight, and mannequins displaying the most festive range of lehenga and churidar-kurta sets. There’s a swarm of shoppers. This place isn’t as well-known as Chandni Chowk, but being a hidden gem, the Inderlok Thursday market does attract hordes of loyal crowds.

As you make your way through the narrow passages, hemmed in by clusters of houses, you can see exquisite finery on display in small rooms — some of which are cubicle-sized!

Customers negotiating with a seller who has suits in an array of colours and designs. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Win-win situation

Rashid, a seller who has been setting up his weekly shop here for the past 10 years, says, “We bring suit pieces, lehengas, and saris from Surat (in Gujarat). The mills there send their stuff to big companies that reject pieces that have even negligible flaws. We buy these pieces at much reduced prices.”

He goes on to reveal the profit that they usually make, unintentionally reflecting the scope of bargaining. Pointing at a beautiful sari in pink and blue, Rashid says, “I’m selling it for Rs 2,500. In Surat, its costing already is Rs 2,500. If you go to buy this stuff from Chandni Chowk, you’ll get it at a much higher price, as a lot of middle-men are involved, who keep their margins. But I got it for Rs 2,000, so, I directly make a profit of Rs 500. Jo Chandni Chowk mein jayega banda, use behter yahi mil jayega (Rather than going to Chandni Chowk, a person can get a better bargain here). As we pick 2,000-3,000 pieces together, it gets cheaper for us.”

Hashim, another seller, who opened a permanent shop in the market three months ago, feels that the Inderlok Thursday market is good for business. “Bill-vill sab banate hai hum (We give you bills and everything)!” he says, proud to be doing business in a professional manner.

This shopkeeper, who gives his name as MD, sells laces and neck designs for Rs 5 and Rs 50, respectively. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

A lace and neck design seller, who goes by the name MD, tells us, “I have neck designs in the range of Rs 50-100. The price goes up to Rs 350 if you’re looking for bandhgala designs. And laces are available from Rs 5 per metre.”

Getting kitted out for a wedding works out a lot cheaper at this market than at usual places. “In a proper shop, you might have to spend Rs 1,000 on the dress material. Here, you’ll have to shell out just Rs 500 in total to buy the fabric, laces, and neck designs separately,” says MD.

Fantastic fabrics

Another shop that caught our attention offers a variety of fabrics; the range of colours, textures, and price is very wide. Four brothers — Jainul Khan, Junaid Khan, Sohail Khan, and Faizal Khan — have been running the weekly business from their rented shop for some 15 years now. But what happens here when it’s not Thursday? Pointing at the mini-attic, where some metal plates are visible, Junaid says, “Baaki din yahaan cooler bante hai. And we have a shop in Sector 48, Faridabad.”

He adds, “Here, we focus on earning from volumes. The margin here is very small. Some customers come from places like Meerut, Sonepat, Panipat, Rohtak, Haryana, Gurgaon. We set up the shop by 9am, but the customers are here even before we can finish setting up. The market remains open till 3-4pm. We have a lot of customers who are boutique owners, so we bring double pieces of all fabrics.” The starting price of fabrics here is around Rs 90 per metre.

A customer selects fabrics for her dress. Putting a whole outfit together is very inexpensive here. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

A customer at their shop – a 19-year-old college student – says, “One of my friends told me about this market. I am here to buy nice fabrics for dresses that I’ll get stitched for my cousin’s wedding.”

That’s not all!

Not all shops are weekly. Some sellers use the front portion of their home for business, and they’re open all week.

Other than wedding wear, you get seasonal stuff — socks, sweaters, overcoats, shoes, boots, woollen clothes for children, and more — at surprisingly low prices. Two pairs of good quality stockings, one full-sized and one for a toddler, cost only Rs 150, and that, too, without any bargaining. Readymade blouses, which can be altered as required, are available for Rs 150-350.

At one place, we spot a showcase of prints in velvet, a sought-after fabric in winter. Aashu, the seller, says, “I offer cotton in summers and velvet in winter. On Thursdays, the market is buzzing with customers, as they get a lot of choices. Baaki din sannata pada rehta hai yaha (On other days, the place looks empty).” He sells velvet fabric for Rs 30 per metre or more.

The Thursday market in Inderlok remains crowded well into the afternoon. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Kulwinder Kaur, a 58-year-old boutique owner who lives in Model Town, north Delhi, says, “I’ve been visiting this market for many years now. This is my go-to destination whenever there’s a family wedding. I get gorgeous fabrics here at such cheap rates.” Talking about one of her favourite dresses, she says, “I got the fabric at Rs 150 per metre from here, whereas I saw a seller in Chandni Chowk selling the same fabric for Rs 400 per metre!”

Surprisingly, many sellers who stock ethnic party wear are reluctant to have their shops photographed. Why? “Are dekho na, bazaar hata denge. Modi keh raha hai bazaar hatao. Modi yeh kehta hai na ‘patri pe mujhe bheed nahi chahiye’ (See, they’ll remove the market. [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi says that he wants markets like this removed. Modi says that he doesn’t want crowds at roadsides),” says a seller, on condition of anonymity.

Suits on display at one of the small shops in the Inderlok Thursday market. (Manoj Verma/HT Photo)

Pro tips

  • The earlier you go the better; the market opens at 9am.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and shoes, there are so many shop you’d want to go to.
  • The market is very crowded, so remain alert and keep your cash and valuables safe.
  • Do not hesitate to enter the small rooms in the congested lanes; that’s where some of the best goods are.
  • Parking might be a hassle, so it is best to commute via Delhi Metro.