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Puri Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

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As one of the holiest of Indian cities – home to Hinduism’s iconic Jagannath Temple – Puri’s brimming with shops and stalls selling colorful religious trinkets and knick-knacks popular with pilgrims and tourists. Orissa’s known for its vibrant handicrafts, and Puri has plenty of these to offer, from seashell-laden lampshades in bright colors to pattachitra – pictures painted on cloth and palm leaf.
Marine Drive

 

 

On Marine Drive Road, opposite the Swargadwar cremation grounds, there’s a vivid bazaar selling all sorts of souvenirs and trinkets. As it’s so close to the beach, you’ll find plenty of seaside knick-knacks – think shell-encrusted jewellery boxes and shell-laden cotton bags – as well as Puri’s standard Hindu deities made from wood. It’s very much aimed at tourists so you’ll have to haggle hard to get a good price, and watch out for vendors selling pearls from shut oyster shells – these aren’t the real deal.

 

Grand Road

 

 

This vast road runs from Jagannath Temple, and is Puri’s main shopping area. Bursting with emporiums, bazaars, and market complexes, Grand Road’s the place to go if you want to buy anything and everything in Puri. Surely you can’t go home without one of the thousands of cartoon-like wooden Jagannath icons – a fun-looking figure with huge white eyes and a black face – that fill the stalls here. You’ll find a fab State Emporium along here, selling handicrafts from all over Orissa, including fine examples of pattachitra paintings, stone carvings, puppets, masks, sand art and silks.

 

Raghurajpur

 

 

Just a 15-minute drive out of Puri, Raghurajpur is a designated heritage crafts village. Imagine an entire community made up of artists, working away in studios and homes which you can explore. That's what you get here, and it makes an unforgettably stimulating and inspiring experience to see building after building bursting with artisan-made papier-mâché toys, carved wooden figurines, and stone sculptures. It’s also fascinating to watch the locals at work, before heading off with a souvenir.

 

Pipili

 

 

A bit further than Raghurajpur, but equally worthy of a visit is Pipili – a small village lined with stalls and stores selling all sorts of colorful items, including paper lampshades, colorful fabrics, and intricate handicrafts. If you’re looking to save some rupees, it’s one of the best places to buy, especially if you’re interested in picking up handmade handbags, and embroidered wall hangings. It’s fine to haggle with the stall holders, but prices tend to be less here anyway, so you won’t need to bargain as much as you do in Puri itself.