Thiruvananthapuram is located in the Southern India state of Kerala, and it definitely boasts shops, stores, and best buys where you can find the perfect parting gift from your trip. Find out more about the shopping this city has to offer with these inside tips.
Traditional Clothing in Thiruvananthapuram
This is a great place to take home colorful garments that honor the culture of this area. If you’re looking for authenticity, then Karalkada in Thiruvananthapuram features traditional clothing like Malayali saris, neriyathu and mundu. There are a variety of colors and styles available in different price ranges in either cotton or a gold-threaded border. It should be noted that Keralite clothes are normally sandalwood-colored and laced with a gold border if you’re trying to emulate the look of the people here. Balaramapuram Kaithari is another recommended place to find handwoven saris and dhotis, or try Partha which sells churdars and other traditional dresses.
Markets of Food and Crafts
Markets in India are fun and active, but the vendors here can sometimes be on the watch for tourists, so pay attention to the quality of what you’re buying. The Connemara Market sells produce and spices, and it’s a great place to pick up fresh fruit. While it’s smaller than the markets in Dubia or Mumbai, you should check this place out if only to learn more about what the locals are buying for their own meals. For home-made crafts and wares, try Chalia which is a wholesale market where you can find practically anything. You’ll have to negotiate the crowds and the prices with the vendors, but it may be the place where you end up finding the best deal.
The SMSM Institute in Thiruvananthapuram
Visit the SMSM Institute (located behind the Secretariat Building on MG Road) for crafts like wood carvings and jewelry as well as more conventional items like bed sheets and textiles. The prices here will likely be more than you might pay in other shops, but the people here recommend it if you don’t want to haggle. The people here aren’t likely to try to deceive you or up the price. Plus, you won’t be constantly pressured to buy something like you might in other shops.
Editor’s note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about where to shop in Thiruvananthapuram.