In the last two years, malls changed the way we shopped in Delhi. Families, couples, youngsters found it cool and ‘with it’. Ever since, it’s not easy to be a small marketplace in the capital. But when we found residents of Hauz Khas, SDA, Green Park, Vasant Kunj and Munirka flocking the Aurobindo Place market, we had to go there and find out ‘why’. For one, parking is easy, conveniently located and close to the shops. Entering the shopping complex is like being zapped to another world - where everybody knows your name, no one is in a hurry and time is not a pricey commodity. It’s altogether refreshing, relaxing and totally de-stressing. And that’s not all. It is well-stocked with all the products you will ever need. From baby clothes, toys, pet food to jewelery, groceries, magazines and medicines, this is your one-stop market for all your needs.
This and That
There’s even a slice of history tucked away here. According to shop owners, the market is around 30 years old. A young gentleman at Maya Toys says that his father and grandfather claimed that the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi had bought toys from them. It’s easy to understand why. Colour-changing cars, bright hula hoops and PC games... the shop is every kid’s dream come true. In the vicinity is Kids Hut. Clothes for the baby and baba with accessories at affordable prices make the shop popular even for those who don’t live in the neighborhood. Looking for books? Try Midland bookstore. Comics, magazines, classics, bestsellers... well, actually a range that will keep the entire family happy, will keep you hooked for a long time. In fact, Midland is one of the main attractions of this market. The bookstore has enjoyed a steady inflow of regulars since it was set up in 1988. For the more academically-oriented, there is Jain Book Agency where you can even buy stamp papers and tax forms.
What a Gem!
But if you’re not a bibliophile, don’t fret... the market is great for jewelery shopping too. Browse through Pyare Lal Jewelers for gemstone jewelery, as well as gold, silver and diamond. Not only is it nominally priced (especially if you compare it to snooty, up-market equivalents) there is a lot to choose from. Silver earrings in quirky shapes, rings, anklets, armlets, bracelets, necklaces, even artifacts, are picked up daily by shoppers. The other favorites in this market are the stalls stocking clips, hair bands and accessories. There’s a lot more. From a comprehensive home appliance store to colorful solutions for your wall and fixtures and fittings for your bathroom, the market has all that you would need to decorate your home.
All that shopping can make anyone hungry. Head to quality Paneer Bhandar and try the famous badam milk. It is also a great place to shop for cottage cheese, pizza bases, juice, mushroom, sprouts, bread and biscuits. Two restaurants - Kabila and Wimpy’s - take care of your hunger pangs. Try out the delicious butter chicken, mutton biryani and tandoori mushroom at Kabila. But if you don’t have time for a sit-down meal, grab a burger and shake from Wimpy’s.
• When driving towards Hauz Khas from AIIMS, the market falls on the right
• Aurobindo Place market is closed on Tuesday
• A well-maintained park with swings in the middle of the complex is a great hit with children
• After shopping, relax at the Deer Park in Safdarjang Enclave or at the monuments close to the market