Shopping In Pondicherry
Let`s talk shop. Pondicherry is a favourite stomping ground of the passionate shopper. It`s an octroi-free destination for everything from cars to consumer goods. In addition, there is an enticingly low incidence of sales tax. That the shops casually down their shutters for a siesta, only makes the entire shopping experience more enjoyable.
Pondicherry has long been a centre for the production of household linen and garment textiles in satin, twill, corduroy, poplin, chambray, oxford and cambric. Khadi (a home-spun fabric) comes through as a nice, easy-to-care-for clothing. Crisp, printed cotton fabrics, smelling of fresh dye roll out at great pace from the Anglo-French textile mill in Pondicherry. With a work-force of 5000, fabric from this l00-year-old company are sold throughout Europe, the US, Australia and the Middle East.
Excellent ceramic artists and artisans work in Pondicherry and Auroville. They keep a keen eye out for the right kind of clay and glazes and make the kilns appropriate to the local environment. Lending their signature an elegant simplicity and a unique decorative flourish. Various studios have evolved distinctive styles, such as "Golden Bridge" and "Rhinestone Art" which are both contemporary and Pondicherrian.
Making leather the forgotten way, with exacting attention to detail, is what separates the Pondicherry brands from the rest. Carefully finished, innovative products with quality brass buckles and locks come for a steal.
The Boutiques of Pondy
Shop-hoppers will relish the pleasant ambience the boutiques of Pondy provide. There`s one almost down every street. Upon entering, the fragrant whiff of incense and the glow of perfumed candles draw you further in. They cater to a wide range of tastes, offering stylish garments, semi-precious stones, perfumes, hand-made incense, candles embossed with real petals, marbled silks and aromatherapy products. With something for everyone, the merchandise begs for ownership. French antique furniture bedazzles. There are also quaint Tibetan handicrafts on offer.
Since 1959, the Aurobindo Ashram factory has popularised the use of handmade paper. Its scope of textures and colours has made it one of Pondicherry`s best-loved products in markets all over the world.