Bison Abroad | Bangle Shopping in Laad Bazaar

Bangles — the perfect addition to any outfit. Don’t let the limited availability of bangles in the U.S. have you believing there are few options apart from chunky wooden blocks or dainty metallic bands that always seem a size too small.

India is a land replete with bangles and it’s not necessary to travel far before arriving at that conclusion. From glass to metal, plain to ornate, dainty to bulky the possibilities are seemingly endless.

PHOTO COURTESY Laura Ellen Brandjord | Adornments for every occasion can be found in the lanes of Laad Bazaar in the old city of Hyderabad.
PHOTO COURTESY Laura Ellen Brandjord | Adornments for every occasion can be found in the lanes of Laad Bazaar in the old city of Hyderabad.

In the old city of Hyderabad, Laad Bazaar is a market stretching for a kilometer lined almost entirely by small bangle shops. It is said the markets of Old City have been around since the early 1500s, making shopping here an experience like no other.

On a walk down the street of Laad Bazaar you will see enough dazzling bangles to make your head spin. The only way to leave Laad Bazaar without buying bangles is by not looking in any of the shops. You are guaranteed to find something you love whether it is a set of glass, pearl, bedazzled or signature lacquered bangles in your perfect size.

Every shop has the lacquer bangles Hyderabad is known for in a variety of sizes, colors and patterns. As with all bazaars, vendors will try to overcharge you, so bargaining is mandatory. If they refuse to drop the price to one you are comfortable with, simply go to the next shop and you will find the exact same set with the potential to reach an agreeable price. The bangle shops are very competitive, especially those off of the main road, so they will be willing to drop the price substantially.

If bangles are not your cup of tea, there are multiple stores selling earrings, chokers, anklets and various other variations of adornments. Hair clips sold from carts and stands also offer affordable options in personal ornamentation.

After you have exhausted yourself with bargaining, reward yourself with refreshing coconut water from one of the numerous stands.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is to leave by 5:30 p.m. at the latest. The largest mosque in Hyderabad is in close proximity, and has a substantial congregation. By 5:30, the streets become overcrowded by the faithful heading to evening prayers and you might find yourself stuck in traffic jams for a substantial amount of time.

Laad Bazaar is the perfect shopping experience for all those obsessed with jewelry. So if that sounds like you, bring your best bargaining skills and come to the Laad Bazaar. It is a land ripe with ornamental opportunity.

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