Shopping is a delightful experience in Bangalore (Bengaluru). You can take home handicrafts in sandalwood and rosewood, available in state-owned emporia and private stores. For gold and jewelry, you can visit the quaint Jeweler's Street, Commercial Street and Avenue Road. Some of the favorite shopping places are M.G.Road, Brigade Road, Residency Road and Commercial Street.
Bargain hunters favor shopping arcades on K.G.Road, Malleshwaram, Chickpet, Basavanagudi, Jayanagar 4th Block and Shivajinagar, Basaveshwar Nagar, Rajajinagar, Marathahalli etc. The city has also several Malls with multi-plex facilities such as the Garuda Mall in Victoria Layout, The Forum in the upscale Koramangala area, The Lido on MG Road, Esteem on Bellary Road, Total on Madiwala Road and Mysore Road. Hyper markets run by Big Bazaar, Spencers, Heritage Foods, Reliance Fresh, More, Foodworld etc., can be found in many areas.
Many tourists, especially from abroad, go shopping for local Arts, Crafts and Paintings. The best place where you can find these are on MG Road. Here you can find numerous shops like the State-run Cauvery Emporium and other private shops. Here, you can buy ethnic arts and crafts from Karnataka and other parts of South India.
You can buy Sandalwood Oil here (which Karnataka is famous for) but is expensive. Apart from this you can buy Channapatna dolls, Rameshwaram paintings and other beautiful sculptures. Bargaining and negotiation is allowed and encouraged in many of these shops. It is a good idea to decide beforehand what you wish to buy and also the budget.
You have many options to choose from while shopping for Indian Sarees. All areas in Bangalore have local shops that sell Sarees, Chudidhars and other dress materials. Of all Sarees the famous local version is Mysore Silk Saree. These are available in many local Saree stores and government appointed showrooms. Other famous Saree varieties you can choose from include Kanjeevaram Silk Sarees, Surat (Gujarat) Saree, Arani (Tamil Nadu) Sarees, Benares Sarees, VenkataGiri, Pochampally and many more varieties.
Areas to shop for Sarees:
Majestic / City Bus Stand area: Around Bangalore Bus-Stand there are a lot of shops that sell Silk Sarees among others. Shantala Silks here is one of the famous shops
Chickpet Area: ChickPet is known for its history of bargain cloth shopping. There are a pelnty of Sarees and Cloth Merchants here from where you can pick up Sarees for a bargain.
MG Road: Among other attractions on MG Road, there are a handful of Silk Saree stores as well.
Some Saree Shops in Bangalore:
No.26/1, Bh Pallavi Theatre,Nr Kalyani Grnd Down Lane, 6Th Crs, Sampangiram Nagar, Bangalore - 560027
Rukmini Silks Pvt Ltd
No.131 Kh, Opp ING Vysya, Double Road, Kh Road, Bangalore - 560027
Samyakk Eternally Graceful
Opp Lifestyle, Dsouza Circle, Richmond Road, Bangalore - 560025
Nalli Silks Arcade
No.21/24, Nr Trinity Circle, Craig Lyt, M G Road, Bangalore - 560001
Pradeep Textiel Syndicate
A-8 Karim Cmplx, Opp Madhu Market, A M Lane, Chickpet, Bangalore - 560053
Sri Saravana Silks
No.283,Sri Ranga Cmplx, Chickpet, Bangalore - 560053
Kanchee Co Sapthagiri Silks
No.G-21,1st Flr,Pk Cmplx, As Char St, Chickpet, Bangalore - 560053
You can find another list of shops that sell sarees in Bangalore (Link is to a different website)
Where to buy clothing and jewellery
Majestic Area: Alankar Plaza in KG Road, near the City Railway Station has hundreds of shop within its complex that sell clothes at almost half the price of those sold in big retain malls. You should, however, know how to bargain as they tend to charge sky-high prices, especially if you are an outsider. There are numerous other shops in this area that you can check out while visiting Alankar Plaza. This whole area is crowded and looks like a shopping carnival. Stroll around during an evening and shop from everything from clothes to counterfeit watches and the latest electronics.
MG Road, Brigade Road and Commercial Street: These downtown streets are famous for thier shopping, restaurants and leisure activities. There are a number of big-brand stores and smaller chains that give you options based on your budget. Commercial street, in particular, is known for its bargain clothing stores.
ChickPet: ChickPet is a famous locality in Bangalore that is famous for its numerous Saree and Clothing stores. Many of the shops here have been in Bangalore since decades and are usually operated by North Indian traders settled in Bengaluru since some time.
Malleshwaram: This is an old area of Bangalore which caters to people shopping for relegious activities to shops that serve the 'middle class' and trendy shops carrying the latest brands. There are numerous small stores where you can get dirt cheap deals for clothes.
Marathahalli: This locality is right after the old airport of Bangalore and has a lot of big-brand factory outlets and seconds shops.
Shopping Malls: Shopping Malls and Multiplexes have taken over Bangalore as the next destination to hangout, shop and watch movies. There are several malls such as The Forum, Garuda Mall, Sigma Mall, Eva Mall, Big Bazaar, Gopalan Mall and many others that house various brands under one roof.
Every area in Bangalore usually have local shops and brand-chain stores. You will also find 'small' boutique type stores where you can find good deals and trendy clothes. Jewellery shopping is also famous here as in other parts of India and you'll find atleast one jewellery shop in any area of Bangalore.
National Market complex in Gandhinagar (Near City Railway Station and Bus Stand) is famous for its numerous shops selling everything from Rolex watches replicas to Imported perfumes, electronics, clothes and anything else you fancy buying.
They are also a great place to pickup Audio and Video CDs, the latest DVD movies, Music Videos and Mp3s. Most of these are pirated, however they have been functioning for decade. You can pick up a DVD for about Rs 70 and a VCD / CD for about Rs 30.
Other complexes similar to National Market include Sukh Sagar Mall, Bajaj Mall, Burma Bazaar, Hajee Janaas and Bngkok Plaza.
There are many computer stores all around Bangalore where you can buy computers and accessories. However the most famous area for electronics and computers is SP Road and SJP Road.
These roads are near City Market (Russell Market) are lined with shops dealing with computer and electronic goods. The prices here are almost 25% less than the market value. You can walk into any of the numerous stores and get an assembled desktop in a couple of hours.
While SP Road houses mostly computer related shops, SJP Road has a lot of Electronics stores, hardware (nuts and bolts) and a horde of electrical accessories.
Computer Warehouse in Barton Center, MG road is another shop selling assembled and branded computers at rates similar to those found on SP road.
Where to shop for books
Avenue Road is the bargain-hunter's destination for book-shopping in Bangalore. This street is adjacent to KG road near the City central railway station and bus-stand. You can find all kinds of books in this street - from management to the latest fiction novels. You can buy these new, off ths shelf or look for second-hand and used books. One of the unique features of this road is that you can sell your old books for cash or exchange them for books (depends on the shop). Almost all shops here follow this. You can also find pirated copies of novels and general books along the footpath (sidewalk)
Other places where you can buy books:
Strand Book Stall - Conducts bargain book fairs and sells second-hand books
#S-113-114, Manipal Centre, First Floor, South Block, Dickenson Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560042 - 080 25580000
Sapna Book House - one of bangalore's oldest book stores and its first book mall. Also sells Gifts and CD-ROMs.
Thunga Complex,Opposite Tribhuvan Theatre, Gandhi Nagar, Bangalore, 560009 - 080 22262815
Higginbothams Pvt Ltd - Perhaps Bangalore's oldest bookstore.
74, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore, 560001 - 080 25091696
Gangarams Book Bureau - One of Bangalore famous landmarks on MG Road
72, Mahatma Gandhi Road, Bangalore, 560001 - 080 25581618
India Book House Ltd
5th Main Road, Gandhinagar, Bangalore, Karnataka 560009 - 080 22261305
Shankar Book Shop
84/85,Safina Plaza, Infantry Road, Bangalore, 560001 - 080 25595074
Select Book Shop
No. 71, Brigade Road, Cross, Brigade Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 - 080 25580770
Premier Book Shop
#46/1, Church Street, Off M G Road, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 - 022 22883210
Sapna Book Home
14, 4th Block,27th Cross, Jayanagar, Bangalore, 560011 - 080 41307322
Blossom Book House
#84/6, Opp.Amoeba, Church Street, Church Street, Bangalore, Karnataka 560001 - 080 25320400
Bangalore Book Shop
#72, 17th Cross, Malleswaram, Bangalore, Karnataka 560003 - 080 23560193
While shopping for electronics in places like National Market, insist on a demo or test the product you are buying
Start negotiating when you are shopping in Alankar Plaza, National Market and surrounding areas. Usually shopkeepers hike prices steeply and it is not difficult to get a good deal if you bargain well. You can move on to the next shop in case the seller doesn't accept your number in the bargain
Shopping in Bangalore generally gets crowded during the weekends. It is best you head shopping on weekdays
To get good deal for books, head to Avenue road in the afternoon when it is less crowded and the stores may offer you a discounted price
Insist on Receipts for all purchases you make (except in National Market and surrounding malls here) as this is what you will use to claim warranty in case of defects.
Discounts are usually offered by all sellers during Indian Festivals and special occasions such as Ganesh Chaturthi (August - September), Diwali (October - November), Dusshera (September), Christmas and New Year (November - December), Ugadi (April). From time to time, there are discount sales which run for a month.
Be careful when buying counterfeit products, especially if you want to carry them abroad. It may get you in legal trouble.
Bangalore's shopping atmosphere is different as in other cities of India. It is festive - like abd can get insanely crowded. Enjoy shopping in Bangalore!