The Bridal shopping spree at the Iconic Charminar

Around 2 weeks ago my FB feed was filled up with similar posts and it was all about one thing. #Hyderabad. The best Indian city to live in.
Of course yes, owe to the age old heritage and the vibrant lifestyle and not to miss the amazing night life, this city is undoubtedly the first choice for anyone buzzing with energy and enthusiasm.
Well if you are wondering of why this lady is speaking all about Hyderabad today, it’s a humble attempt of mine to portray Hyderabad from a Bride’s perspective. I know you are all getting excited now, yes all about wedding shopping In Hyderabad and what better place to start with other than Charminar.
The city of pearls as we call it, all you need is to got to Charminar to find the best of them. Let me share my experience of shopping at Charminar as it was always on my bucket list of wedding shopping.
Always start with shopping pearls. There are many shops at the entrance of Charminar, few as old as a century and most of them have bright banners claiming special offers and discounted prices of upto 50%. But hey, don’t fall for it right away, go to a couple of them, most of the stores almost stock the same variety and at similar pricing.
If you are really at sea and if you have the fear of being cheated, There is always Mangatrai jewellers at the corner road of Charminar and this place has been a heritage name not just for the pearls , but for the Jewellery too. I purchased my pearls from a lil’ store called Modi pearls as it was referred by my family friend. They do have some amazing collection and I found the perfect pearl string in the exact shade and color I wanted. This was for my fiancé, as I thought pearls would be great for his engagement outfit. Later I also picked up a knitted 4 line pearl string, which I thought would be great on my trousseau sarees. And now the billing part and trust me it’s a little funny over here. As much as the shopkeepers claim the quality of the pearls you can always bargain it to the exact half price of it (that’s with the normal stores) and yes I closed the deal to the exact half price completing my purchase under less than 5K.
Later we went straight to Laad Bazar which is exactly on the right lane of Charminar. This place is pure heaven. The bangle stores have all sparkle in the world. Not to miss the light scheme and the mirror shelves they place these bangles for display. It truly brings out the nawabi style and I could listen to the Qhawali style alaap which A.r Rahman sang in the song Kannanule from the movie Bombay. Charminar feels *wink* *wink*.
So, I did peep into many strores looking for interesting nick knacks which could be used for the wedding and I found one in one such stores. The Jhoomar or the paasa, I know that it is not our tradition to wear it but hey am I not a Hyderabadi since childhood? So why not?
I found a similar piece in many other stores, but I found the finishing and the color combination of this perfect. So I picked it up and I thought to use it for my Mehendi ceremony. The best part here is you can even customise the color options in case you want to and they would happily do it under 10 mins with no extra charge. I followed the same half price rule for this too and I succeeded!!
For the bangles I just walked into the immediate next store while my Jhoomar was being customised. These guys have a whole lot of an options and you don’t have to struggle choosing your bangles. Just show the picture of the saree and your bangle size, they set them to perfection. You even get silk thread bangles over here (of course not the zardosi ones) and the prices for bangles would start as cheap 10 a dozen to 400 per bangles(if they are lac bangles). Also you can pick up bangles in bundles if needed. A bundle usually comes in 24 dozens and they are much cheaper and it is undoubtedly a great option for gifting purposes or in case you are planning to have a live counter at your sangeet. Don’t forget to give the guy a lil’ tip (usually they call it the ‘katnam’) in case you are there for your wedding bangles.
Also you can get your wedding bangles with your names. They would happily take the order and it may cost you under 1k. But don’t forget to ask for some sample pieces of how they would look like before you order.
Charminar is also pretty famous for maggam works, and the prices there are very reasonable as compared to what you pay at a boutique. You get all the trending designs and they are stitched to perfection. You can definitely try these in case you stay somewhere near to charminar. Even if not, they have a home delivery option.
Additionally you have some very good fabric stores and lace stores. You can pick up materials for arts and crafts or in case you want to design few dresses for yourself.
You have many stores which sell some pretty heavy lehenagas. Stone work, cut work crystal work, you name it and they have a lehanga or a saree in every single style. I being a south-indian and who religiously wear Kanchivarams for any occasion, I could not choose those iconic zardosis and crystal works, but I would definitely recommend if you like all the bling.
Sounds fantastic right? Definitely!! But don’t forget to wind up your shopping spree with the famous Irani chai and Osmania biscuits. May be you can even try those lip-smacking  pani puri and samosa too!!
Finally here are our hacks/tips to survive Charminar shopping.
• Carry some liquid cash to purchase your nick knacks. Most of the store don’t have a swiping machines , so better go prepared.
• Carry a water bottle. Yes, the heat and your shopping may drain you out and hence keep yourself hydrated,
• Bargain to half the price. Always,
• Ask for certificate in case you are buying some precious jewellery.
• Go early. One day is not definitely enough to explore Charminar.
Stay tuned to Brides essentials for some more Wedding shopping Sprees from across the country.
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