Mehar Chand Market, a bustling stretch of road in the heart of New Delhi, India’s capital, has recently emerged as the hottest shopping area in the city among cognoscenti on the hunt for one-of-a-kind finds. Gone are the longtime drugstores, tailors and small groceries that catered to nearby residents, many of them government workers. Today, young designers have opened boutiques along this half-mile strip on Lodhi Road, selling everything from home goods to the latest fashions. The wares all have a distinct Indian touch, whether it’s a silk sari fashioned in bright colors or a bright pillowcase shot through with an ethnic pattern. And their reasonable prices compared with other upscale retail districts in town stand out.
An outpost of a small Indian clothing chain, this sliver of a shop sells brightly colored long- and short-sleeve T-shirts for men, women and children adorned mostly with Indian motifs. The prints might include a whimsical cartoon of a rickshaw, a kitschy photo of the Taj Mahal with fun facts about its history or an image of Gandhi with one of his noteworthy quotes. From 400 to 1,200 rupees, about $6.70 to $20 at 60 rupees to the dollar.
At this tiny store, shoppers have a chance to see the eclectic Western and Indian clothes fueling the Mumbai-based designer Masaba Gupta’s growing popularity. Her outfits include a yellow knee-length dress with a hot pink border and adorned with black digital print roses, neon-colored saris and blazers and the long, loose kurtas in two tones. From 3,000 to 50,000 rupees.
Lodhi Road, No. 103, Mehar Chand Market; 91-11-2462-2565; houseofmasaba.in
THE ALTITUDE STORE
The tiny size of this organic and natural food shop doesn’t do justice to its range of local artisanal goods like homemade jams in flavors like plum ginger and unusual honeys like lychee; or mustard from farms just outside New Delhi; and other picks from small purveyors such as crunchy chickpeas coated in Indian masalas and cashew cookies sweetened with Indian jaggery instead of sugar. There are fresh spices, too. From 50 to 250 rupees.
Lodhi Road, No. 110, Mehar Chand Market; 91-11-4905-0404; thealtitudestore.com
THE PLAY CLAN
A collective of Indian designers create the goods for this accessory and gift shop. There are graphic print notebooks, pillowcases, lampshades and other items in vivid hues and fanciful patterns like a serving tray illustrated with a bright blue elephant. Wall art, like a playful interpretation of a Hindu god, is also for sale. From 250 to 25,000 rupees.
Lodhi Road, No. 17, Mehar Chand Market; 91-11-2464-4393; theplayclan.com
Two New Delhi sisters in their 20s are behind the designs of the leather wallets and handbags at this midpriced boutique, down a flight of stairs in a retail building. The custom-made handbag collection incorporates popular Indian techniques such as weaving, embossing, hand-painting and embroidery like an oversized tote with a red and yellow criss-cross stitch from Punjab in the north. From 2,500 to 8,000 rupees.
Lodhi Colony, No. 39, Mehar Chand Market; 91-88-2610-5666; risabags.com