For Hyderabadis all exhibitions are celebrations, and no one likes to be left
out of a good party. And we might shop ourselves sick at the Shoppers' Stops and
the Lifestyles, but there's nothing better than a good crafts mela to tug at the
true Hyderabadi shopper's heart. Here's the latest.
There's nothing very novel or different about the Craft Bazaar 2001 at Necklace Road, organized by the Andhra Pradesh Handicrafts Development Co-operation. The entrance lands you bang in the middle of the bazaar and leaves you lost for a brief moment. You enter (after paying the rather hefty parking charges) to find yourself surrounded by a number of stalls selling wares as varied as wooden statues and digestive powder.
Apart from knick-knacks like small pieces of artificial jewelry, leather handbags, ceramics, shell work, artificial plants and even stuffed toys, the bazaar has silver filigree work from Karimnagar, sandalwood statues from Tamil Nadu, jutework from Varanasi, artistic metal work from Uttar Pradesh, Terracota pottery from Lucknow, lovely miniature paintings from Jaipur, exquisite carpets from Warangal, wooden statues and carvings from Tirupati, Nirmal paintings, cane furniture, tribal crafts, pottery and lots of local handicrafts on display. Wooden, terracota and brass statues of different deities are available in a number of sizes and prices.
The clothing stalls cater mainly to saris, dress materials and bed covers, though there are some stalls dedicated to crochet laces and dresses for children. Here you can find a variety of saris - silks, Gadwals, Pochampally saris, Mangalgiri cottons and plain cottons. Dhawli saris and dress materials, Lucknowi chikan work, tie and dye and embroidered dress materials are also on display. One stall displays an exclusive collection of Kashmiri embroidery and dress material. Haggling with the shopkeepers over the price of their wares is accepted and probably even expected!
The bazaar is a curious mix of busy stall-keepers and lazy, laid-back shoppers, and with good music (at times!), food, soft drink and pop-corn stalls, and enough breathing space, it's quite a nice place to spend some time in. Even if you aren't such a great fan of handicrafts, and don't really plan to spend hard-earned money on terracotta horses, the Craft Bazaar 2001 is worth a visit.