Shopping in Orissa
The state of Orissa has long been known for its influx of varied cultures which has paved way for a horde of different arts and crafts influenced by these religions. While you are visiting Orissa, make sure to shop for handicrafts and textiles which are available exclusively in the State.
While shopping for handlooms, there are abundant number of options in the main areas like Puri and Bhubaneswar. At every important shopping district, one can find Government run handloom shops where cloth items like shawls, dyed and woven fabric and Ikkat saris can be purchased.
The government run shops are the safest bargain as you can be assured of authenticity. But many shops can be located on the roadside as well where you can drive a good bargain with the slight risk of comprimising on quality.
Established and well known shops like Kalamandir and Boyanika in the areas of Bhubaneswar are slightly expensive but you can be assured of good quality and lot of variety.
Stone and metal crafted items can be found in abundance in Puri, but make sure to check the items before buying them as they may be of poor quality. The best option is to ask your tour guide or a local about shops that sell authentic goods. Your tour guide/ driver may take you to certain shops as he would be paid a commission for doing so. Make sure you bargain in such cases.
Hand crafted jewelery is another specialty of Orissa. Balu Bazaar and Naya Sarak in the town of Cuttak are the best places to pick up these items. If some shops quote a higher price to you, make sure to visit multiple shops and compare the prices. The quality of the item may be the same but would be sold at different prices.
Shopping in Orissa is not an expensive affair as most of the items are small and hence inexpensive. If you look at the right places, shopping in Orissa can be an experience in itself.