The origins of the saree date back to the Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the oldest cultures in the world. But time has failed to diminish the popularity of this beautiful Indian garment. The six-yard drape is firmly anchored in the country’s culture and continues to stand as a proud national symbol. If you’re in Delhi and want to buy a saree, these are the best shops to visit.
Raw Mango can be credited with popularising the humble, and often ignored, handwoven saree by lending it a contemporary touch. The brand employs around 500 artisans, and it takes at least 10 days to create a simple saree by hand. Raw Mango sarees have also been presented at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Ogaan is a multi-brand store housing collections from some of the most famous Indian designers. All Ogaan stores are beautifully designed, and their huge saree collection is a fine example of outstanding Indian craftsmanship. They have two flagship stores at Hauz Khas Village and Chanakyapuri and a wedding shop located at Mehrauli.
Ogaan, H-2 Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi, India, +91 9711 9919 98
Ogaan, No. 3 & 4, Malcha Marg Market, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, India, +91 011 4171 6121
Preeti S Kapoor
If you’re looking for an exquisite saree to wear to a wedding or a festive party, then you’ll be spoilt for choice at Preeti S Kapoor’s store. Even a whole list of Bollywood stars have endorsed the brand, and seeing actresses wearing a Preeti S Kapoor ensemble has become a regular feature.
Preeti S Kapoor, 40, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, India, +91 9810 2165 15
Banarasi sarees, which originated in the holy city of Varanasi, are one of the most sought-after drapes in India. They’re recognised for their rich silk fabric and heavy gold and silver brocades. Bageecha is a brand that has modernised these traditional sarees, and the results are stunning.
Bageecha, 87B, Baba House, Shahpur Jat, New Delhi, India, +91 11 4906 5769
The Shaatika store in Connaught Place only stocks handcrafted Indian wear and has a selection of pure silk sarees all handmade by traditional craftsmen from various regions of India. They have a diverse collection of saree designs that suit every budget.
The first Nalli store opened in Chennai in 1928. About 60 years later, not only has the brand made its mark across all major cities in India but also has outlets in Singapore, New Jersey and California. In New Delhi, there are three massive Nalli stores, offering a wide array of designs.
Nalli, D-2, South Extension Part II, New Delhi, India, +91 11 262 699 24
Nalli, P-7/90, Connaught Place, New Delhi, India, +91 11 237 471 54
Nalli, M 12, GK II Market, New Delhi, India, +91 11 292 220 51
Handloom sarees are created by artisans, mostly from rural areas, using traditional weaving methods, and Shalmalini offers pure handloom sarees sourced from different parts of India. You will find attractive sarees made of fabrics such as raw silk, jute and mulberry silk here, which are all reasonably priced.
Shalmalini, C-155, Lajpat Nagar 2, New Delhi, India, +91 8826 5146 47
Pratham: The Saree Courtyard
Pratham is a one-of-a-kind brand that has found a way to promote the traditional Pichhwai art form through sarees. Pichhwai art uses paintings to narrate the life story of Lord Krishna and is mostly found in the town of Nathdwara in Rajasthan. What Pratham does is print these beautiful paintings onto handwoven linen sarees, and the brand has, unsurprisingly, found many takers.
Run by the All India Handloom Fabrics Marketing Co-Operative Society, the Handloom House is a repository of textile products handwoven by over 100,000 weavers. They have a rich collection of cotton and silk sarees, all superior in quality and affordably priced.
Handloom House, Handloom Marketing Complex, Janpath, New Delhi, India, +91 11 2335 3094
Satya Paul is a brand that completely reinvented the traditional saree by offering trendy and new-age designs, which appealed to the modern customer. Their designs are always fresh, unique and edgy, earning them a worldwide fan following.