Where to Shop in Goa
The famous Anjuna market, known more popularly as the flea market is held on every Wednesday in a grove of coconut palms between the rocky beach of Anjuna and the fallow rice paddies. The concept of flea market was started by the hippies in early 80s, when they used to gather at the same place in Anjuna while many needy foreigners used to sell their electronic items or barter other stuffs to the locals. It is a mad, chaotic world of colours, crowds, shouting, clamor and clatter and all manner of goods from fabrics, ornamental crafts, spices, clothing, local Goanese, Kahmiri and Tibetan handicrafts and Goan trance music.
Calangute Market Square
Calangute Beach is only nine miles north from the Goan capital, Panaji. The beach stretches about four miles and is covered with palm trees. The streets of Calangute are packed with shops offering a wide range of goods, namely souvenirs, metal crafts, leather items, clothes and jewellery, not just from Goa, but from other parts of the country as well. The beach stretch is full of shacks, hawkers selling sarongs or astrologers or fortune-tellers waiting eagerly to read the fortune of the tourists. . There is also a Tibetan market in Calangute. Kashmiri merchants also frequent Goa with carpets, embroidery, and other merchandises.
Most deluxe hotels and resorts also have good in-house shops, but the price ranges are usually higher.
Mapusa, a small town huddled around the Mount (Alto) is Mapusa, 13 kms away from Panaji, has been the market hub of North Goa since ancient times even before proper roads were constructed. Mapusa market is also fondly known as 'Mapusa Friday Market' as it takes place every Friday. Goan customers prefer to buy fresh foodstuffs every few days, thus the Mapusa Market has plenty of fresh fish, a variety of locally produced vegetables, and exotic fruits from jackfruit and mangoes to plantain bananas. Pickles and preserves, spices, earthen pots, glass bangles, channa baskets coir mats, and the famous Goan 'chouricos' (ready spiced Goan pork sausages), dried fish and prawns, clothing, junk jewelry, and the famous country liquor are all sold at the most reasonable prices one could possibly find.
The Baga Beach located 10 kms west of Mapusa, is actually an extension of Calangute beach with clean white sand. Like the flea market of Anjuna, Baga has started a Saturday night market, which is quite impressive but somehow lacks the liveliness and splendor of the Anjuna market. The beach also has many beach shacks and beach huts that sell delicious Goan food and thirst-quenching Feni. The lively Saturday night market here is much like the Wednesday flea market at Anjuna, only prettier under the night sky and lit up with lamps. There are plenty of handicrafts shops. Here stalls sell all kinds of bric-a-brac, clothes, trinkets, exotic delicacies and Goanese Cuisine. Funky haircuts, tarot reading, palmistry, wood carvings are also available. Plus live bands that create a carnival like ambience simply makes the place rock.
What to Shop in Goa
Goanese artisans, famous for their local handicraft items, weave lovely carpets with fascinating colors and patterns. Different kind of carpets including plush silk carpets, fine knotted cotton durries, sturdy rugs, fine quality carpets with patterns on a red, ivory, green and black background. Geometrical patterned carpets of quality of around 30 to 60 knots per square inch are also produced by the skilled artisans.
Kashmiri carpets are also available in plenty in the handicrafts stalls of beaches and other handicrafts emporiums. These include Kashmiri floor coverings known as the Namdas, Hook rugs and Gabbas.
Papier-mache, popular in some parts of the country, has been put to skilful use by artisans in Rajasthan to manufacture unique and attractive-looking pieces of furniture including chairs, couches, benches and seats, cabinets and container shelves. These articles are also found in the handicraft stalls of Goan Beach Markets and Handicrafts Emporiums.
Anjuna, Mapusa and Calangute Beach markets are ideal shopping hubs for different types of expensive or inexpensive, funky or trendy, heavy or light, metallic or non-metallic jewelry or accessories. They offer a varied array of magnificent jewelries either hand made or artistically crafted from silver, bronze and even wood and bamboo. Magnificent terracotta and colorful beaded necklaces are also available at affordable prices.
The dirth of handicraft stalls on the Goan Sea beaches of Anjuna and Baga offer plenty of leather products ranging from leather jackets and gloves to luggage and other accessories. Footwear comes in a variety of traditional embroidery, brocade and textile designs. Fascinating leatherworks such as leather with metallic gold or silvery finish is also available along with articles such as wallets, pouches, handbags and a wide range of belts.
South India is famous for Silk and Cotton textiles and Goa is one of them. Beautiful and luxuriant silk sarees and superb quality cottons are found in the Handicraft and State Emporiums of Goa.
Bronze Figures Woodcarving
Goan workers are also an expert at wooden articles which are beautified in festive colours like red, green, yellow and white by extremely skilled craftsmen from Cuncunolim, South Goa. These colorful objects are called chitaris. The Mapusa Friday market is full of beautiful hand-made stuffs made of raw wood. Wooden products like the coir mats, wood furniture, exquisite wooden carvings and hats made of straw are found here. Creativity is also exhibited in Goan brassware as a large number of expert brass workers at Corlim, Mapusa, specialize in the exquisite candelabrum-like brass oil lamps called samai.
Last Updated on: December 11, 2013