Why do they call the place T Nagar? They should call it Saree Nagar!!! With the number of saree shops that are there, and the number of buyers brimming over the shops and into the streets, T Nagar in Chennai truly deserves to be called Saree Nagar. Truly!
Had been excited about saree shopping in Chennai for a long time. So what if Jayanta has brought me back a saree from his Chennai trips every now and then? It’s never the same as buying one (in my case, a few) yourself, is it? And so, when we planned our Pondicherry trip for this Diwali, Chennai deserved a stopover of a day just to indulge at the famous saree shops there. Armed with a list of the best shops recommended by friends, we went to T Nagar the afternoon we landed in Chennai; and once again, the day we came back from Pondicherry.
Nallis in T Nagar: Nallis is synonymous with Chennai, right? You couldn’t have gone saree scouting in Chennai and not been to Nallis for a stock-up. I, however, went there out of curiosity. To see the magnus opus of the saree business. And magnus opus it is. HUGE. But since I am a regular at their Mumbai store, I decided not to buy from here. Most of their stock, be it in their Mumbai store or the Bangalore one or the Chennai one, are same/similar. Quite obviously, they believe in maintaining the tradition and staying same. For me though, the one with the curious soul and the roving eyes, I wanted to peek into the other saree shops of Chennai and see what they had to offer.
Pothy’s in T Nagar: Got out of Nallis and bang opposite was Pothy’s. It had started drizzling by now, and we quickly crossed the street and hopped into Pothy’s. What struck us rightaway was that Pothy’s is MASSIVE — spread across 5 floors, and god knows how many square feet per floor, when at Pothy’s, you will find it difficult to find the other end of the shop. Sarees sarees everywhere, I was, for a moment, transfixed! And then quickly went about enquiring about the type of sarees I wanted to buy. It would be right to say that Pothy’s caters to every level of saree buyer. In today’s day and age, they have sarees starting from Rs 300 to the gold zari sarees! Got a handful of South Cotton, didn’t much like what they showed in silks, and since we were running out of time (we had to drive down to Pondicherry — Read Drive to Pondicherry), we promised ourselves that we’d be back in T Nagar after our Pondicherry (read all my Pondicherry posts here — All About Pondicherry ) visit.
RMKV Silks in T Nagar: The day we came back from Pondicherry, we had time for only one shop at T Nagar. Went to RMKV. To their silk section. And was immediately floored by their saree stock. Not as big as Pothy’s, RMKV definitely has better saree stocks, expecially silk. And the best part is, it isn’t as crowded as Pothy’s. Got a bagful of silks both for myself and as gifts for the family. Found the prices to be very good, akin to Kolkata prices. Sarees in Mumbai are so expensive.
Friends had referred me to Sundari Silks, Sri Kumaran Stores, but we didn’t have the time for all of them. And consoled ourselves by saying that the three we saw would be equal to thirty in Mumbai. Saree business is serious business in Chennai!