Unique style is speciality here

Unique style is speciality here

The market offers its patrons bangles that blend the heritage value from the past with the new age verve

Women buying bangles at Laad Bazaar in Hyderabad. (Below) A few attractive bangles in a shop. Mohammed Aleemuddin

Rainbow-tinted circles of light/ Lustrous tokens of radiant lives/For happy daughters and happy wives/Some are meant for a maiden's wrist/Silver and blue as the mountain mist.

Nightingale of India Sarojini Naidu must have surly been inspired by the bangle sellers in the streets of the legendary Charminar when she penned down this beautiful verse.

The Chudi Bazaar or Laad Bazaar, as it is popularly known, is a stretch of shops, beside the historic Charminar and is a market that trades in different types of bangles and jewellery. The uniqueness of every shop in the bazaar is the fact that no two shops have the same design of bangles, unless owned by the same person. Every shop has a design of its own and has been passed on over the generations.

Along with the precautions taken to preserve the way the bangles are made the traders also take extra care about who buys their commodity. The shopkeepers are very particular not to sell the bangles in the local wholesale market to ensure these bangles don’t find a place in the glassed walls of trendy malls and the uniqueness of Laad Bazaar is preserved.

“Our designs and the way we make them are what make the bangles found in Laad Bazaar unique. Every shop here has its unique style and design which are preserved secrets. It is this uniqueness that makes our bangles sought after world over even in the age of malls and designer boutiques,” says Sameer, whose family has been in this business for over three decades now. 

The market, which has been in operation since the time of the Qutb Shahis and the Nizams, has stood the test of time and offers its patrons bangles that blend the heritage value from the past with the new age verve. It is this strange fusion of fashion and tradition that serves as the USP of these bangles. 

“Though there are a few bangles that are made to suit the fashion sensibilities of the younger generation we still stick to the traditional designs as the demand is more for the heavy stone studded bangles that can be found only in this Laad Bazaar,” says Musthaq who offers a variety of daily wear bangles in simple-stone studded patterns.

 These lacquer made bangles match the styling need of every age group of the fairer sex as it has an ensemble of simple and trendy college wear to heavy stone-studded bridal collection. These bangles are handmade in warehouses belonging to the shopkeepers and are located in a place close to the Charminar called Talabkatta.

Along with the hundreds of designs on display, the shops also offer custom-made bangles to suit bridal wear. 

“There are customers who want to pair their wedding outfit with bangles of similar design and come to us. We take those orders and patterns and deliver the bangles in less than two days,” claims Mohammad Altaf who specialises in bridal collections. These rows of shops that stock the trendiest jewellery, redefine the street shopping experience. There are no fixed price shops and the market operates on prices that fluctuate with the bargaining skills of the buyer who can buy these handmade wonders from Rs 200 to Rs 5,000, based on the pattern, stone quality etc. 

Preethi, a college student, finds the lac bangles attractive. “I come here to shop every time when there is some event in my college and I have to depend on my pocket money for shopping. There are too many varieties. We can bargain here”One stop shop for women“In fact nothing much has changed in decades, my ancestors made bangles based on laad meaning lacquer on which artificial diamonds are studded, we still do the same with a bit refined technique,” Altaf, a bangle maker, said.

Most of the shops on this one-km-long shopping strip, sell bangles, sarees, wedding related items, and cheap jewellery. It is close to landmarks such as Charminar, Makkah Masjid and Chowmahalla Palace. 

Laad Bazaar is famous not just for bangles, it's also popular for semi-precious stones, pearls, jewellery, products such as silverware, Nirmal, Kalamkari paintings, Bidriware, sarees and hand-woven materials of silk, cotton, brocade, velvet and golden embroidered fabrics, traditional Khara Dupattas and perfumes. 

Many stores are furnished with a clean, soft cotton mattress that cover the entire floor. Custo­mers sit on the soft cotton mattress without shoes, lean against a wall with a round pillow and the salesperson presents all items on the floor. All business is conducted on this floor and often other employees use the padded area in the back, as they may be sorting or sewing.

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