What To Buy In Kerala’s Oldest Market?

I had a few things on my shopping list marked as ‘compulsory’ when I started planning my Kerala trip. I was sure that I will get those things in any of Kerala’s markets but like any other person, I wanted the best in quality and quantity. And I got my things with superb quality and local touch at Chalai Market in Trivandrum.

Chalai Market is serving the people in the capital city of Kerala as well as to the tourists from 18th century. It was built by Raja Kesavdas, the then Dewan of Travancore. The market was the central place to supply and segregate commodities and goods coming from around the globe. The market is spread over 2 kilometers with many shops selling the same things. To make your hunt to buy best easy, I am giving a list of shops I found genuine and providing best goods.

The Spice Stop:

Its impossible to anyone leave Kerala without buying any spices. In Chalai market, one can find more than 5 shops selling spices. But the Kannu & Co. spice shop was the one which caught our eye. The shop owners are very helpful and suggest you what to buy exactly. They have more than 50 types of spices, coffee, tea and other food items. The products are shipped from interior Kerala. The smell of the spices tell their quality. Also it’s not too expensive.

Buy the Metal Work:

Want to buy copper and silver statues to decorate your house or for gifting purpose? SKP (S. Kuttalam Pillai) & Sons is your destination. They offer a wide range of Samais’ (traditional lamps), statues of Hindu Gods and Godesses, elephants and other holy animals. They also undertake temple works. The shop is a little bit expensive but worth for it’s quality and options.

Buying the fragrance:

JAs Perfumes store in the heart of Chalai market totally steals your heart. One simply can’t decide which perfume to buy. The have more than 100 scents in the one tiny shop which is always crowded. Don’t back off when you see the crowd on it’s doors, just get in their ask what you want and you will get it. Even if you don’t know which fragrance is yours, the shop owner and the staff will help you to buy the perfect one. I got moon light and jasmine, two of the most soothing fragrances from the store. They also sell chandan face mask, fragrant dhoop and agarbattis, deodorants, air fresheners and bukhoors.

They sell online too. Check out their website:


Picture Courtesy: Durgesh Parmarthi & Tanvi Shaikh




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