Buy a textbook
Textbooks, guides and manuals of every subject taught at Bangalore University make it to the footpaths at the northern end of this road, and are sold at bargain rates by youngsters such as Syed Shah. Shah, 19, doesn’t study; he sells books, and photocopied prints of novels. Khaled Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns and Salman Rushdie’s The Enchantress of Florence, Rs90 each.
No fixed address, no contacts. No fixed timings.
Stock up the firecrackers
They’re the biggest sellers of firecrackers on this stretch, though their main line of business is in weighing scales. For any festive occasion, you get to choose from gift boxes with pictures of Dia Mirza, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Angelina Jolie, and one with Mena Suvari.
BG Bhandarkar and Sons (since 1963),Store 598 (2220-0677).
Grab a bite
The meal to get at Hotel Kamat is the ‘ragi mudde’—one for Rs17. If you’re looking for a snack, get to Hotel Janatha: ‘pakodas’, Rs10, carrot ‘halwa’, Rs6, ‘badam’ milk, Rs8. Or get ‘pheni’ milk (vermicelli, Rs25) across the road at Banaras Sweet House.
Hotel Janatha, Store 482. (22216822). Banaras Sweet House, 259 (22269139).
Shop for jewellery
Raja Market, a corridor of stores, is the place to bargain for jewellery. Outside the market are a few retailers, and Karupakula Jewellers, that’s been here since 1928.
Karupakula Jewellers, Store 2 (22253539). All credit cards accepted.
Shop for a burqa
There’s an island of stores on this road’s southern end that only deal in ‘Muradabad items & Lucknow kurtas’; burqas (Rs400-3,000) and ‘pankhas’ (handheld fans, Rs350). The kurtas are never displayed and hardly sell, says Aslam Pasha, at one stall.
Mubarak Cap Mart, 11am-7.30pm, Saturday-Thursday.
Stock up on sweets
There’s a cluster of about 25 sweet shops at the Avenue Road/Silver Jubilee Park Road junction, around the Dargah of Syed Pasha (Shaheed Navazullah Shah, a fakir, will tell you the dargah’s at least 200 years old). A few of the owners, such as B.N. Prabhakar, at the Bangalore Sweets and Khara store have been here for at least 50 years. On their cards are ‘khara items’: ‘ompudi’ (crumpled carom seed powder), ‘avalakki’ (dry, beaten rice), ‘benne murukku’ (butter-fried pretzels)—each Rs120 a kilo—and sweets: ‘champakali’ (milk-based, Rs140). Or find Narayan outside the Balaji Temple; he’s got a table on the footpath laden with snacks; ‘kajjikaya’ (fried ‘kadubu’, Rs3 each), ‘murukku’ (Rs6 each).
Another stretch of stores here deal in puja items such as garlands, incense sticks, and scented betel nuts—raw, round or diced (Rs200, Rs260 and Rs240 per kg respectively).
G.N. Nut Merchant, Store 169. All stores 10.30am-8.30pm, Monday-Saturday.