Tourists have nicknamed Sisamau Bazaar as 'Mini Sarojini'.
Vibrantly coloured clothes strewn all over, a myriad of food stalls crammed in every nook and corner, a cacophony of high-pitched bargaining sessions- welcome to Sisamau Bazar, one of the oldest markets in Kanpur. Situated at the heart of the city, this market is the ultimate hub for utensils, fashionable accessories and lip-smacking street food, among other things. If you'd like to go on a budget-friendly retail therapy, then this market is a must-visit for you!
Welcome to 'Mini Sarojini'!
If you are here at the Banarasi Tea Stall on 80ft Road, which serves the most refreshing kulhad wali chai BTW, hardly 250-m ahead you can spot the Balaji Chowk which leads into the busy lanes of Sisamau Bazaar. Every shopper's paradise, this famous market has earned the moniker of 'Mini Sarojini' by tourists.
We explored Kanpur from the perspective of a wanderer, a traveller and not merely a citizen who passes these roads often, to curate a market guide for you. So here are some recommendations that will help you manoeuvre smoothly through the congested gullies of Sisamau Bazar!
For a budget-friendly shopping spree
Sisamau Bazaar houses some of the best and economical stores for buying steel utensils. As you travel towards the main market from the Balaji Chowk, the streets are lined with shops, such as Adarsh Steel House and Ramesh Bartan Bhandar. A frequent visitor to these shops, Mrs. Meera Pandey shared with us, "The quality of steel utensils sold in Sisamau is excellent, for my purchases have lasted for more than three decades, even after regular use!"
Moving towards Nehru Nagar Road, you will spot showrooms such as A to Z Shopping Mall, Raymonds and Vishal Saree Centre. As the stories go, the market of Sisamau thrived because Kanpur was the 'Manchester of East'- producing some of the best cotton and leather products. Therefore, even today, you can shop the latest fashion from the street side stalls that sell everything, from clothes to footwear, in under ₹300 (approx.).
For hoarding gaudy accessories
Keep walking on the Prem Nagar Chauraha Road to explore the footpath vendors of Tedhi Devi Market in Sisamau. If you are a desi haggler, then after a good bargaining session here, you can buy earrings for as low as ₹10 and necklaces for as low as ₹50!
Also, the bunch of colourful bangles that line the choodi shops, purses that sell in the range of ₹100 to ₹300 and the 'all things at ₹10' shop (as we like to call it), will give you heart-eyes! If you're looking to bag golds and diamonds, the Azad Market area of Sisamau is lined by jewellery shops such as, Gyan Jewellers and Awasthi Jewellers among others, which have borne the trust of the local buyers for a long time.
For hungry shoppers
To haggle and shop further, something sweet or chatpata is surely required to energise! So we visited some of the famed eateries of this area and have come up with recommendations for your must-try food list.
If you fancy some crispy chat and teekha pani, then make your way to Shri Krishna Chat Bhandar to delight your tastebuds with tantalising flavours. Additionally, located at the Prem Nagar Chauraha, Babbu Khurchan Bhandar, serves some of the best, melt-in-your-mouth, milk-based delicacies. As the name suggests, the most famous milk-product here is Khurchan, which is nothing but thick scrapings of milk served with tender love and care! So you can take your pick from sweet and savoury grubs while on your stroll- sorted, right?!
Take a walk through local legends
Sisamau houses two famous Hindu temples - Balaji Temple and Balkhandeshwar Temple. The Balaji Chowk is named after the Balaji Temple which houses an idol of Lord Hanuman and the Balkhandeshwar Temple houses an idol of Lord Shiva. Talking to a local, Kiran, we became aware of the native myth of cows paying obeisance to the shivalinga placed in Balkhandeshwar Temple by offering their milk for abhishek (a method of worship in Hinduism).
Further, as the stories go, the idol at Balaji Temple was brought to the town and placed in a household as a temporary measure, until a proper temple was constructed. However, it couldn't be lifted after that so the house was transformed into a temple. Locals believe that this is because the idol is siddha or in other words, it has supernatural powers. A visit to these temples is recommended because if not anything else, it will surely fill you with profound peacefulness!
We hope you enjoy roaming around the streets of Sisamau Bazaar with this handy guide. Also, don't forget to arm yourself with some witty remarks for the carpet peddlers, who will probably sarcastically reply to your bargaining strategies as- "free me loge kya?"
Days: Monday to Saturday
Opening Hours: 11 AM to 9:30 PM