Shillong is a beautiful hilltop town with its bustling and energetic market all around. Police Bazar is considered as the heart of the city. In Shillong, it is a famous shopping haunt, which is on the priority list of locals as well as tourists. It is a modern market that has a number of hotels, shops and eating joints, catering to the varied needs of every visitor.
The market is considered ideal for leisure seekers, shopping enthusiasts and food lovers as it has enough facilities for everyone. In contrast to its modernity, there are several old shops that sell exquisite handicrafts in Meghalaya. For those who like to possess a collection of handcrafted specialities and souvenirs, Police Bazar is the apt place to visit in Shillong.
The market is known to be a modern one which houses numerous hotels, shops and eating joints. But what makes this market more special is that along with the modern shops, there is traditional shopping as well. It is shopping heaven for girls as they can find indigenous ornaments and apparel here, and experiment with different products of fashion.
Shopping can be done from shops, or from the roadside vendors. This place is overflowing with people all through the day and is easily reachable from all parts of Shillong by taxis, buses, and supplementary transport service (small vans).
Police Bazar has a concrete circle with plants surrounded by seven roads going away from the circle to different parts of the city. A few roads are one way to ease the traffic. In case you are driving, beware of cops. If you drive in the wrong lane, they will not miss an opportunity to fine you.
What to buy in Police Bazar ?
– A variety of food, electronic items, clothes and materials, woollens, smuggled winter wear from Thailand, gadgets, medicines, beauty kits, grocery, bakeries, bags, vessels etc. you name it and it is available in the shops. Majority of the roadside vendors sell winter wear- woollen printed pyjamas, leather and other jackets, blazers, shoes, fresh fruit plates, shawls, sweaters, woollen caps etc.
They are dirt cheap and a good choice for gifting. There are small shops on the ground floor and the basement in all the buildings, and many higher floors are hotels. The market has large sections dedicated to local fruits, vegetables, honey, fish etc. As a tourist, one can get a very nice picture of local life here.
Traditional bamboo handicrafts and woollen handmade shawls are the most popular buys. Additionally, art-crafts made of wood and bamboo furniture are popular. Bamboo shoot pickles are a favourite of tourists.
Shillong is one of the fashion capitals of India, it has an innumerable number of shops selling top quality brands from India and abroad. The well-known ones are RAPs Apparel in Raps’ Mansion MG Road, Style Craft, Uncle Shop, In-Fashion, Broadway Collection, Selection Centre, in Police Bazar. Also, glory plaza which is famous for foreign clothes. Buy wild orange tea from the Polo Towers Gift Shop which features dried orange peels from the famous Cherrapunji oranges.
What to eat?
– There are a variety of restaurants. Most of the better ones are in the Police Bazaar area. Chinese, Indian and Tibetan foods are popular and even khun ksew. Service is poor in most places except those that are professionally managed. Besides, most eating places close early (before 9 PM) so don’t be caught hungry.
Bamboo Hut in RAPs’ Mansion MG Road and City Dhaba near Earl Holiday Home are famous hangout spots. One should definitely try Momos (steamed Tibetan dumplings filled with cabbage and pork). They come as small momos and big momos and are very popular snacks.
Shillong has a predominantly Christian population. While pork, chicken and fish are easily available in restaurants run by local Khasis, beef isn’t as abundant in restaurants. Cleanliness also remains an issue in smaller food-outlets. Khasi and Tibetan recipes use very little spices (including salt) unlike the cooking style in the rest of India. There is an emphasis on boiling or roasting rather than frying in oil.
For Indian snacks, one can try Delhi Mistaan Bhandar in Police Bazar which some think has the best jalebis in the world.
Police Bazar market holds an important role in the city’s history and it’s culture. The market is famous for its modern as well as traditional selling method. One can spend an entire evening in this market and enjoy to the fullest. One of the best place where one can shop for whatever they want and hog food as much as they want.
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