Bara Bazar | Your Ultimate Shopping Guide | Best Things to Buy

 In Meghalaya, shopping, Travel

Are you also the kind of person who enjoys shopping more at street bazaars than in big malls? Do you also feel that the fun of shopping is when you bargain with shopkeepers, enjoy street food while hopping between shops, and stroll along the road? Bara Bazar in Shillong is that kind of market where you come for one thing that turns into a cart full of everything! Meghalaya Holidays offer the perfect opportunity to explore this bustling market and experience the vibrant culture of the region.

Bara Bazar, also known locally as Lewduh, is a vibrant and historic market located in Shillong, the capital city of Meghalaya. Shillong, often called the Scotland of the East, is one of the globally famous places to visit in Meghalaya for its stunning natural beauty. 

In addition to its natural attractions, Shillong is home to Lewduh Bara Bazar, the largest traditional market in Northeast India. What makes this market unique is that it is predominantly operated by local women. 

Bara Bazar, the largest traditional market in Northeast India, is a must-visit for bargain enthusiasts and those who believe in the mantra “A penny saved is a penny earned!” Explore this bustling market, where narrow lanes overflow with local produce, spices, clothing, and handicrafts. We’re here to guide you through everything you need to know for a delightful shopping experience in Shillong.

Essential Details for a Guide to Bara Bazar

Essential Details for a Guide to Bara Bazar

Location of Bara Bazar in Meghalaya: East Khasi Hills District, Shillong, Meghalaya

How to Reach Bara Bazar in Meghalaya: Public transportation options to Bara Bazar in Shillong include taxis for direct access, rickshaws for short distances within the city, and public buses connecting various neighbourhoods with the market area.

Bara Bazar Timing: Most shops generally open from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Some vegetable and flower vendors might start setting up as early as 6:00 AM.

Tips for Visitors: 

  • Wear comfortable shoes: You’ll be doing a lot of walking on uneven surfaces.
  • Carry a light bag: The market can get crowded, so a backpack or large bag might be cumbersome.
  • Bargaining: It’s a common practice at Bara Bazar, so don’t be afraid to negotiate for a good price.
  • Crowds: The market can get quite crowded, especially on weekends. Be prepared for bustling crowds and narrow walkways.
  • Cash: Most vendors prefer cash, so bring enough rupees for your shopping spree.
  • Photography: It’s always polite to ask permission before taking photos of people in the market.

Things to Buy in Bara Bazar

There are so many options and varieties available for shopping in Bara Bazar, that you might get confused, but let us tell you briefly what you can find there. Here are some things to buy in Bara Bazar

Foodie Delights

  • Khasi Specialties: Enjoy local treats like pork sausages, momos (steamed dumplings), and rice cakes.
  • Jadoh: Don’t miss this hearty Khasi breakfast dish made with rice porridge.
  • Pu Khlein: Try pu khlein, a sweet snack made with powdered rice and jaggery and one of the famous foods of Meghalaya.
  • Spices: Explore aromatic spices such as black pepper, turmeric, ginger, and local specialties.

Fresh Produce

  • Exotic Fruits: Discover stalls brimming with fresh fruits like jackfruit, passionfruit, and Khasi mandarin oranges.
  • Local Vegetables: Find a variety of fresh, locally-grown vegetables unique to Meghalaya.

Fashion and Textiles

Traditional Khasi Clothing
  • Traditional Khasi Clothing: Immerse yourself in the culture with traditional attire.
  • Handloom Fabrics: Browse beautiful fabrics for clothing or home decor.
  • Second-Hand Clothing: Explore trendy second-hand clothes at great prices.

Handicrafts and Souvenirs

  • Bamboo and Cane Products: When shopping in Bara Bazar, make sure not to miss out on the exquisite baskets, furniture, and other items crafted from bamboo and cane.
  • Wood Carvings: Find unique carvings depicting local motifs and nature scenes.
  • Beadwork: Admire intricate beadwork on jewellery, keychains, and decor items.

Other Interesting Finds

Locally-Sourced Meat and Seafood
  • Locally-Sourced Meat and Seafood: Check out fresh meat and seafood from Meghalaya.
  • Homeware: Find unique kitchenware and household items.
  • Plants and Flowers: Brighten your space with local plants and flowers.

Things to do in Bara Bazar Beyond Shopping

While shopping is the main draw at Bara Bazaar, there are plenty of other things to do in Bara Bazar to enjoy the local atmosphere and culture

Enjoy the Local Vibes

Try Local Street Food
  • Try Local Street Food: Experience the aroma and flavours of street food stalls. Try something new from a favourite vendor or nearby restaurants in Shillong.
  • Listen to Local Music: Enjoy the vibrant ambiance with street performers or music playing from nearby shops.

Engage with the Culture

  • Learn Local Phrases: Learn a few basic phrases in Khasi, like “Hello” (Niangap) or “Thank You” (Fynder Shop), to connect with locals.
  • Respect Photography: Always ask for permission before taking photos of people to show courtesy.

Explore Nearby Attractions

Visit Temples or Churches
  • Visit Temples or Churches: Explore the cultural richness by visiting nearby temples or churches in Shillong like Laitumkhrah Presbyterian Church or Sacred Heart Cathedral.
  • Head to Police Bazar: For a change of pace, stroll over to Police Bazar, where you’ll find modern shops and restaurants just a short walk away.

Relax and Refresh

  • Enjoy Khasi Tea: Take a break from the hustle and bustle with a soothing cup of Khasi tea from a local stall or café.
  • Coffee and People Watching: Find a café near the market, sip on coffee, and enjoy watching the vibrant scenes unfold.


In conclusion, Bara Bazar in Shillong, Meghalaya, is more than just a busy market. It’s a lively cultural hub where shopping meets local life. Explore narrow lanes filled with shops, enjoy tasty street food, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere. Engage with friendly vendors, try local treats, and visit nearby temples or churches for a deeper cultural experience. 

For a change of pace, stroll to Police Bazar for modern shopping and dining. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, Bara Bazar offers a glimpse into the heart of Meghalaya’s capital, inviting everyone to enjoy its unique charm and community spirit.

What is the timing of Bara Bazar?

Bara Bazaar is open throughout the week, with most shops operating from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Some vendors might start earlier, and Sundays see slightly less activity.

Which day Bara Bazar is closed?

Bara Bazaar is generally considered open every day of the week. While some vendors might have slightly reduced hours or take breaks on Sundays, the market itself is not completely closed.

What to buy in Bara Bazar?

In Bara Bazar, you’ll find traditional Khasi clothing, handloom fabrics, bamboo and cane products, as well as local delicacies like Khasi specialties, fresh produce, and aromatic spices.

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