Festivities are incomplete without shopping. And when it comes to Sankranti, the whole of Andhra Pradesh goes into an overdrive. This festival and month preceding it is a season of gifting, donating and sharing. But the most enjoyable and perhaps most hectic aspect of it is the shopping! Retailers offer unbelievable discounts and offers for Sankranti, and showcase a whole new range of designer wear for the festivities. Jewellers come out with classy and traditional designs as many households indulge the daughter or son in law with a bit of gold. High on the list are new clothes for all, sweets, gold or jewellery for daughters and sons in law coming home for their ‘first peda panduga’ after their marriage, and gifts for family and friends. Young and old - irrespective of age, shop for new clothes. Which is when the ‘readymade’ off-the-shelf market steps in. These days, in addition to designer saris, many high-end clothing shops offer semi-stitched or readymade blouses – reducing the dependence on tailors and ensuring a new breathtakingly beautiful ensemble in time for the festival.

Sweets, new clothes, accessories, jewellery, gifts and in some households, toys! With many traditional households putting up elaborate displays of ‘Bommala Kovulu’ or a ‘showcase of dolls’; dolls and glitzy decorations too figure on the shopping list. While most shoppers make a beeline for Lepakshi or any crafts and handloom exhibition, there are bargains to be sought on the footpaths. Quite a few makeshift stalls selling traditional dolls from Ettikopakka, Kondapalli as well as locally made idols of a plethora of Gods appear around this season in prominent and old market areas like near the Jagadamba area, Purna Market and near the Kanakamahalakshmi Temple.

With Sankranti offers on clothes, electronics, mobiles, accessories, jewellery and even gifts, from almost every retailer and mall in Vizag, it is a shop-till-you-drop mela in the city!

Uma Chodavarapu