Holi 101: Shopping and Tips

You’re absent-mindedly walking down a Delhi lane, a water balloon lands on your head, you look up, a small boy giggles from behind the balcony – it’s that time of the year again. If you know anything about Delhi’s Holi, then you must know that it is rowdy, but quite entertainingly so. Holi may well be a week away, but that wouldn’t spare you from the water balloon attacks the next time you heedlessly walk down the city lanes. So whether you’re organizing a Holi party, attending one or just plan to celebrate with a few neighbourhood friends, if you haven’t yet figured out where to shop for the festival’s bits and bobs, we’re here to help.

holi in delhi


Sadar Bazaar: It remains the ideal market for Holi shopping. From water balloons, gulaal, colour sprays to water jets (pichkaris) as small as your thumb to as tall as half your size – the entire stretch of Sadar Bazaar market is by now full of the Holi odds and ends. The market is ideal if you want to buy gulaal in large quantity, which you can get for Rs 45-50 per kg at the market. Apart from that, there are also party props like masks and vibrant wigs that you can buy for cheap to add an extra element to your party.

Nearest metro station: Chandni Chowk

Chandni Chowk: The added advantage of shopping for Holi at Old Delhi is the food you get to gorge on while you’re at it. The variety at Chandni Chowk market, just like Sadar Bazaar, is immense and you can get colours and pichkaris at a very reasonable price, especially at the shops circling Jama Masjid.

Nearest metro station: Chandni Chowk

Dilli Haat, Lajpat Nagar and Sarojini Nagar market: All of the three prominent markets have variety in terms of gulaal and pichkaris and the prices can be negotiated easily. Dilli Haat’s open aircraft bazaar is specially decorated during this time.

Nearest metro station – 

INA for Dilli Haat and Sarojini Nagar

Lajpat Nagar for Lajpat Nagar


Even the customary ‘bura na mano Holi hai’ will not save you if you smear a stranger’s face with pakka colours, because that’s definitely not fun. Switch to organic Holi colours instead. Here are a few places in Delhi where 100% natural and organic colours can be purchased from.

Apart from the usual Holi paraphernalia, Delhi’s Lajpat Nagar market and Sarojini Nagar market also have herbal colours that can be purchased for cheap.

The I Say Organic food store has a variety of organic colours that can be bought from their outlet in Okhla, Phase 2 and Select CityWalk.


At the Tihar Haat, which has hand-made products made by the inmates, different shades of organic gulaal are available.

Kriti Creations offers organic gulaal in four vibrant colours at their outlets across delhi-NCR.

Swarang at the Red Earth Studio in Lado Sarai has self-made floral gulaals that you can purchase by the kilo or in their cloth potlis. It has a whole catalogue of organic colours you can choose from.



  • One of the most obvious, yet forgotten pre-requisites of playing Holi is oiling your hair from root to tip and also applying it on your bare skin. After you’re done playing, applying curd on your hair helps take the colour off easily.
  • Apply a lot of sunscreen to avoid getting tanned as the sun is most likely going to be out in all its glory.
  • Keep yourself dehydrated as the strong chemicals in the colour robs your skin of moisture. Drink a lot of water.
  • While playing Holi with eggs, metallic colours or even gutter water may sound like a lot of fun, it is likely to do more harm than good.
  • Not only can too much bhang screw your head and send you into uncontrollable fits of laughter, tricking someone into having bhang sweets without telling them can have disastrous results.

So now that the Wheres, Whats and the Hows of Holi are settled, there are matters of far more importance to be discussed  – who will arrange the kegs of bhang? Once that’s figured out, you’re good to go. And take that in control,will you? The last thing your friends want for Holi is a trip with you to the hospital.

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