Bengaluru owns a few of India's glossiest high streets that provide a 'significantly better shopping experience' compared to other markets in India.
IMAGE: The best shopping avenue in India is Bengaluru's MG road, running/starting from Trinity circle and ending at Anil Kumble circle, once called South Parade street. and is known for its hotels, like Taj Residency, swish large stores and spendy boutiques. Photograph: Kind courtesy T R Shankar Raman/Wikimedia Commons
Over the years, India's high streets have gotten more and more sleek and shiny, offering a pleasanter shopping experience to those who come strolling down them.
International real estate consultancy, Knight Frank recently conducted a survey, as part of its Think India Think Retail 2023: High Street Real Estate Outlook annual retail report, of 30 of India's shopping thoroughfares.
Their results showed that always civilised Bengaluru had some of the country's prime high streets, with MG Road topping the list of our nation's 10 best streets to shop at and three other Bengaluru streets finding a toehold.
Browse on to find out who were the other members of India's elite high street club.
IMAGE: The No 2 high street of India is the Somajiguda locality around Raj Bhavan road in Hyderabad.
The neighbourhood got its name from the fancy mansion of revenue officer or daftardar Sonaji Pandit, attached to the estate of Raja Rai Rayan in 1853 (perhaps it still stands).
The term Sonaji-Guda (guda means place) slowly evolved into the name Somajiguda. Photograph: Kind courtesy Cephas 405/Wikimedia Commons
The survey chose the top high streets based on convenience, looking at access and parking strengths. And also for how varied the retailers were ie the strength of the shopping offering, and at the layout and planning of the street.
'Inward looking markets like Khan Market in New Delhi and DLF Galleria in Gurugram scored very low', but shopping markets 'aligned' along an access road did quite well.
IMAGE: Mumbai did make the list with Bandra's buzzy Linking Road at No 3.
If you are stepping out to go to Linking Road, you should consider looking at the handbags at Esbeda, browsing for just about anything at Amarsons and having a bite at KFC or Burger King or Macs or dining at Bastian. Photograph: Kind courtesy Erick Irani/Wikimedia Commons
Interestingly, top high streets are not necessarily the areas asking for the priciest rent from retailers. Although Linking Road in Mumbai does command whopping rents.
Another trend to note: Ahmedabad's SG Highway, which did not find a place in the top 10, was amongst the 30 high streets surveyed because the street has one of the highest spending quotient -- money spent on the street is high.
Certainly, as the report goes onto explain, high-value spending can occur in areas where big-ticket items are sold, like electronics, appliances etc, but many of India's popular micro-markets, that seem to be lucrative retailing spots, like Connaught Place, Lower Parel, Khan Market, Colaba Causeway, may not be places that have a high spending quotient because there aren't that many shops selling big-ticket items and because they offer a wider variety of stuff in wider price ranges for shoppers to eyeball.
IMAGE: No 4 was South Extension, Part I and Part II, New Delhi. Jeans, bhel, office shirts, coffee, haute couture, bangles, Hush Puppies, diamonds, saphas (male bridal headgear), rasgullas -- anything can be found at trendy SouthEx. Photograph: Kind courtesy Santosh4118/Wikimedia commons
Chairman and MD of Knight Frank India Shishir Baijal, said, 'Globally, cities are identified by their high streets, often one of the main attractions of the city, and the brands on these streets -- a barometer of the city's worth on a global platform.'
He feels that the traditional Indian high streets, that didn't make the red-letter list because a lack of amenities, will eventually get there 'as cities in India are modernising... and many high streets in the country reviving as facilities like access, parking, store visibility etc have improved.Our estimations say that the average per square meter revenues of high streets will be significantly higher than those of malls in FY 2023-24'.
As you go through this ranking of top ten, the omissions are glaring. Top shopping landmarks of our cities are missing, because even if a retail destination overflows with glass and chrome and fancy stuff to buy, if it does have basic stuff like parking or a decent restroom, it would not make the cut. Happy scrollling...
IMAGE: The most elegant street of Kolkata, Park Street figured on this list at Spot 5 along with adjoining Camac Street.
One of the oldest streets of India, with many nicknames and earlier names -- Shaheb -er Para, the 'neighbourhood of Englishmen', Ghorustan ka Rasta, Vansittart Avenue and Burial Ground Road -- Park Street has been around since the 1780s.
The Flurys tea and cake house is one of the enduring landmarks on this street. Photograph: Vaihayasi Pande Daniel/Rediff.com
IMAGE: Camac Street, Kolkata, jointly shared Place 5 with Park Street. Officially known as Abanindranath Thakur Sarani, Camac Street has shops stocking leading brands, a bunch of happening eateries like Monkey Bar & The Fatty Bao and a few period hotels nearby like The Astor and The Senator. Photograph: Kind courtesy Kolkatan/Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE: Chennai's Anna Nagar, named in honour of the late beloved Tamil Nadu chief minister C N Annadurai, where Nalli Silks lives cheek by jowl with international boutiques Mango and Steve Madden etc, came in sixth. Photograph: Rasnaboy/Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE: Bengaluru was back with the delightfully-decorated Commercial Street at No 7.
Apparently after just a few months of living in Bengaluru everyone ends up at Commercial street, at some point, to browse for saris, suitcases or jewellery or have a bowl of Bisibele Bhath at the iconic MTR (Mavalli Tiffin Room). Photograph: Kind courtesy Saad Faruque/Wikimedia Commons
Average Rents on Indian high streets
|City||High Street||Avg rents in INR per sq ft/mth|
|Ahmedabad||Chimanlal Girdharlal road (CG road)||180 - 200|
|Ahmedabad||SG Highway||140 - 160|
|Bengaluru||Indira Nagar - 100 Ft Road||150 - 200|
|Bengaluru||Church Street||200 - 250|
|Bengaluru||Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road)||100 - 125|
|Bengaluru||Koramangala - 100 Ft Road and 80 Ft Road||125 - 175|
|Bengaluru||Brigade Road||180 - 250|
|Bengaluru||Commercial Street||220 - 250|
|Bengaluru||Jayanagar - 4th Block||200 - 250|
|Chennai||Anna Nagar||150 - 175|
|Chennai||Nungambakkam High Road||190 - 240|
|Delhi||Connaught Place||200 - 550|
|Delhi||Lajpat Nagar||200 - 350|
|Delhi||Khan Market||1000 -1500|
|Delhi||South Extension - Part I & Part II||250 - 450|
|Gurugram||DLF Galleria||800 - 1200|
|Hyderabad||Jubilee Hills||200 - 225|
|Hyderabad||Banjara Hills||190 - 230|
|Hyderabad||Somajiguda||150 - 175|
|Hyderabad||Gachibowli||120 - 140|
|Kolkata||Park Street & Camac Street||300 - 450|
|Mumbai||Colaba Causeway||450 - 750|
|Mumbai||Lower Parel||300 - 500|
|Mumbai||Lokhandwala||350 - 550|
|Mumbai||Linking Road||350 - 1000|
|Noida||Sector 18 Market||150 - 250|
|Pune||Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG road)||200 - 250|
|Pune||Koregaon Park||250 - 300|
|Pune||Baner Road||150 - 200|
IMAGE: Noida's Sector 18 Market figured at No 8. The whole of sprawling Noida shops at this market that has outlets of both top MNCs and Indian brands. Close by are Atta Market, Wave Mall, The Great India Place Mall, Senior Mall, and DLF Mall of India. Photograph: PTI Photo
IMAGE: At No 9 was Bengaluru's pretty Brigade Road. Spas, malls, bars, bistros, pubs, and a Tibetan market make up Brigade. Photograph: Kind courtesy Amit/Wikimedia Commons
IMAGE: The 10th spot was also bagged by Bengaluru for its cobblestoned pedestrian-friendly Church street, closest in vibe to a pedestrian street abroad, especially when it is closed for traffic. Photograph: Kind courtesy T R Shankar Raman/Wikimedia Commons
Round up: Top 10 Indian high streets
|1||Bengaluru||Mahatma Gandhi Road (MG Road)|
|4||Delhi||South Extension - Part I & Part II|
|5||Kolkata||Park Street and Camac Street|
|8||Noida||Sector 18 Market|
Source: Knight Frank Research