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Kanchipuram to Kalamkari, find it all at Nalli | Chennai

What you see – Yards, no make that miles, or trails and trails of silk. Silk on every shelf, every corner, every wall… there is so much here in terms of color and style and silk, it’s mind-boggling. Only when you go in do you realize it’s no wonder that when any NRI or expat comes to town and says they want to buy a saree, Nalli is the first place that comes to mind.

What you get - Nalli was started in the year 1928 by Chinnasami Chetty first at T-Nagar’s Panagal Park area. Today, his son Nalli Kuppusamy Chetty and grandson Ramanathan run the show. Earlier, Nalli used to pride itself in the fact that it had no branches, but now the son and grandson have realized that’s not the way to go and Nalli now has four outlets spread through Chennai - two in T Nagar itself (side by side, like the old and the new), one in Adyar and the other in Anna Nagar.

The T Nagar Nalli is by far the largest standing at a mammoth 1.5 lakh square feet in terms of built-up area. There’s something for everyone at every possible budget - sarees at Rs. 300 and sarees at Rs. one lakh. It’s all yours for the choosing. This showroom also has tailoring attached. Incidentally, this one is called the Nalli 100 outlet as the 100 stands for the plot number it stands on in the busy Usman Road.

The Adyar showroom is miniscule compared to this one at 6,000 square feet and two floors. The Anna Nagar showroom has more floors (four to be precise) but is smaller than the Adyar one.

Nalli is really moving with the times. They even launched a Nalli Lifestyle Kids’ Wear emporium on Pinchala Subramaniam Street, just behind their main outlet on Nageswaran Road, Panagal Park. This outlet has car parking facility, is 5,000 square feet in size and deals in clothes for children (babies to 15 years) within prices that go as low as Rs. 100.

Back to Nalli’s mainstay - their sarees. Nalli stocks not just the staple Kanchipuram Silk sarees, which is still their forte, but even cotton, silk cotton, polycottons and synthetic sarees. Check out their range of Karishma sarees (cotton voile sarees), Valkalam sarees from Benares at Rs. 1,000 and more, Coimbatore Silk Cotton, Kora Silk, Benares Silk, Tissue Sarees, Kota Cottons and Jari sarees. Wait there’s more… Chettinad cottons and Pattur silk sarees from Andhra, Mysore silks from Karnataka, embroidered sarees, sequined sarees, paper silk, printed silk and more.

Besides sarees, Nalli has salwars, and half-sarees as well as material for sale. They also have artificial jewelry sections at their branches now as they have realized the one-stop shop concept seems to sell better.

Our verdict – There are a number of reasons people choose Nalli. The first is their range. They have traditional and modern, something your grandmom will love and something you will too. Nalli's USP also lies in its quality, there’s simply no doubting a saree you have bought here. Just one thing, one any given day their branches get at least 500 to 1,000 visitors. Around the festive seasons and holiday time, the figure is three-fold. The bottomline is that they are always packed to the brim and you have to fight for attention. But MetroMela simply loved the courteous staff at the showrooms. Also, parking at the T Nagar outlet is a nightmare. Hire a cab.

Anytime between - 9 AM - 9.30 PM
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