Ahead of Ramzan in Hyderabad, Barkas Bazaar stocks up Gulf imports

A hit among all are the famous lungis and chappals. Abayas, footwear, perfumes, dates, scarves etc. are also a major hit among Hyderabadis.

Hyderabad: Ramzan is just a few weeks away and Barkas Bazaar traders in the Old City of Hyderabad are stocking up on fresh merchandise. “Barkas” is a misspelt or corrupted form of the word “Barracks”. During the Nizam era, the Barracks constructed here housed Yemeni troops and their families.

After the annexation of Hyderabad State into India, the Yemenis continued their stay and still live here.

The Barkas Bazaar in Hyderabad’s Old City thrives in Ramzan. Traders here sell merchandise imported from the Middle East which includes abayas, footwear, perfumes, dates, scarves etc.

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A hit among all are the famous lungis and chappals. The Araba Chappal, as locally referred to, is footwear imported from the Middle East and Yemen in particular. Known for its durability and comfort the footwear costs between Rs 1200 to Rs 20,000 a pair. The pricing depends on the brand, colour and quality of the product.

Abdullah Wahilyan, a local shopkeeper said the product is in demand during Ramzan for the Eid ul Fitr festivities, when buyers from across Hyderabad come to buy the footwear.

Another item sold during Ramzan is the lungi. Imported from Malaysia and Indonesia, the lungi is in high demand and priced between Rs 1500 and Rs 25,000. Certain brands of the lungi are auctioned and the base price set is Rs 30,000 and are sometimes auctioned for Rs 50,000. Traditionally the Yemeni dress up in a lungi and kurta or shirt. So the traditional dress is in more demand although the present generation wear jeans and t-shirts.

On important occasions the traditional dress is preferred more, said Hassan, a local shopkeeper.

Abayas, from the Middle East, are imported to cater to the local demand of women. The products are brought from UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and other countries. Perfumes are imported by a handful of traders and stocked at their stores.

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