Parry’s Corner, a quintessential business district in Chennai, is named after Thomas Parry, a Welsh merchant who was instrumental in the setting up Parry & Co in Chennai in 1789. The corporate headquarters of this company is still situated in this area in a famous building called Dare House
Parry’s Corner is a neighborhood in George Town, Chennai, India. Often referred to as Parry’s, it is situated near the Chennai Port, at the intersection of North Beach Road and NSC Bose Road. The Anderson Church is the oldest and most prominent church in the region. There is an intercity bus service from this area.
Shopping in Parry’s Corner
Parry’s Corner is one of the oldest and most congested areas and is also a very popular shopping market in Chennai. It is a wholesale shopping market dealing in a variety of products ranging from fabrics, cosmetics, bangles and stationery items to utensils, plumbing equipment & cycle parts. There are about 25 streets in this area between Rajaji Salai and Wall Tax Road (as shown in the map below) that comprises the shopping market. What is unique to the Parry’s Corner shopping market is that each street specializes in one particular type of product. One has to explore the shopping market several times to get a sense of the market and the numerous products that are available here. Chennaites flock to this area during the Diwali, Navaratiri and Christmas festivals.
Let us now take a shopping trip through the Parry’s Corner Shopping Market. The incredible range of products that is available in these streets will leave you speechless.
Exploring the Parry’s Corner Shopping Market
Here are the street names and the products that are available there:
Perumal Mudali Street.
Coloured glass bangles is what is famous in this street. There are more than 400 shops in this street. The whole street lights up in color as the sunlight fades in the late evenings and casts a beautiful glow on the glass bangles. The street is also called the “Vallaiyakarra theru” (bangle street). The crowds throng the bangle shops during festival days. Shopping needs for Vallakaapu – which is a function held to celebrate the seventh month of gestation for a woman, is specially done here. In this function the expectant mother is adorned with glass bangles. Many shops have included artificial jewelry, beads, fancy buttons and toys to their product list. Some shops are popular for beads and jewelry making accessori
Mooker Nalla Muthu Street
This street is known for plumbing items, such as motors, pumps, pipes, angles, hoses, ducts &valves of all sizes and shapes. Also available are insulation materials, packaging and cushioning and padding materials.
Audiappa Naicken Street
This is the street for dry fruits and spices. Cashewnut, walnuts, figs and almonds can be purchased in bulk. All kinds of spices are also available in these shops such as cinnamon, kari patta, saunf, kala jeera and many more. Dry fruits are also available in Strotten Mudali street.
Kasi Chetty Street
This street is known for its imported goods. The street is the ‘goto’ place for toys, gift items, perfumes, handbags, electronic goods and cameras. Doll houses, play gyms and musical toys are available in plenty. The variety of items sold here is amazing. If you have a child in the family you would be compelled to visit this street. Brides are also often seen here looking for imported fabrics, laces, ribbons and cosmetics for their wedding trousseau.
Thambu Chetty Street
Shop for hardware, ball and roller bearings, tiles, and sanitary ware. This is where the Kaligambal Temple is located. Shivaji, the Maratha warrior is supposed to have visited this temple in the late 17th centuary.
Govindappa Naicken Street
This street is lined with shops that sell electrical goods. Electronic and electrical wires, wire meshes, wire cutting equipment, cables, batteries, electric motors and connectors, to name a few, are the products sold.
Has iron and steel, rods, pipes and sheets. Household needs such as iron grills, doors, and other industrial and construction equipment are available here.
This is Chennai’s old flower market. The strong smell of jasmine and the refreshing sight of roses and marigold can bring back memories of the film My Fair Lady. There are shops that weave garlands and braids for special occasions. The prices are considerably lesser when compared to the city flower markets. However, old timers of Chennai can definitely see a decline in the business here after the main flower bazaar moved to Koyambedu, which is another part of town. One has to tread carefully in this street as it is always wet and slippery.
This street is famous for cycles and optical shops. Cycle shops have bicycles of various brands and for all age groups. There are racer bikes, teen bikes and baby prams. Some shops also have fitness equipment such as treadmills that are used in a gym. Broadway is also popular for purchasing weighing machines and fire fighting equipment. Different kinds of weighing scales such as crane weighing, electronic platform and digital, jewel weighing and high precision lab scales to name a few. Manufacturers and wholesale dealers of fire extinguishing and fighting accessories have set up their shops in Broadway. From medical first aid kits, flash lights, torches, gas detectors, face respirators, fire hoses to fire protection needs for industries such industrial blowers and exhausts , they are all available in these shops.
Broadway Road was also once called “Pai Kadai”, the place where we could purchase all kinds of straw mats. Straw mats have many uses in India. They are used as a , mattress for sleeping, for seating, as blinds and curtains, wall hangers and table mats. Even today, one can find quite a few shops selling mats on this road.
Last but, not at all the least, Mint Street is arguably known as the longest street in Chennai. With a long history, the street derived its name from the presence of many pawn brokers and money lenders who migrated from other parts of country to set up their businesses here. A coin making unit was also present in this road which could have contributed to the name of the street. The street is popular for many reasons.
Parry’s Corner Shopping Market is also known by other names – Sowcarpet, Pai Kadai, Poo Kadai, George Town, Mannady or just Town.
A Few Tips-
– Plan to spend the whole afternoon exploring this Shopping Market.
– Access is best by walk.
While the streets mentioned above can be used as a guideline, however, one can always stop and ask one of the shop owners or a bystanders for directions and one would get detailed instructions.
The Parry’s Corner Shopping Market is the best place to buy household essentials & gifts in Chennai.
Try & bargain for the best price.
To become familiar with the entire area and traverse through the maze of streets confidently, one has to visit Parry’s Corner several times.
Best Known for-
Imported fabrics & cosmetics
Plumbing and construction materials