You can’t see many record shops in India, but there are many second-hand record shops in the capital city of Delhi.

In recent years, the international analog record boom that started in Japan and Europe has reached here. I don’t know if it’s that particular influence, or the inflation in the Indian economy, which is making the price range in Delhi’s second-hand record shops rise.

Let’s enjoy this record shop tour where we look for rare and valuable records centred around old Bollywood music or Indian classical music.

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1. New Gramophone House

We will start from the shop that can’t be missed when speaking of second-hand records in Delhi.
The name of the lively main street that extends from the Red Fort – a world heritage site – is Chandni Chowk Road. A business district in the downtown area that represents Old Delhi, the store is on the second floor of a small building on the main street.

The record shop there has a history dating back to the 1930s. The current owner’s grandfather, who moved from Pakistan to Delhi, set up the shop in its current location. A historic, straightforward shop of long standing which has also been selected as one of the 50 noteworthy record shops in the world (according to The Vinyl Factory, UK). The condition of the second-hand record disks are good on average. There have a lot of stock of the collection centred around music from the 1950s-60s.

A lot of music lovers who come to this shop seeking collectors’ Indian disks (record disks of the Beatles or from the time when European artists released in India). I heard that among all the records released by the Beatles in various countries, for some reason the sitar sounds louder and up close in the Indian disks.

Price range : Rs. 1000, Rs. 1500, Rs. 2000

Shop Info
New Gramophone House
Address
Shop No. 9, Opposite Moti Cinema, Main Road, Chandni Chowk Road, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
*(The actual store was not on the same location as shown on Google Maps, it was across the street)
(Google Maps)
Tel 98109 55557
Website
http://ngh.co.in/
Online shop available (however, it is currently discontinued). Overseas shipping is also possible.

The one in my hand is an LP released in 1968, in good condition. Bhimsen Joshi is a classical Indian vocalist who was awarded the Bharat Ratna – India’s highest civilian honour – in 2009.

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2. Shah Music Centre
The one where we’re going to next is Shah Music Centre, within walking distance from the New Gramophone House mentioned above.

Small shops crowd the maze-like alleys of Meena Bazar, that spreads out under the Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque. Inside this market brimming with the lived experience of the citizens of Old Delhi are the two small shops of Shah Music Centre.

A long-established record shop run by family members generation after generation from the 1930s. The nice shopkeeper let me listen to some recommended records to my heart’s content. After the Quranic prayers, we were served tea. It was a cosy shop, and we unconsciously ended up staying longer than we had planned to.

The price range starts from an affordable Rs. 500. Perhaps one might unexpectedly come across a favourite? It is a shop where people who like digging around for records can relish the pleasure of doing so to the fullest.

Price Range
Rs. 500 ~ Rs. 2000. Condition (state of preservation / board quality) – various, from bad to good.
Their inventory of internationally rare records were also discovered, for Rs. 10000

Shop Info
Shah Music Centre
Address
256, Meena Bazar, Jama Masjid, New Delhi, Delhi 110006
*(There are two shops inside the market called Meena Bazar. The one in the address is S-256. The one we visited this time, which has the selection of classics, was K-197.)
(Google Maps)
Tel : 11232 76090


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3. Radio & Gramophone House
Leaving behind the bustle of Old Delhi, the last shop that we visited this time was Radio & Gramophone house in Connaught Place, at the centre of New Delhi. It’s also quite easy to access by regular transportation. It’s the part of town with a lot of fancy restaurants and shops.

Radio & Gramophone House was established in 1951. You can get your hands on records of maestros of Indian classical music or Bollywood music, as well as those considered to be the best albums of famous instrumentalists or composers – that are as good as new. Also, imported records, such as those of The Beatles and Pink Floyd, stand out inside the shop. It’s probably also a place where people from Delhi who like new music gather too. In the entire store, there are more CDs, and the quantity of records is less. Modern equipment like turntables are also at this shop.

Price Range
Used : Rs. 1000~ / New : Rs. 1500~

Shop Info
Radio & Gramophone House
Address
K-27, Connaught Circus, Block C, Connaught Place, New Delhi, Delhi 110001
(Google Maps)
Tel : 11234 16454

With such a big haul, we went for a toast with kebabs and beer at a restaurant a few buildings from Record & Gramophone House.

Note : The information stated is as of September 2017. The information, URL, etc. may be changed without notice.

Images | Text : Yoko Kobayashi (translated by Aumurto Chaudhury)

This post is also available in Japanese.