The narrow lane opposite the Bank of Maharashtra at Tulsibaug Chowk for the last few days was crowded with makeshift kiosks selling a range of colurful rakhis, and this year the prices were somewhat higher.
A simple Chhota Bheem and Krrish rakhi either made of rubber or plastic, which was sold for Rs 20 last year, is being sold at about Rs 35 this season.
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Speaking on this price increment, one of the vendors, Rakesh Patil, says, “This year, we are getting these rakhis for higher prices from the wholesale dealer. So there is an overall increase in prices of the rakhis after calculating our profit margins.
Besides there is also a very high demand in the market and people are paying higher rates.”
However, the Chhota Bheem, Angry Birds and the Krrish rakhis are not just the only ones that have seen popularity and price hike. There are rakhis with miniature soft toys attached which cost between Rs 40 and Rs 80. “It is definitely not nice to pay so much for simple rakhis but as the designs get complicated, prices go up. But again there has not been a spectacular improvement in the quality,” said a customer.
Elegant rakhis made of zari, glittering stones and zardozi, starting at a price tag of Rs 150 and above are particularly popular among elderly siblings.
“This year, most of the floral patterns are made of colourful stones that appear to be kundan and the resham (string) are made of zari that make these rakhis costlier,” explains Patil.
This is not just the end of the rakhi market. For those who do not mind spending more go for silver-plated rakhis that cost between Rs 200 and Rs 1000 at the Nagarkar Pushkar a shop in Tulsibaug. The rakhis are made of pure silver but are not heavy or clumsy in design, although they are available at nothing less than Rs 1,000.
“We have already sold some 1000 silver-plated rakhis this year. But if I compare the sales to last year, then there has been an increase of only 2 per cent and it might be due to an overall downfall in the silver and the gold market,” says the owner of the shop.