You know I have a thing for word play. I think its a great way to get your attention. I think by now you know how much I love Mumbai. But let me tell you a secret; I have lived in the city for 19 years, technically speaking, except for the last 8 years. But yet I have never actually seen my city. Of course I have heard of the places, but I never got to see much of it until recent times. Well let me introduce you to one of the most historical aspect of the city – Chor Bazaar, literally meaning thieves market.
You must be wondering what is so great about a mere market. Well, 150 years of history is reflected in its evolution – from its name to the products that is sold. Originally referred to as Shor Bazaar, meaning noisy market, the word “shor” became “chor” since the Britishers were unable to pronounce it. Eventually, stolen goods started showing up in the market, thereby living up to its current name.
The area is a hub of Muslim localites and is full of crowded streets, crumbling buildings and buildings with characteristic Islamic architecture. However, instead of distracting you, it somewhat add on to the old world charm.
After traversing through each lane, it is easy to understand why this place was suc a favorite among the Britishers. The variety of trinkets that can be seen is simply astounding; from antiques to vintage goods and posters, car spare parts, brasswares, hardwares and tools, electronics, furnitures, fashion and footwear, and meat.
How to Reach the Market:
By Road – Local Transport is definitely a viable option. But I am not very well versed with the routes and bus number so I can not guide you any further.
By Rail – Local Trains are going to be your friend if you opt for this medium. The closest railway is located at Grant Road from where tourists can walk towards Mohammed Ali Road which will lead you directly to the Flea Market.
There are two ways to reach Grant Road – via CST (Central line) or via Western Line.
11.00 to 19.30 Hours, except on Friday which is Muslim Prayer Day. But do not neglect it just because it’s a Friday. I have been told that the real thieves market is actually the Friday Market.
Well the lanes are narrow, to describe it at its best. I was roaming around the lanes, and I did not attract any kind of untoward attention. However, do keep checking your wallet or pockets; I was warned to keep an eye out for pickpockets.
You will definitely be tempted to buy half of the products that are out there. I am not kidding you, but I almost ended up buying a gramophone.
The prices literally depends on how well you know the art of negotiation. I would advise you to go during early hours; they are more amenable to prices since the first customer to a shop is considered as auspicious.
Last but not the least. There are very few liberal minds in India. Being a conservative Muslim area, it is advised to dress in loose, full-sleeved clothing.