The Chor Bazaar, Mumbai, also known as the Thieves Market, allows one to experience an interesting slice of life in the city of dreams. It’s also a unique place to shop for things you wouldn’t find anywhere else.
Located within the Muslim Quarter of Mumbai, the Chor Bazaar is one of the biggest and most peculiar flea markets in the whole of India. Even if you’re not much of a shopper, the chances are you’ll hardly be able to beat the urge of buying something at this market – everything looks so vintage, so engrossing, and I would even say, so romantic! You just find yourself surrounded by all those gramophones, old watches, vintage furniture and wooden toys, cutlery and cute porcelain cups, neatly stacked on innumerable stalls, and it’s almost impossible to battle a desire of taking a piece of this magical kaleidoscope with you.
Things to know about the Chor Bazaar: Thieves Market in Mumbai
As mentioned above, the Chor Bazaar literally means the “thieves’ market”, so it won’t be wrong to watch your pockets when at the market. According to the legend, a valuable violin of Queen Victoria was robbed while being unloaded from the ship upon arrival to Bombay, and later it was found among the goods at the Chor Bazaar, Mumbai.
They say the original name of the place sounded as Shor Bazaar, which translates as the “noisy market”, but eventually it was changed into “chor” due to the British who kept mispronouncing the word. When the city dwellers started noticing the missing items finding their way to the Chor Bazzar in Mumbai, it really started living up to its new name. They even go as far as to say that if some of your belongings suddenly go missing in Mumbai, you can always buy them back at the Chor Bazaar.
When I posted some of the pictures from the Chor bazaar on Twitter, quite a few people warned me that the majority of goods at this market are fake antiques these days. The Chor bazaar is becoming increasingly popular among foreign visitors who are willing to shell out cash for things like old Bollywood posters, coo-coo clocks, vintage cameras and telephones, so the local vendors try their best to meet this demand. My opinion on this? Well, as long as the price is not overblown, who cares whether it’s real or just made to look old? It’s meant to serve a decorative purpose anyway.
From what I’ve seen, the Thieves Market, Mumbai, is also a great place for buying all sorts of second hand tools that may come in handy around the house: from screwdrivers to hammers, spanners, wrenches, pliers and hex keys, you’ll find them all among the numerous stalls of this market. My husband even bought all his weight lifting gear at the Chor Bazaar. Needless to say, it cost him a fraction of the price compared to what it would have come to in a specialized sports store.
As for me, I’m thinking of visiting this market as soon as I can in order to check out on vintage crockery – I’ve noticed such things kind of fascinate me these days. Is it a sign of getting old, or should I say, antique? 🙂
How to get to the Chor Bazaar?
Mumbai is well-connected by the railway network, and it’s easy to to get to the Thieves Market from the Grand Road station. If you’re thinking of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Teminus as your start point, it’s around 3 km from the Chor Bazaar, so you should be ready to walk that much. If you’re staying in the touristy district of Colaba, the easiest way to get to the Thieves Market in Mumbai is by a classic black and yellow cab. You can also go for Uber or Ola (both services are very popular in Mumbai).
Here is the Chor bazaar on the map.
Photos of the Chor Bazaar, the Thieves Market in Mumbai
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