Shopping in Mumbais thieves market offers unusual joy

January 6th, 2008 - 5:37 pm ICT by admin  

By Rajesh Dhotre
Mumbai, Jan.6 (ANI): Away from its metropolitan life, Mumbai boasts of its popular Chor Bazar or thieves market that remains a big charm in central Mumbai where people of all income groups enjoy to shop till they drop without hesitation.
Chor Bazaar offers the proverbial merchandise of a pin to plane. Be it antiques, designer-ware, novelties, footwear or auto spare parts of almost every model in the world, you can expect it all in this 150-year-old market.
Situated off the Mumbai’s Red Light district of Bhendi Bazar, between S.V. Patel and Maulana Shaukat Ali Road, the Chor Bazaar makes shopping a special experience, especially for antiques.
Despite its name suggesting it to be a thieves market, shopkeepers object to the misunderstanding that the products sold here are stolen items.
“Chor Bazaar is a name given by a particular group of people. They think that they are getting these items over here at cheaper rates. So they believe that these items are either pilfered or robbed and brought over here. But it is not like that. We get these old items here. We get them repaired and redone before selling it,” said Ibrahim, a shopkeeper.
Among the merchandise available here are items which elite boutiques also sell, besides curios, wooden articles, leatherwear, footwear, carpets, handicrafts, textiles and accessories. In other words, Chor Bazaar has it all and one can find the antiques shops as crowded as any other shop.
Members of the most affluent families and industrialists in their chauffeur-driven limousines can be spotted shopping at the flea market since they can bargain for rare and exclusive items that are not easily available elsewhere.
According to the shopkeepers, the items, all genuine, are available for a song.
There are also few shops that have alluring antique jewellery and rare historical items like Maharaja’s hand crafted sword and Victorian furniture, old ship parts, grandpa clocks, gramophones, crystal chandeliers and old English tea sets.
The shopkeepers claim everything is genuine here.
You can find tourists trying their bargaining skills for Ming vases and Muranos at throwaway prices.
“You will get everything in Chor Bazaar, from motor parts to hardware, machinery, clothes, shoes and almost everything. You can get everything at a very cheap rate and nice price,” said Haji Imran Khan, another shopkeeper of Chor Bazaar.
For people visiting Mumbai, a trip to Chor Bazaar could unfold some of the best antiques one might have ever seen. But it is not just about antiques; it has an odd collection of shops that sell goods of various ranges.
The market remains open generally on all days between 11 in the morning and 8 at night. The rush is high on Thursdays and Fridays. (ANI)

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