Browse stores packed with unusual goods, meet animated shop owners and bargain for one-of-a-kind items at Chor Bazaar. This vibrant market is the place to find everything from clocks and religious icons to Bollywood paraphernalia, electronics and Victorian-era furniture. The market dates back over 150 years and was said to be first called Shor Bazaar (Noisy Market). It later became known as Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market) following a mispronunciation by British residents.
Stroll along Mutton Street and its adjoining side streets, where hundreds of sellers set up shop on the pavements and in timeworn buildings. See storefronts stocked haphazardly with all manner of old and new wares. Find shops dedicated to Bollywood posters, brass decorations, cameras, car parts, ceramics and iron furniture, among other things. Take time to patiently rummage through the displays to find unique souvenirs at budget prices.
Listen as the sellers boisterously attempt to entice locals and tourists to make purchases. Bargaining for goods is customary so prepare to engage in a price battle. Be cautious if buying electronics as the market has a reputation for selling imitation products. Stand back and marvel as chai wallahs (tea sellers), cycle couriers and scooters weave between the crowds.
Besides shopping, Chor Bazaar showcases an interesting array of architecture, which aids in maintaining its old-world charm. Admire colorful Hindu temples, graceful mosques and the fading grandeur of colonial-era mansions. Observe as varied cultures mingle in unison and pray at religious shrines.
Chor Bazaar is about a 15-minute drive from Mumbai’s central train station, Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus. From the popular tourist neighborhoods of Colaba and Kala Ghoda it’s about a 25-minute drive. You can get here comfortably via reasonably-priced auto-rickshaws and taxis. Buses stop at the market and the nearest train station is Grant Road.
The market is open from Saturday to Thursday. It sits in a conservative Muslim neighborhood so dress modestly and be respectful of the worshippers at religious sites.