The Vintage Cart team visits one of Asia’s biggest collectible markets to do an intensive research and bring you the best places to shop when there
Of all the things that Mumbai is famous for, Chor Bazaar is invariably in the top 5. The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” perfectly suits Chor Bazaar. Chor Bazaar is more than 150 years old and was initially called the “Shor Bazaar” due to immense noise of people who thronged the market every day to shop. With time, stolen goods started entering the market and soon the name changed to “Chor Bazaar”.
Chor Bazaar is considered as the most established and greatest antique market in India with having close to 100 shops selling vintage collectibles. Jewellery, crockery, wooden pillars, curios, wooden and metal figurines, statuettes, carved wooden furniture, handicrafts, mirrors, wall hangings, paintings – you name it, they have it. There are also lamps, Chinese urns, door frames, vintage photographs, and glass and porcelain ware that were once part of our ancient Indian culture. Apart from these antiques, one can find sculptures, handmade toys, embroidered garments, floral oils, and chandeliers in many other shops along the street.
It is open throughout the week except for Fridays since it is a Muslim dominated area and Fridays is the Muslim prayer day. However, the area is still worth a visit on Friday when it comes alive with the Jumma market. From the wee hours of the morning till the sun is out, vendors cram the lanes selling all kinds of goods, mostly stolen.
So we bring you some of the best shops to check out whenever you are around the area.
1. Periodic Collection – Original crystal, glassware and ceramics from royal palaces around India.
2. Old is Gold – Covered trunks and taxidermy.
3. Taherallys – Original Old lamps, lanterns, hundis, original railway lights and English silver.
4. Indian Art Corner – Vintage telephones.
5. Art Palace – Carved wooden doors from Gujarat, ornate bronze castings and decorative art.
6. Just & Fair Mart – Coffee tables, pitaras and doors from Rajasthan and Gujarat which have been carefully restored.
7. A-One Corner – Bollywood film posters. Name it and you’ll get it. Must for Bollywood fanatics.
8. Mini Art Centre – Range of diverse compasses.
9. Art Centre – Best for restored art deco cabinets in teak and rosewood.
10.Chandeliers & Furniture House – Crystal chandeliers and authentic antiques sourced from royal palaces.
11. Dada Kasam Mansuri – Best for vintage cameras.
The accumulations of vintage and rare collectibles in Chor Bazaar are excellent for every shopaholic – be it locals or a traveller. To reach here, you can take a local train till Grant Road station and then take a cab to Mutton Street. It is located in the busy market area between S V Patel and Moulana Shaukat Ali Roads, near Mohammad Ali Road in South Mumbai. Cafe Paradise is one of the most well known landmarks around.
Apart from Chor Bazaar, there are other several places of interest which one should definitely visit. You’ll see Gol Deoul, the circular Shiva temple, the bustling Null Bazaar – famous for fruits, vegetables, meat and fish. You will also get a rare glimpse into the life of the Bohras, a community of minority Shia Muslims. In addition, the tour provides an opportunity to observe authentic Muslim cooking first-hand.
So the next time you’re searching a showpiece to match your sofa set or the wall colour, either make a trip to Chor Bazaar if you’re in Mumbai.
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