Mutton Street – Mumbai’s flea market or Chor Bazar.

[tweetthis display_mode=”box”]It never ceases to amaze me how things only happen when they are meant to happen.[/tweetthis]

Getting ready for the market

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An antique porcelain figurine

Nam Ju and I were planning a trip to the flea market or Chor Bazaar. She was curious to see the antiques available. We made many plans,  only to  cancel at the last moment – “My daughter is not well, The driver hasn’t come” from her end and  ” Something has happened at the last moment and I can’t make it” from mine.

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Glass handis and antique lamps

So finally when we fixed up to go this morning, Nam Ju had her apprehensions. When I picked her up, she cheerfully pulled out a single use surgical mask and showed me with glee that she was prepared for the onslaught of germs and bacteria . I was a bit stunned – surely my city is not that bad?? But knowing the foreigners’ paranoia, I held my counsel and we proceeded through this hot and humid city to Mutton Street.

Mutton Street -Mumbai’s flea market

The street gets its name from the original  shops that sold meat. Today although you may see the odd goat, the street is the place to browse for “antiques”.
Approaching it from Gol Deval we got off Null Bazaar and went down Mutton Street aka Chor Bazaar. It was almost 11.30 but there was not a shopper in sight. I was actually beginning to get worried when I asked a shop keeper why the place was so deserted. “The season was down” , he told me and in fact this was the best time to buy anything. 

Walking down memory lane

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Delft Blue and Gods of Brass
Nam Ju was fascinated by the shops  and actually showed interest in some . She loved the brightly coloured Handis we saw at Taherally’s and the brass stand alone reproduction lamp at Al Anwar’s. The shopkeepers themselves were quite transparent about the “newness” of their wares . They told us that much of their stuff was not genuine antique. 
Along the way we passed a vendor of old laces and sari borders, lots of porcelain knobs, tiles and enamel advertisements. A shop that particularly fascinated me was Bollywood Bazar where Wahid sold genuine Lobby Cards of Hollywood movies , posters of old Hindi movies, vinyl records and all kinds of movie memorabilia.
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             horses and figurines

At Karachi Gift store we found some interesting pieces of furniture and the lady in charge said that she was willing to finish off the piece in any way we wanted – distressed, metallised or just plain varnish.

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                   Masks

Masks and statues animals in wood
marble and bronze were a plenty in this shop near Taherally’s.

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         Metal and enamel wares

Outside one of the curio shops near Taherally’s ( I gave Nam Ju the card so I don’t have the exact address), we saw two foreigners sitting in front of an urli. Nam Ju was interested in buying one so we went inside. Following the advice of one of the ladies we went further and further inside the shop to find that we were three rooms deep of masks and statues and boxes and all kinds of fascinating stuff. This shop is definitely worth visiting because it is a veritable Aladdin’s cave.

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 Glass handis
Al Anwar LampShop ( oil lamps, electric lamps & wall lamps
121 Mutton Street, Bhendi Bazar Mumbai 400003
Tel : 2345 5087
Taherally’s ( chandeliers, light fittings, silver ware, paintings, curios and wooden furniture)
28 Mutton Street Mumbai 400003
Tel : 2347 1169
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Movie maniac’s delight

email : artdecor@vsnl.com

Bollywood Bazar (Vintage Bollywood & Hollywood memorabilia, Posters, Lobby cards, Photo Stills & Booklets)
38 Mutton Street, Mumbai 400003
Tel : 2347 2427
Karachi Gift Stores
102 Mutton Street, Khara Tank Road Shop No4
Tel : 2347 2646
email : tapaswiarts@gmail.com
The two hours went by so fast that Nam Ju didn’t realise that she had forgotten to wear her mask. She also didn’t  change into the fresh set of clothes she’d brought along just in case she needed to!

Shopping tips

  • Chor Bazar is closed on Fridays
  • Take a cab instead or get dropped off at Null Bazar because Pay & Park doesn’t exist over here.
Chor Bazar has changed over the years: it has become cleaner and more organised. The shop keepers insist that you can take a car as  shops that  pour out into the streets are fined. Though the streets are not spotless, the shops are less higgeldy piggeldy . There are a few goats but no stray dogs around.  The street smells less smelly and the shopkeepers can spot a genuine buyer a mile off. They don’t  fawn over and pester passers by to step inside and “just see madam”.
[ctt title=”So if you have inclination, you can truly enjoy a few hours browsing through the shops on Mutton Street. ” tweet=”So if you have inclination, you can truly enjoy a few hours browsing through the shops on Mutton Street. ” coverup=”D42Ne”]
Happy Shopping!
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Proud Mumbai gal who always sees the humour in life. The mum who made banana fritters when all the other mums made cupcakes.

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