The most popular flea market in India’s leading metropolis is Chor Bazaar. The name literally means ‘thieves’ market’ because the prices are so cheap it is almost like stealing. Some vendors even allow bargaining and haggling. Another reason for the name is that people assume that most of the goods are stolen and re-sold at very cheap price. The market is located in the modern city of Mumbai and the locals have a popular saying that goes: ‘If you lose anything in Mumbai, you can buy it back from the Chor Bazaar.’ The most common items on sale are clothes and household items. The market used to go by the name ‘Shor’ Bazaar, which means noisy and chaotic because it is quite noisy and chaotic with haggling market goers elbowing each other trying to get the best discounts.
Market goers rummage through antique Ming vases at unbelievably cheap prices. The most popular areas within the open market are Fashion Street, Linkin Road, and Mutton Street, which is famous for its rows of antique shops that offer amazing finds such as Art Dec clocks, colonial lamps, Victorian furniture, and colorful trinkets at staggeringly affordable prices. A tiny but widely known store is Mini Market selling posters and photos of famous Bollywood superstars.
Bollywood is based in Mumbai. It is just one of the many reasons why this modern metropolis is so popular in India and the rest of South Asia. The Bollywood Hindi film industry may have gotten its name from Hollywood but it produces more blockbuster hits than its American counterpart. It averages 100 blockbuster films a year. While the rich and famous enjoy their time in Bollywood Film City, the rest of the locals make their way to Chor market.
Although there is so much activity inside Chor, it is still considered an ‘organized’ flea market. It has been around for more than 150 years and has never dwindled in popularity among the people. Chor Bazaar is made up of mazes and alleys, with rows and rows of stalls and kiosks. About half of the items sold in Chor came from another flea market, the Waghri Bazaar located near Mumbai Central. Merchants and vendors at Chor come early to Waghri Bazaar on Fridays to buy their commodities. Waghri opens at 4:00 a.m. and closes at 8:00 a.m. Chor then opens shop at 9:00 a.m. Once it opens on Friday morning, Chor remains open for a number of succeeding days, and closes only during the evening Muslim prayers.
Another popular flea market in Mumbai is the Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Market, which is also a leading tourist attraction. Other popular city landmarks are Gateway of India, Victoria Terminus, Jehangir Art Gallery, National Gallery of Modern Art, Marine Drive and Chowpatty Beach. Tourists also enjoy visiting Mani Bhavan, Malabar Hill, Mahalaxmi Temple, Siddhivinayak Temple, Haji Ali Shrine, and the Juhu beach.
The primary reason why locals and tourists continue to flock to Chor Bazaar despite the many other tourist attractions to choose from, they find almost everything they need within the world-famous flea market, including unique souvenir items that may not be found elsewhere in the world.