When in Mumbai, don’t miss your chance to go shopping in Crawford Market. Also known to locals as Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai, Crawford Market Mumbai was completed in 1869 and named after Arthur Crawford, the city’s Municipal Commissioner at that time. The 22,000-sq-meter-wide market was designed by a well-known British architect named William Emerson. It is splendidly designed after the Norman and Flemish architectural styles; one of its unique features is a 15-meter high skylight that lets sunlight in to brighten up the entire market. The market’s stone fountains were designed by no less than Lockwood Kipling, father of the famous writer, Rudyard Kipling. In addition to the cheap produce and fun cultural experience, this colonial market is a popular tourist attraction for its grand architecture that is distinctly European.
What’s inside this famous Mumbai market? Market goers and curious tourists come to Crawford Market to find everything there is to find. The market is divided into several sections according to the items on sale. A popular section is the one for children. Found here are children’s clothing, children’s caps, children’s shoes, and all sorts of toys and learning materials. There are also sections for fruits, dried fruits, nuts, vegetables, fresh poultry, chocolates, cheese, pantry, and party needs such as balloons, candles, snow sprays, snack items, and so on. Fruits and vegetables are heaped like miniature mountains and sold at wholesale rates.
The two leading vegetable shops are Jyoti Agriculture, which is known for its Jalapeño peppers, and Trikaya Agriculture, which is popular for selling exotic produce such as seedless limes, kohlrabi, broccoli sprouts, radicchio lettuce, fresh herbs, green garlic stalks, and lemongrass stalks.
The fruit section is a favorite among foreigners since on display are several exotic fruit kinds. These exotic Asian fruits include the purple mangosteen, hairy rambutan, dragon fruit, rose apples, and the tough-skinned bel fruit.
Meanwhile, the leading pantry shops selling nuts, berries, spices, dried foods and so on are Gloria Store Shop, Neelam Store, Biscuitwala and Sons, Victory Store, Royal Dry Food, Continental, and Uncle’s Shop. Uncle’s Shop sells hard-to-find Japanese produce such as shiitake mushrooms, dahi powder and sushi rice, as well as Mexican products such as tacos, tortilla chips, nachos, fajita, and enchilada seasoning. Biscuitwala and Sons also offers a few rare items such as Turkish oregano, wasabi paste, wild rice, bamboo shoots, Spanish paprika, molasses, black bean seeds, and so on.
There are definitely more things to buy at very affordable prices, and more things to do in this widely popular market. If these are enough to convince you to come, know that Crawford Market Mumbai is not difficult to locate. Simply take a train, local city bus or an auto-rickshaw going to the Victoria Terminus. The market is a walking distance away from Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Located between the British fort and the local town, the market is near a couple of popular landmarks such as Saria Steel Depot, Mirchi Galli (a famous spice market in the area), and Shah Gabharubhai Uttamchand & Co. (another well-known spice market).