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Shopping in Indian Flea Markets

Shopping in India
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Flea Markets
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Idian Flea Markets

You can never know what you might end up unearthing in a flea market. It might be a hidden antique, a sailor’s spyglass or a totally useless piece of decorative junk. One thing is sure, the joy of rooting through a flea market is exhilarating. This is especially true of India where all sorts of legitimate and stolen goods find their way into the bazaar. From designer goods at throwaway prices to scraps of twisted metal, everything is for sale and they provide a good excuse for the shopaholic to travel.

» Anjuna Beach – Wednesday Flea Market

Among street markets in India, the Anjuna Beach market in Goa is undoubtedly the most famous and the most fabled. Initially started by the hippies, today this market has become part of Goan life and is thronged by both the locals and tourists alike. The high season of this market is between November and February, during the peak tourist season in Goa.

Anjuna Beach – Wednesday Flea Market

Situated at a distance of 18 km from Panaji, you can find anything at the Anjuna beach flea market. Whether it be the typical tourist-y Goan clothes favoured by foreigners or souvenirs, sarongs, bamboo work or beachwear – the Anjuna Flea Market welcomes all kinds of buyers. It is also the meeting point of the footloose and fancy free of Goa. Enthusiastic musicians might give an impromptu concert, palmists and tarot card readers will read your fortune. Who knows, you might even stumble upon a restored Bullet being sold by a departing tourist.

Goa is the birthplace of trance music and Anjuna Beach is your best bet to find the latest in this worldwide phenomena. There are shacks selling electronic music and on full moon nights the beach comes alive with the thumping beats of a trance party. Tired after all that shopping and partying? Relax on the each with some coconut juice and the trademark Goan prawns and just let the sunset soak in.

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» Mumbai – Chor Bazaar

It is said that life in Mumbai is lived on its streets. But can you also say that shopping in the city is also carried out in its streets? Well, just come to the Chor Bazaar and find out for yourself. Literally translated as the Thieves’ Market, anything and everything might find its way into Mumbai’s Chor Bazaar.

Mumbai – Chor Bazaar

The permanent address of this flea market is on Mohammed Ali Road in Pydhonie. Those looking for antiques should head for Motton Street, the main avenue of this market. Motton Street is lined by rows of little antique shops on both sides. The loot might range form old ship parts to gramophone records, grandfather clocks, crystal chandeliers or even old English tea sets. Be warned, however, that the proprietors are quite wily and they will give the best bargain hunter a run for their money.

Every Friday, the Chor Bazaar winds up its stalls and makes space for the Juma Market where sellers from all over Mumbai come to display their wares. As long as you don’t inquire too much into the origin of the products on display, you should be fine shopping within this bustling microcosm of Mumbai life.

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» Delhi – Chor Bazaar

The oldest Chor Bazaar in the country is the one in Delhi. Some might say that this is the original Chor Bazaar in India. A Sunday market consisting if a staggering 10,000 shops, its traditional haunt was the large grounds behind Red Fort. Due to security reasons, it has now been shifted to the Daryaganj area extending upto the Jama Masjid.

The tales of finding ‘genuine’ stolen goods in Delhi’s Chor Bazaar are apocryphal. There is the story of the man who parked his car in Chandani Chowk and found all four of his car tires stolen on return. The car was standing on a makeshift platform of bricks. The locals advised him to buy a replacement from Chor Bazaar and he found his own set of tires available for a bargain!

Well, that is the beauty of a flea market. Just about anything is possible here. From absolute junk like old, twisted bicycle parts to brand new Converse shoes (true story), all is available but you have your task cut out hunting for them. Right next to the Chor Bazaar is located the famous street side Book Market of Daryaganj – another happy hunting grounds for the avid bargain seeker.

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