Wandering Through Bombay–7: Chor Bazaar

Posted on: September 9, 2013 Posted by: Kunal Comments: 0

Wandering Through Bombay–7: Chor Bazaar

Chor Bazaar, another treasure in the heart of Muslim Bombay is a 150 year old flea market squeezed between crumbling buildings and dotting mosques and standing since the British era. The name translates to ’Thieves Market’ but this is not what it was intended to be called back in its days. The name is a mispronunciation of ’Shor Bazaar’ (noisy market) by the British and this is how the name has stayed. And to stand true to the name, many stolen goods are also sold here! But the USP of this place is the antique and second hand goods!
Wikipedia states another legend behind the name, it goes like this; some goods of Queen Victoria went missing when she was in Bombay and were later found in the Thieves Market, hence giving it this name. And some goods here are actually from the British era of Bombay. You get everything here, from antique showpieces to stolen car logos to wine glasses to vintage TVs to car spare parts to retro Bollywood movie posters and what not.

The place has generally got a bad reputation and misconceptions among many, i.e. people advise you to be careful, take care of your belongings, beware of pickpockets etc. when visiting there, but when I was there, I found no such reason to be worried, it seemed to me as just another busy market of old Bombay, like Mohammed Ali road for example. And the caution you have to exercise here stands true for any crowded place.

This place can be a photographer’s muse; overwhelming it being, I couldn’t help but get carried away to click and post so many pictures from this visit. Here they are…


The hygiene conditions, as in many places in Bombay, are pathetic here in some corners.


There are many such crumbling buildings around Chor Bazaar; what do I say, they depict old Bombay charm!

Ending the post with some pictures of children who were flying kites atop a car’s roof who got so glad when they saw me clicking their surroundings that they asked me to click some photographs of them too. I have noticed this trait a lot in Bombay among children!
One of the kid asked me what I would be doing this with the pictures; considering his ignorance, I told him that I write articles on the internet and I will be using the pictures for the same. Then he surprised me by asking me to add him on Facebook, and he told me his name complete with the spelling. These kids, they always turn out to be smarter than you think.

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This little girl in the pictures above reminds me of the young Latika from the film Slumdog Millionaire.

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