Chor Bazaar finds mention in every must-see lists in Mumbai. The range of goods available in Mumbai’s premier flea market is as astounding as the stories of its origin. Tucked away in the equally quirky Mutton Street, Chor Bazar for some draws it name for ripping off visiting royalty during the pre-Independence era.
Some claim the street found its name after a few goods stolen from Queen Victoria’s entourage found their way to the market. For some, it’s a malapropism of the title ‘Shor Bazaar’ or noisy market that the city’s British overlords gave to this flea market.
However, there is singular unanimity on the fact that one will find almost everything under the sun here. “This is not a market of stolen goods. Most products are second-hand antique stuff people sell us,” says Irfan Patel, who runs a brassware shop in the area.
Patel says the market is mainly haunted by connoisseurs wanting to lay their hand on antiques. “We have the old stuff buyers, film production guys and foreign tourists,” Patel says. However, unlike the efforts foreign governments pay to nurture such markets, there is almost no effort by the state here.