Shopping in Mumbai is a memorable experience as one wanders
through its bazaars with striking names like Chor Bazaar, Mutton Street
and Zaveri Bazaar. Mumbai's streets, corners and pavements are lined with
shops and virtually anything one wants is available in parts of its famous
bazaars and markets. Shopping in Mumbai can be anyway one likes -
air-conditioned and fixed price, or street market and lots of hard
Most of the Handicrafts emporia and bazaars are located in the downtown area. Crawford Market, famous for flowers, fruits, meat and fish, is certainly a place worth capturing on your camera; its sheer colour and variety will not fit into one screen.
The main areas for bargain clothes are around Colaba Causeway and Fashion Street, which stretches along the Cross and Azad Maidans. More trendy and costly shopping is found at Breach Candy and Kemps Corner, down the hill from the Hanging Gardens. Chor Bazaar is antique-hunter's delight, while nearby Zaveri Bazaar is famous for its diamond, gold and silver jewellery.
The shopping arcades of almost all five-star hotels such as the Oberoi and the Taj Mahal offer a good variety of up-market shops. In central and suburban Mumbai, the Dadar, Bandra-Linking Road, and Juhu Road areas are good spots to shop.
Shopping Arcades Of The Hotels Such As Taj, Oberoi
If one wants to take the leisurely option for your shopping trips, go for a stroll around the air- conditioned shopping arcades of the main hotels, the Taj, the Oberoi Towers and the new Oberoi, all in south Mumbai, and shop for clothes, shoes, leatherwear, jewellery, and good quality handicrafts.
Prices will be higher than outside, but the choice in these shopping arcades is excellent, and if one is a canny shopper, one can always window shop there, before heading off to the markets.
Some shops however are exclusive to the hotels in the Oberoi Shopping Centre, for example, there is a wonderful shop called "Christina", selling bags, purses, scarves and silk blouses. Designs are never repeated, and one has to be quick off the mark if one sees something one like, for the little shop is always busy, often with airline crews.
Chor Bazaar in Mumbai
At Chor Bazaar one'll find a phenomenal collection of antiques, jewellery, wooden articles, leatherwear and general bric-a-brac. Chor Bazaar is commonly known as "Thieves' Market, a name coined by the British but perhaps mistakenly. It is also thought that the original name was "Shor Bazaar" (Noisy Market), which aptly described the yelling and shouting of the local traders on Mutton Street while selling their second hand household goods. Today, it is a hustling bustling market selling an electric range of new and old furniture and bric-a-brac. While on one looks out for brass planters and silver "Hookahs" (remember bargain very hard in Chor Bazaar) take time to wander up and down the other alleys, some devoted to furniture, others to crystal and glassware, and others to far less romantic items like inner tubes or valves.
Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai
For beautiful silver jewellery and belts, go to Zaveri Bazaar. Silver is a very good buy in Zaveri Bazaar, but bargain hard. Other good silver buys are napkin rings, picture frames in old silver (beautiful, but pricey) and boxes: lovely presents if one can ever bear to give them away. Always check the price per gram for silver, and remember there is a different price for old silver, and do compare prices in a few shops before buying.
Fashion Street of Mumbai
For shirts, tee-shirts and wonderful cotton clothes for children, all at rock bottom prices, visit "Fashion Street" a street market opposite one of Mumbai's exclusive clubs, the Bombay Gymkhana, but known to everyone as the Bombay Gym.
Fashion street sells export rejects, and export "over-runs" which are often excellent quality clothes at knock down prices. Bargain very hard, and with any luck one can reduce the sales man's opening offer down to a more realistic price.
Colaba And Flora Fountain
Colaba and Flora Fountain (Hutatama Chowk) in the heart of south Mumbai and at walking distance from Bombay VT and Churchgate railway stations are full of shops of all kinds, mainly ethnic artefacts and departmental stores. It is a good place to find shoes, cotton clothes, Kaftans and children's clothes.
Shopping in Dadar
Another major shopping area is around Dadar T.T, and if you go there in the evening, the place is packed. Good cotton clothes, saris, children's cloth galore and a general atmosphere of fun shopping. Given the space constraints in Mumbai, the further one goes from the over crowded southern tip, the bigger and better the shops become. Departmental stores are virtually unheard of in south Mumbai, whilst just a short drive away, uptown, are large complexes.
Shopping in Bandra
Bandra, the so-called "Queen of Suburbs" is the residential abode of film stars, industrialists and the likes, of Mumbai. Linking Road joins Bandra to Khar and is lined up on both sides with showrooms for the elite. But the striking contest here is the pavement selling, a world of contrast from a posh showroom.
Shopping At Eternia And Shopper's Stop
Two mentionable places to shop in Mumbai are Eternia at Breach Candy and Shopper's Stop on S.V. Road in Andheri. Eternia is indeed an international shopping experience for women - a part of the Premsons Bazaar, one of the trendiest addresses in Mumbai. Eternia caters to the growing demands of the contemporary women and stocks everything she could ask for.
Shopper's Stop has burgeoned into a 75,000 square feet shopping experience, covering three floors. It has every thing that women, men and children could ask for. In fact, the kid's section is an experience by itself.
Shopping For Books in Mumbai
For the book lovers, there are several excellent bookshops, and street stalls galore, many of the latter concentrated around Flora Fountain. "Crossword" on Warden Road sells books, magazines, records, CDs, greeting cards - the lot.
One of Mumbai's most popular bookshops is the tiny "Strand Book Stall" which has helpful knowledgeable staff, a comprehensive range of books, and if they don't have something, they will order it within a day or so. It is quite an achievement to leave the shop without buying something!
Shopping For Handicrafts in Mumbai
Very close to Gateway of India, there is the main government emporium, Cottage Industries, which is reasonably well stocked with a cross section of handicrafts and clothes, and is fixed price. In the little streets immediately opposite to the government emporium, there are lots of handicraft and silver shops, and a couple of good, but pricey, antique shops.