If you want to see the real India, you need to get out of the posh areas and Malls and head to the old part of Indian cities … Whether its Chandni Chowk in Delhi, Aminabad in Lucknow, Charminar and old part of Hyderabad etc. In Mumbai, it has to be Mohd. Ali Road and the Crawford Market area … Most people travelling to the city over J J Flyover do not realise the chaos and ‘life’ that exists underneath … In the narrow streets, so crowded that forget about driving, even walking without bumping into people is a challenge.
Simply go beyond CST or Victoria Terminus as it used to be called earlier and park your car somewhere … Take a cab and get yourself dropped at Crawford Market. A heritage property, it holds a unique mix of standard and odd stores – from shops selling foreign products like creams and deos etc., to wholesale party items, food products especially dry fruits. here are dozens of shops here selling the best variety of Cashews, Walnuts etc. which are all traded from different parts of he country. The main items here is of course fruits … and it’s a wholesale market for most exotic ones or the first lot of those crazily price alphonso mangoes. Thousands of boxes are traded everyday there and travellers from all over India go there for purchasing these during Feb – Apr period. This place also houses a fascinating pet market – selling dogs, cats, fishes, rabbits, guinea pigs and name it. Often in the news for selling banned and protected animals – most animals are kept in fairly bad conditions.
Over the decades Crawford Market has built the reputation of being one of he most reasonably priced shopping destination which has buyers from all parts of Mumbai coming over. Especially on weekends, you can see BMWs and Mercs dropping off the Madams to shop, a ‘coolie’ following them with a large basket for carrying their buys.
The building from outside is just as fascinating and dates back to hundred + years and never fails to draw an appreciation from travellers. No one can imagine the mess and chaos inside – but as I said, if you want to see life in Mumbai city, you need to visit Crawford market.
–This post has been written by Jayanta