Shop Your Heart Out in the Magical Maximum City: Know What to Buy in Mumbai And The Best Local Markets(2019)!

Shop Your Heart Out in the Magical Maximum City: Know What to Buy in Mumbai And The Best Local Markets(2019)!

This article tells you all you need to know about Mumbai for a memorable visit. We have recommended some of the best local markets and have also mentioned some souvenirs or items you can buy from these places. Read on to find out more!

About Mumbai

Mumbai (formerly known as Bombay until 1995) is the capital of Maharashtra and the economic capital of India. It’s the fourth in the world and most populated city in India with a population base of more than 22.5 million people living in this city. Mumbai city is scattered in an area of 603 sq. km in a linear shape with one side of Mumbai having a vast coastline on the west coast of India touching the Arabian Sea and few satellite towns on the other end. Mumbai is also the richest city in India and is home to numerous well known billionaires and industrialists. The headquarters of all the major banks and financial institutions are located in Mumbai.

The name Mumbai is derived from the patron Goddess Mumbadevi of the native Koli community and Mumba means ‘mother’ in the Marathi Language. Marathi and Konkani are the most spoken languages in Mumbai and Marathis are the largest local community. But due to job and business opportunities; millions of migrants have shifted to this city and thus today’s Mumbai is a melting pot of many cultures and communities. Mumbai is also known as Bollywood as it is the entertainment capital of India and most of the Hindi and Marathi Films are shot here in various film studios and Mumbai is home to people from the film fraternity and famous actors, directors, and musicians live in this city. Every year thousands of people from different parts of country and across the globe come here to fulfill their dreams, few of them stay here and make Mumbai their home.

Mumbai Culture and Traditions

Mumbai’s culture is an amalgamation of different traditions, festivals, art, music, theatre and rituals. This city is modern, and yet has kept its history and culture alive in spirit as well as lifestyle and the same reflects in the city’s day to day life. The well known Dadasaheb Phalke laid the foundation of Indian Cinema in Mumbai in the early 20th century with silent movies and since then Mumbai has never looked back in its journey of cinema. From silent movies to the IMAX and 3D movies of today, Mumbai has made its mark as the Cinema hub of India across the globe. This city also has a love for contemporary art with quite a few art spaces and galleries funded by the government as well as private players are housed in this city. Jehangir Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Modern Art are the government funded art galleries and the Asiatic Society of Bombay is one of the prominent and oldest public libraries in the city.

Mumbaikars (the residents of Mumbai are known by this title) celebrate almost all the festivals of both the eastern part of India like Diwali, Dussehra, Navratri and the western parts as Ganesh Chaturthi. On the eve of Ganesh Chaturthi, weeklong grand festivities are celebrated and on the last day, people take out processions with Ganesh Idols to submerge the idols in water and bid goodbye to Lord and request him to come next year. Being a seaside city, Mumbai has few famous and beautiful beaches where people can roam around, get involved in various recreational activities or simply sit and gaze at the roaring sea.

Best Time to Visit

Being a city close to Arabian Sea, Mumbai has a tropical climate and it rains heavily in the months of July and August. Floods and water logging is a major problem of Mumbai, especially in monsoons. Hence, it is better to avoid visiting during the months of June to September. Also, April and May are very hot months with temperatures soaring up to 42 degrees. So, the best time to visit would be between November and February, when the temperature is mild and hovers around a minimum of 15 to a maximum of 32 degrees; but make sure to take one or two winter clothes as the nights may be cold.

Famous Food Items in Mumbai

Mumbaikars love it spicy and heavy and some dishes with the name Bombay associated, makes them the trademark Mumbai dishes. If you visit Mumbai, then few must haves are – Vada Pav, Bombay Sandwich, Pao Bhaji, Bun Maska, Bombil (for the fish lovers), Bombay Bhelpuri and Dahi Sevpuri, Kheema Ghotala (minced meat and egg dish), Chinese Bhel, Gobi or Chicken Manchurian and various rolls (chicken, mutton, egg, cheese and veg).

Best Local Markets in Mumbai

As crowded as it will be, stand at any metro station, local train platform or any crossing, you will see only the heads of homo sapiens. To cater to such a humongous population, Mumbai has its very own local markets in every area, where you can get items at dirt cheap prices. Mumbai is also a fashion and textile hub and readymade clothes, fabrics and fashion apparels are exported to various parts of the country as well as outside India from this place. We have shared few of the markets in Mumbai where you can get good deals after exploring few shops and may be a little bit of negotiation.

Chor Bazaar

Chor Bazaar has an interesting history of 150 years and is a market which is visited by people from all segments of society. Sometimes, you’ll get few antique objects in this market, which are rarely available in big shops. This flea market is located near Bhendi Bazaar in South Mumbai and as the legend goes, if you lose any article in Mumbai you can purchase it back from Chor Bazaar. A popular story behind the name of this market is that once Queen Victoria visited Bombay and her violin and few other belongings went missing while being unloaded from the ship, only to be found later in the Chor Bazaar. Another saying is that it was previously known as ‘Shor Market’ or ‘Noisy Market’ and the name was mispronounced by Britishers as Chor Market.

The modern Chor Bazaar has mostly second hand items instead of stolen ones and is definitely a paradise for people interested in vintage and antique goods. Furniture, electronics, brassware, hardware, automobile parts, footwear, fashion wear, old Bollywood posters, cane goods, bronze items and even meat can be purchased from this flea market. Sometimes, buyers have to rummage through junk items to finally pick the desired item and haggling and bargaining is a common feature between buyers and shopkeepers.

Fashion Street

Situated near the famous Gateway of India and walking distance from the stunning seaside, Colaba Causeway is a famous market in Southern Mumbai. Colaba Causeway is officially known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road and is termed as the ‘Culture Square’ of Mumbai due to some famous buildings nearby like National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum), Regal Cinema and various art galleries. Though, you will get everything from artifacts to carpets, electronic items or vintage movie posters, but the jewellery shops are the ones which set this market apart from the other markets in Mumbai. Tourists and locals, everyone throngs this market for its wide array of bangles, antiques or even artificial jewellery, and make sure to bargain even if the shopkeeper mentions fixed prices.

Linking Road

Linking Road has been renamed as Vithalbhai Patel Marg, but mostly people recognize it with its old name. This road links two famous areas of Mumbai, Bandra and Juhu and thus the name Linking Road. Linking Road has something to offer for a pocket of every size, be it imported goods or clever imitations, which look more real than the original ones. The shops begins at the corner of Waterfield Road and Linking Road and bargaining is a must do ritual on these street shops as the shopkeepers would always quote inflated price. Indian traditional clothes, western clothes, trendy clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, belts, caps and much more can be purchased here, but ensure that you bargain for less than half of the price quoted by the shopkeepers and if necessary, show lesser interest in the item you want to buy and then simply walk away. Mostly, there will be an immediate price drop and even if no calls heard from the back; still you would know the payable amount on another shop for the same item.

What To Buy in Mumbai: Best Buys From THe City's Markets

Mumbai is called a ‘Dream City’ and it has something to offer for everyone and in every budget. Shopping in Mumbai can give you surprises, because that branded dress which you bought at a Shopping Mall for Rs.2,000 catches your attention (may be an exact replica) can also be seen at a roadside shop for a humble Rs.400. The best trick to get the best deals is to know where to shop and how much to bargain for. If you are visiting Mumbai for the first time, you would definitely like to bring some souvenirs or gifts from there for yourself and for your friends and family. Apart from the usual fashion stuff, there is more to explore and shop in Mumbai. We have picked a few of these famous items for you.

Decor Items from the Bombay Store

The Bombay Store was founded in 1906 to promote the ‘Swadeshi Movement’ and to encourage people to use India made goods to oppose the colonial system. The first branch was founded by great Indian patriots and businessmen like Lokmanya Tilak and Ratanji Jamshedji Tata and inaugurated by freedom fighter Dadabhai Naoroji. Since then the store is an epitome of preserving rich Indian culture and today it provides a variety of products from all over the country in different categories viz. apparels, handicrafts, showpieces, home décor and wellness, etc. You can buy brass statues, fragrances, Pashmina Shawl to marble artifacts of Agra from one of these stores spread across Mumbai.

Kolhapuri Chappals

These ethnic and traditional chappals never go out of fashion and look very trendy with either jeans paired with a kurta or even a pathani suit. Available in different colours of brown, black, camel, red, etc, they are available in pure leather as well as in synthetic leather. These chappals (slippers) are handcrafted by skilled artisans and the entire making process takes up to six weeks. Named on the famous city of Kolhapur, Maharashtra, these are one of their kind in the market of today’s factory made shoes and you should definitely buy a pair to support local artisans and they also make for a good gifting option.

Leather Goods from Dharavi Market

Dharavi is a place in Mumbai known for one of the world’s largest slums and around 800,000 people live here with in an area of just 2.1 sq.km. Dharavi Market has numerous options to choose from when it comes to leather goods, be it wallets, bags, backpacks, jackets, belts, leather goods with traditional motifs, shoes, boots, and gift items or even customised goods. Also, traders from all over India purchase leather raw material and leather goods in bulk from this market.

Jewellery from Colaba Causeway

Source lbb.in

Situated near the famous Gateway of India and walking distance from the stunning seaside, Colaba Causeway is a famous market in Southern Mumbai. Colaba Causeway is officially known as Shahid Bhagat Singh Road and is termed as the ‘Culture Square’ of Mumbai due to some famous buildings nearby like National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Prince of Wales Museum (now Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum), Regal Cinema and various art galleries. Though, you will get everything from artifacts to carpets, electronic items or vintage movie posters, but the jewellery shops are the ones which set this market apart from the other markets in Mumbai. Tourists and locals, everyone throngs this market for its wide array of bangles, antiques or even artificial jewellery, and make sure to bargain even if the shopkeeper mentions fixed prices.

Parsi Gara Sarees

Source mumbaimag.com

Parsis are a wonderful community and are mostly located in and around Mumbai. They are few in numbers and hence they try every bit to preserve their culture and heritage. The authentic Parsi Garia Sarees are weaved using a family heirloom, which has been passed through generations. These Sarees became famous in the early 19th century and each piece is hand woven by number of craftsmen at a time, so that there is no monotony of the pattern. These sarees are bright and have flowery patterns with bold use of colours. Purchase them near Cama Baug or Grant Road as these are the places where majority of Parsi community resides.

Wine from Sula Vineyards

Sula Wine is known for its high quality and aromatic wines made from the finest grapes grown in a volcanic soil on the Western Ghats in Sula Vineyards. Local farmers and workers get good compensation for selling these grapes and an opportunity to earn a decent livelihood. These wines are available in various varieties and you can taste the one which is right for you before shelling out the moolah for that perfect bottle.

Bonus Tip - Home Decor like Lampshades

Mumbai has some experts in lamp designing and you can buy lampshades in various designs, shapes and colours in a nominal budget. And the best part is that they can be easily disassembled and packed in your suitcase and also make an ideal gift or souvenir item.

From our editorial team

City of Dreams

Mumbai is a city where millions flock to, to make it big in their lives. If you're in the city, do visit iconic places like Gateway of India, spend an evening watching the sea at Marine Drive, or have some fast food at Khau Gali. Mumbai has a lot to offer to everyone. Just make sure you visit it during a good season so that you can make the most of your trip!