Chor Bazaar, Mumbai

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Coordinates: 18°57′37″N 72°49′38″E / 18.960321°N 72.827176°E / 18.960321; 72.827176

Chor Bazaar
Commercial, Shopping
An antique shop at Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
An antique shop at Chor Bazaar, Mumbai
DistrictMumbai City
 • TypeMunicipal Corporation
 • BodyBrihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (MCGM)
 • OfficialMarathi
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
Area code022
Civic agencyBMC

Chor Bazaar is one of the largest flea markets in India, located at Mutton street,[1] near Bhendi Bazaar in Grant Road, South Mumbai.[2] The area is one of the tourist attractions of Mumbai. The word "chor" means 'thief' in Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi. According to popular legend, if you lose anything in Mumbai you can buy it back from the "Chor Bazaar".[3]

Origin of name[edit]

Chor Bazaar, literally translated as Thieves Market, was initially called Shor Bazaar, given how noisy things would get in the bustling and busy markets along the arterial Mohammed Ali Road.[4] It is located just about a few kms away from Crawford Market in South Mumbai.

The market got called Chor Bazaar by the British who could not pronounce the word correctly.[5] Eventually, stolen goods and vintage items made their way into the market and the name stayed.


Chor Bazaar in Mumbai emerged as one of the oldest markets of second-hand goods in India since the British rule in India. In modern times, it is said to sell mostly second-hand goods rather than stolen goods. The market is now famous for antique and vintage items.[6][7]

A store called Mini Market offers old Bollywood posters for sale.[8] Others offer authentic Victorian furniture, replacement parts for automobiles, etc. Although bargains are sometimes staggering, haggling is considered mandatory.[9] This is basically an "organized" flea market, where one has to rummage through junk to find what one wants.[10]

A popular story about the origin of the name of the market is that a violin and some other belongings of Queen Victoria went missing while being unloaded from her ship while on a visit to Bombay, and were later found for sale in the "thieves' market".[11]

In popular culture[edit]

The market has been mentioned in popular novels, including Rohinton Mistry's Such a Long Journey,[3] where it is described as "not a nice place".[12] The Spool Man (2016)[13] – a short documentary about a Chor Bazaar shop-keeper, directed by Daniel Ifans,[14] produced by We Are Tilt. Official Selection at Ethnografilm Film festival 2019 (Paris, France).[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Chor Bazaar: destination Archived 31 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 August 2021
  2. ^ David Abram; Nick Edwards (1 February 2004). The Rough Guide to South India. Rough Guides. pp. 114–. ISBN 978-1-84353-103-6. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  3. ^ a b Brooks, Victoria (2000). Literary Trips (Illustrated ed.). GreatestEscapes Pub. pp. 36. ISBN 0-9686137-0-5. Retrieved 6 March 2009. chor bazaar.
  4. ^ Chor Bazaar: Places to visit Archived 31 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 31 August 2021
  5. ^ A treasure hunt at Mumbai's Chor Bazaar Archived 31 August 2021 at the Wayback Machine India Today. Retrieved 31 August 2021
  6. ^ Daniels, Matt (22 March 2012). "Mumbai's Chor Bazaar – downloadable map". London: Guardian Travel Network. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  7. ^ Cook, Sharell. "Photo Tour of Shopping in Chor Bazaar Mumbai". Archived from the original on 6 April 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ Giridharadas, Anand (22 June 2008). "36 Hours in Mumbai". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Chor Bazaar". Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  10. ^ Ismat Tahseen (10 September 2016). "Is Mumbai's Chor Bazaar set to lose its quaint charm?". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 10 December 2021.
  11. ^ Singh, Sarina (15 September 2010). India - Sarina Singh - Google Books. ISBN 9781742203478. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  12. ^ Mistry, Rohington (1991). Such a long journey. Knopf. p. 92. ISBN 0-679-40009-5. Archived from the original on 7 April 2022. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  13. ^ Tilt (8 January 2016), The Spool Man, archived from the original on 21 December 2016, retrieved 4 February 2019
  14. ^ "Daniel Ifans". IMDb. Archived from the original on 15 February 2017. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  15. ^ "Ethnografilm Paris | Profoundly Entertaining". Archived from the original on 7 February 2019. Retrieved 4 February 2019.

External links[edit]