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 code(s)022
Civic agencyBMC
Old second hand phones and electronic goods for sale

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 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]

Mosque at Chor Bazaar

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.

Colonial era building at Chor Bazaar

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".[10]

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".[11] The Spool Man (2016)[12] - A short documentary about a Chor Bazaar shop-keeper, directed by Daniel Ifans,[13] produced by We Are Tilt. Official Selection at Ethnografilm Film festival 2019 (Paris, France).[14]


Second hand electronic goods
Antique items for sale
Crowd at the market in morning
Lanes in Chor Bazaar
Old photograph showing guitars for sale
Dumbbells for sale at Chor Bazaar

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Chor Bazaar: destination 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 Retrieved 31 August 2021
  5. ^ A treasure hunt at Mumbai's Chor Bazaar India Today. Retrieved 31 August 2021
  6. ^ Daniels, Matt (22 March 2012). "Mumbai's Chor Bazaar – downloadable map". London: Guardian Travel Network. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  7. ^ Cook, Sharell. "Photo Tour of Shopping in Chor Bazaar Mumbai". Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  8. ^ Giridharadas, Anand (22 June 2008). "36 Hours in Mumbai". The New York Times. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  9. ^ "Chor Bazaar". Archived from the original on 1 March 2010. Retrieved 6 March 2009.
  10. ^ Singh, Sarina (15 September 2010). India - Sarina Singh - Google Books. ISBN 9781742203478. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
  11. ^ Mistry, Rohington (1991). Such a long journey. Knopf. p. 92. ISBN 0-679-40009-5.
  12. ^ Tilt (8 January 2016), The Spool Man, retrieved 4 February 2019
  13. ^ "Daniel Ifans". IMDb. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  14. ^ "Ethnografilm Paris | Profoundly Entertaining". Retrieved 4 February 2019.

External links[edit]