Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandai
Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandi, Marathi: महात्मा ज्योतिबा फुले मंडई (formerly Crawford Market Marathi: क्रॉफर्ड मार्केट) is one of South Mumbai's most famous markets. It was earlier named after Arthur Crawford, the first Municipal Commissioner of the city. The Market was later named after Mahatma Jotirao Phule after a long struggle by the President of Mahatma Phule Smarak Samiti, Mukundraoji Bhujbal Patil. The market is situated opposite the Mumbai Police headquarters, just north of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station and west of the J.J. flyover at a busy intersection. The market houses a wholesale fruit, vegetable and poultry market. One end of the market is a pet store. Different varieties of dogs, cats, and birds can be found in this area. Also, endangered species are illegally sold there. Most of the sellers inside the market sell imported items such as foods, cosmetics, household and gift items. It was the main wholesale market for fruits in Mumbai until March 1996, when the wholesale traders were relocated to Navi Mumbai (New Bombay).
The building, completed in 1869, was donated to the city by Cowasji Jehangir. After India's independence, the market was renamed after Maharashtrian social reformer, Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. In 1882, the building was the first in India to be lit up by electricity.
The market was designed by British architect William Emerson. The edifice is a blend of Norman and Flemish architectural styles. The friezes on the outside entrance depicting Indian farmers, and the stone fountains inside, were designed by Lockwood Kipling, father of novelist Rudyard Kipling. The market covers an area of 22,471 sq m (2,41,877 sq ft), of which 5,515 sq m (59,363 sq ft) is occupied by the building itself. The structure was built using coarse buff coloured Kurla stone, with redstone from Bassein. It has a 15 m high skylight awning designed to allow the sunlight brighten up the marketplace.
This market is mostly closed on Sundays. So if you are planning to do shopping in and around that area, avoid Sundays as very few shops would be open. On other days, its open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm
Things to buy
One can buy a variety of things in and around Crawford market. Some of them are: Ready-to-stitch clothes, dress material, Chinese toys, party products, artificial jewellery, travel bags, fruits and vegetables, shoes, belts and cake making and decorating equipment and toiletries. Also varieties of electrical light fittings and carpentry fittings are available.
One can easily reach Crawford market area from CST railway station or take a cab from there. You can also take a bus to VT station or ride in your car. There is car parking available but very costly and has to be paid on an hourly basis (80-100 Rs/hr and 400 Rs./day) and still difficult to get after first half of the day.
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