India’s top 10 Oldest shopping markets

indian markets

India is a country of culture and elaborate traditions that have transcended from generations and still live on in ancient architecture and Old Markets in India It is also true that with the influx of modern shops, malls, and international brands in the country, old markets have found themselves in the back seat. Various tourists who fancy visiting India for its rich heritage often find themselves riddled with modern shops and brands, missing out on the opportunity to explore the ancient markets of India. 

An adventurer, wanderer, or holidaymaker, there are some Indian street market that you certainly need to visit on your next tour around the country. Here is a comprehensive list of India’s ancient markets, where you can find them, what you should buy for, and more. 

  1. Chor Bazaar, Mumbai

A low key market known as the Chor Bazaar (Thief’s Market) is one of India’s largest street bazaars. Found in the gullies of Masjid Bundar in Mumbai, the bazaar is proactively open between dawn and early morning. From second hand branded glasses to antique artifacts, auto parts, and more, you can find anything and everything here. In other words, if you know what you are looking for, you will probably find it here. Also, remember to keep your personal belongings safe while walking around in the market else the next thing you discover is your pair of glasses on sale. 

  1. Ima Market, Manipur

Majorly run by women, Ima Market is an open bazaar found in Imphal, Manipur. Also known as Mother’s Market, this traditional market place is known for selling various handicrafts, ornaments, clothes, groceries, and a lot more. If you happen to stop and indulge in conversion with some of the old lady sellers here, you might also get to hear the ancient stories of the city and its divine culture. 

  1. Mahindharpura Diamond Market, Surat

Got a Diamond you need to get inspected? Surat’s Mahindharpura market is known for its Diamonds. Walking around, you would find men examining, cutting, and even selling diamonds, on the streets, under the open sky. Yes, you heard it right, it’s a phenomenal experience, something that you dont get to witness every day. 

  1. Flower Market, Mumbai

Imagine a spread of colorful flowers for as far as you can see, no it’s not a garden, its the flower market of Mumbai. One of the few OLD MARKETS IN INDIA known for its variety of flowers, this market is found in the Dadar area of Mumbai. The best time to visit the place is between 5 in the morning and noon when you can get your hands on a bouquet of your favorite flowers. 

  1. Johri Bazaar, Jaipur

Capital of Rajasthan, also known as the Pink City, Jaipur is one of the oldest places in India. Apart from ancient architecture, a true reflection of the cities tradition and sublime culture can be reflected in its markets, primarily, Johri Bazaar or Jeweller’s market. Found in the vicinity of Hawa Mahala, the bazaar is known for selling a variety of authentic jewelry, handicrafts, and many other alluring items. 

  1. Chandani Chowk, Delhi

If you know Bollywood movies, you know where Chandani Chowk is, Delhi. A paradise for shopping lovers, this grand market is celebrated for more than just one thing. Buying eccentric clothing to delicious food, utensils, spices, auto parts, and more, Chandani Chowk is overwhelmed with tourists and local shoppers from dusk till dawn, every day. 

  1. Janpath Market or Tibetan Market, Delhi

Established in the Rajiv Chowk area of Janpath, Delhi, the Janpath market is known for a vast collection of paintings, leather items, handicrafts, shoes, jewelry, gems, and artifacts among other items. If you have got bargaining skills and know what you are looking for, be sure that you will be able to find it here at less than what you expected. 

  1. Devaraja Market, Mysore 

A city of temples, waterfalls, and ancient architecture, Mysore also holds a special place when it comes to old markets. The Devaraja market is an open bazaar in Mysore formally known for selling a variety of household items, fresh fruits, vegetables, spices, and flowers amidst others. The market dates as far back as the 1800s; just exploring it reminds you of the affluent transitions of the city. 

  1. New Market, Kolkata

Dating back to 1874, the New Market, earlier known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market was a place of British residency in India during their rule. Post-independence, the market was revamped into a mega-market with hundreds of shops selling anything between a small screw to electronics, food, flowers, utensils, bags, and more.  

  1. Jew Town, Kochi

Jew Town offers some of the best handicrafts, antique artifacts, perfumes, and jewelry among other riches. The market is located in Mattancherry, Kochi and the best time to explore the place is throughout the day, before sunset. 

So, the next time you visit any of the above locations, make sure to drop by the old bazaars. Do you have a favorite old bazaar that you would want to tell us about? Let us know in the comments below. 



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