Have you ever visited a market which sells stolen goods with such nonchalance and pride? Well, if one visits Delhi, the amazement never ceases. Chor Bazaar is one such place where you can be surrounded by goods of every kind produced by virtually every manufacturer possible in the country (sometimes even outside). But here’s the catch: it’s all stolen, officially.
Located at the shopping hub of Old Delhi, just in front of the historic Red Fort, near the Lajpat Rai market, this flea market comes to life on Sundays. A major reason for traffic jams in the congested area, the bazaar houses a wide range of goods. From designer apparels to electronic goods, virtually everything under the sun is sold here. You’d be spoilt for choice and would be left gasping for breath when you find some of the most exclusive items possibly stolen and then resold openly.
A One Stop Shop
Keeping your dignity aside, you travel from stall to stall, kiosk to kiosk feeling guilty, coy and utterly effervescent at the same time as the market offers countless items. You can find everything from stylish suits and salwar kameez's (ethnic wear) to calculators, second hand PC’s, game consoles, half used body lotions, empty perfume bottles, after shaves, partly scratched upholstery, photo frames, second hand mobile phones and even hardware goods and kitchen appliances, the list just goes on. If lucky, you might even get to lay your hands on an Apple device! Patented or not, nobody asks for guarantees or warranties here. It’s just the verbal assurance which is the followed norm here and some of the goods are definitely purchasable.
For the Adventurous Soul
Nonetheless don’t carry along any inhibitions. You’ll need to put all your bargaining skills to use here. Try them out at will and you won’t be disappointed. This market is not for the elite and the sophisticated. Though, you can find foreign tourists and expats here, this market is more for the adventurous and the experimental lot.
The best way to explore the market is on foot. Beware of pick pockets as this is, after all, the "Chor Bazaar" which literally translates to the Thief Market. The place is quite easily accessible through road as well as the metro – Chandni Chowk being the closest stop. A visit to this infamous market is bemusing, sometimes at the cost of your dignity.
Delhi has a lot of markets, some of which are easily the best in the country but the Chor Bazaar falls in a different category. It is something which is unconventional and idiosyncratic in its approach. The vibrant atmosphere and the exotic options available would make you agree what a fascinating place Delhi is.
Head out here for an adventurous Sunday!