Mumbai's Chor Bazaar, which literally means "thieves market", has a fascinating history that spans more than 150 years. Apparently, it was originally called Shor Bazaar, meaning "noisy market", but "shor" became "chor" because of how the British mispronounced the word. Eventually stolen goods started finding their way into the market, resulting in it living up to its new name! These days it's famous for antique and vintage items.
To find Chor Bazaar, you'll need to venture right into the thick of Muslim Mumbai. It's located on Mutton Street, in the busy market area between S V Patel and Moulana Shaukat Ali Roads, near Mohammad Ali Road in south Mumbai. The closest local railway station is Grant Road.
The area is full of crowded streets and crumbling buildings, and can be a little overwhelming. Don't be daunted though, it's quite safe but do be careful of pickpockets.
The shops in Chor Bazaar are open from 11 a.m. until 7.30 p.m., every day except Friday (which is Muslim prayer day). However, the area is still worth a visit on Friday when it comes alive with the Juma Market. This is the real thieves market. From sunrise on Friday morning, vendors cram the lanes selling all kinds of goods, many of them stolen. You'll have to get there early to get the best stuff though.
Prices at Chor Bazaar are very fluid and will depend on how good your bargaining skills are (or aren't!). The usual tips for bargaining at India's markets apply, and you should only aim to pay around half the price initially quoted for the goods. Shop keepers are very savvy and will quote ridiculously high prices to unsuspecting tourists.
One other thing to keep in mind is that the area is a conservative Muslim area, so do dress in loose clothing that covers your legs and shoulders.
Browse the following pages for a photo tour of what's up for grabs at Chor Bazaar.