When it comes to street shopping in the capital of India, the Sunday market is as street as it can possibly get. The Sunday Market or the more accurate name for it, Chor Bazaar is a market that is unparalleled and completely unique in nature to the city of New Delhi. Much like the dating scenario, the key here is to patiently sift through the undesirable items until you find that perfect match. Discarded items mix with stolen ones and ones procured from factory outlets to create a heady mix of options. Vendors estimate that the market is older than 50 years ago. Throughout various trips there, I have come across products such as gym equipment, antique decorative pieces and even some of the most recent trends in clothes, shoes etc. If you’re lucky, you will also spot really high-end designer wear. Here are some of the most useful items one can find at the dusty grounds near Red Fort every Sunday morning.
Books, magazines– Dirt cheap and dirt covered books can also be purchased here. Aside from this, there are magazines from years ago that are appealing to those looking for older editions etc. One’s man trash is often another man’s treasure, as one can find copies of popular comics, magazines which might actually have very high value for someone who collects such items.
Typewriters– If there is one reason to shop here, it would simply be nostalgia. The market appeals to the nostalgic instincts of many. While many come here to buy dirt cheap clothes etc., there are many more who come here to sift through the wares and locate the neglected treasures of long-gone eras. Typewriters are one of the most unique items available at Chor Bazaar. Although not in the best of shape, and priced upwards of Rs 1000 the ancient devices are ideal for those who enjoy the smell of paper while writing.
Cameras– Aside from the typewriters, one will also find an abundance of cameras from the analog era. Most of them although non-functional, can double up as perfect gifts for those looking for antique cameras. Many of them can be fixed. As a result, buying a camera here would be a gamble, but definitely worth it if it can be repaired. Also, the mystery you will generate as someone who shoots on cameras that cannot be bought anywhere will be worth the price you have to pay for the repairs.
Electronic items: If nostalgia isn’t for you, the market also has plenty of cellphones, tablets, laptops that can be bought from footpaths. Needless to say, one should thoroughly inspect any item before purchase, because one must not expect honesty in a market named ‘Chor Bazaar’. Also, keep your cellphones and other valuables in close contact with you at all times. Pickpockets are a regular menace here.
Clothes, shoes– T-shirts for as low as Rs 20, and woollen jackets at prices as low as Rs 200 are a common sight here. The popularity of the Sunday Market is a fitting reply and the perfect contrast to the high end luxury brands infiltrating the market space in India today. This is a highly recommended market for those planning a trip to snow capped hill stations, but reluctant to dole out large sums of money on jackets etc. Aside from that, the market is possibly most popular for shoes. The latest trends retailing at steep prices in stores can be found sprawled on footpaths here.
Audio Cds– This one will appeal to those with car stereos. Before there was YouTube, there was the mp3 CD. And before that, there was a relic known as an audio CD. With 10-15 songs on each CD, it was essentially a rich man’s audio cassette, with better sound quality. It would retail at exorbitant prices and was out of reach of most. Fast forward to two decades later, and now you can buy one at around Rs 30 per piece in the Sunday Market. Beyond a thick layer of dust, lie CDS of some of the most popular and acclaimed international artist, such as Elton John, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Lionel Richie to name a few.