Saturday, 18 February 2012

Crawford Market: If You Can Buy It, They Probably Sell It

If you're a housewife in South Mumbai, Chances are you visit Crawford Market once a week. If you arent, you might just pass it by everyday without seeing the wonder that exists beyond the imposing outer walls. Its one of the few places in Mumbai, and probably the world, where fruits, vegetables, fresh cut meat, dry fruits and even pets are sold under the same roof. For people like my grandmother, its quite a run of the mill place, but for me it was a wonderful experience and something anyone who visits Mumbai should see.
Crawford Market was the first building in india to be lit by electricity, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it looks exactly like it did back then today. As soon as you walk in you’re greeted by eager porters and dazzling displays of fruits laid our neatly in boxes wrapped in gaudy shiny paper. As you venture into its catacomb of retail fruits and vegetable stalls, interspersed with tea stalls, dry fruit vendors and even electronics stores, you begin to see the charm of the organized chaos that characterizes Indian bazaars.
If you survive the onslaught of “Sir, I give you best price”, you eventually reach the wholesale market, flanked by the pet stores and livestock market. If you have ever wondered what a symphony consisting of yapping puppies, chirping lovebirds and haggling Indian women sounds like, this is where you will get to hear it. If you want to see the billy goat gruff sitting by a huge pile of pineapples, this is where you will get to see it. And if you want to buy an endangered species, you might just get it here too. This is definitely the most interesting part of Crawford Market and in summer all you will see are mangoes. Since its February I got to see scores of pineapples papaya and watermelons.
The last part of Crawford market is not for the faint of heart, or stomach. It’s a slaughterhouse where all you can hear is the scores of hungry crows. It is however very interesting, and the absolute lack of hygiene is more than enough motivation for anyone living in Mumbai to swear off meat. As far as I know only chickens are slaughtered here, but you can get most kinds of meat, including pigeons.
Crawford Market is definitely not as clean, organized or convenient as the local supermarket but is defiantly is more charming, unique, interesting and beautiful. The chaos and bustle of this market are what won me over. You might not love what you see, but you love that you saw it.
Fruits at the Entrance

My Grandmother Haggling with the Vegetable Vendor

Payayas everywhere

A Huge Pile of Pineapples

A Puppy at the Pet Store

An Exotic bird for sale

Sheep with Watermelons Piled high in the background


A Wholesale Watermelon Vendor

This Really reminded me of the tale of the three billy goats gruff

More Pineapples

A Playful Cockatiel

Scores of little white mice

Dead chickens being butchered

A Man Skins Dead Pidgeons

Chickens outside the slaughterhouse

A Fat Rooster

Whole chicken being prepared for sale

That cat wants in

A bunny at the pet store

Turkeys at the Pet Store

A Butcher with cuts of beef

A man sleeping in the slaughterhouse

These birds were smaller than my thumb


A Young Strawberry Vendor

The First of The Seasons Mangoes

Neatly Displayed Fruits
A Local Canteen

A Coolie Carries Our Groceries

The One Brilliant Structure


  1. hello, first of all - nice pics! very thorough article.
    i'm considering buying 2 pet cockatiels from crawford market, but i'm not sure if they are hand tamed (hand fed from a young age n comfortable with handling) or regular wild as i have not been there to verify that..
    since u posted a pic up of cockatiels, did you happen to ask or anyone tell you? do let me know plz..

    1. I cant be sure, but I looked into buying one too a few moths back, and the way they react when someone puts the hand in the cage is enough to tll you they are not hand raised. If you do want to buy one contact a vet a vet and ask them about breeders.
      Also I have shifted my blog to
      Please check it out and let me know if you have any more questions

  2. Aww! I love the place too. The place is a stress buster for me (esp the pet market).
    Very well potrayed. Totally echoes my views.


  3. We also love this place.. good place to hangout on week days. On weekends enjoy this

  4. It is one of the busiest market in Mumbai. Visitors can expect a packed schedule exploring Mumbai tourist attractions as there are plenty of places to visit in Mumbai.

  5. whats the exact location of pet store in crawford market ?