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Leap out of the local train at Malad railway station in the city of Mumbai, and just outside the station gates, a throbbing crowd of shoppers welcomes you as they move from shop to shop exploring the never-ending rows of shopping outlets. In the midst of this shopping area is the Lord Hanuman or Bajrang Bali temple, opposite which is one of the oldest markets of Mumbai - the Nataraj Market.  Located at Swami Vivekanand Road, in the Mumbai suburbs, the Natraj Market is always buzzing with the crowd where you are sure to get almost anything you want.  Cheap imitation jewellery to gold jewellery, piles of unstitched fabric to ready-made dresses, bridal wear to casual wear, suitcases to handbags - you name it, and the market has it for you.

If you are visiting the Natraj Market for the first time you are sure to be dazzled by the variety of stuff stacked on the shelves of more than a hundred small shops. The market is housed in an old residential building where the ground floor is completely occupied by commercial shops. Once you are in the building, narrow winding gulleys will lead you through glittering glass windows showcasing innumerable items waiting to tempt you. Though these lanes within the market are congested, there are five to seven entries and exits which make it a tad convenient for shoppers. 

Of course, this is not the place where posh interiors invite you nor will you be able to shop in the comforts of a centrally air-conditioned space. Most shops have individual air conditioners but be ready to come across many which have no air conditioning. In spite of this, the market happens to be one of the popular shopping destinations in Mumbai where you get a feel of the local crowd. The extensive range of products to choose from and the reasonable prices make it a well-known market in Mumbai.

Nataraj Market is famous for wedding shopping where people come for bride’s trousseau as well as for various types of ethnic wear for entire families to celebrate different occasions. Be it mehndi, sangeet, haldhi, wedding reception, raksha bandhan or diwali the market has something exclusive to meet your taste.  Trendy sarees, salwar kameez, lehenga cholis, dress material, sherwanis, jewellery, footwear and bags at reasonable prices are displayed all across the market. During festivals, people throng the market where they can purchase things for themselves as well as for gifting at whatever budget they prefer.

A good number of saree and other ethnic wear shops cover the market area with Rajhans, Rajkamal, Roop Niketan, Palkhi Sarees, Vivaaha, Raj Gharana, Roop Sangam, Kaveri Wedding fashion and Sakhi being a few. Devi Boutique specializes in salwar suits for formal as well as casual occasions while Hemani Sons Ladies Western Outfit is known for western wear. If you are looking out for a gift or toy shop you can visit Novelty Corner, for jewellery you can visit Pooja Jewellery, and for footwear, there is Dwarkar Footwear, apart from many other shops. Scarves, stoles, ready-made blouses, and dupattas are also available at Natraj Market, which you can match with your salwar suits or sarees. If you are looking out for saree borders and motifs, it is the right place for you as you will be spoilt for choice here. There are even tailors within the market who can get these borders stitched to your sarees, lehengas or salwar suits. For men and kids too there are plenty of shops to explore like Nitus, Right Choice, Shree Sainath Stores, Pattern, Ujala Dresses, Krezy Doll and Monalisa to name a few.

 

After all the shopping and haggling you are sure to be left hungry and craving for some food and rest. Though there are no eateries within the market for you to munch on some snacks, the Nataraj restaurant on the first floor can give you some respite. But once you are out on the street, the wafting smell from roadside vendors is sure to arrest your attention. From mouth-watering bhelpuri, panipuri, sandwiches and samosas deep-fried in huge kadhais of refined oil to the ever-popular vada pavs, there is a wide variety of eatables to try out. There are also a good number of restaurants around the SV Road if you would like to sit comfortably and relax after your shopping spree.

The Natraj Market remains open from 11 am to 9 pm all throughout the week except on Thursdays. There is also an old municipal market just round the corner where you are sure to be greeted by innumerable hawkers with a huge range of stuff including bed sheets, jewellery boxes, kitchenware, toys and more. If you love local shopping and strolling through crowded spaces does not bother you, Natraj Market is definitely a place worth trying.