Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Weekly Markets of Delhi – Shukra Bazaar at Mohammadpur – Safdarjung Enclave

Yes, this one is set up near a village. In days of yore when we lived in Safdarjung Enclave, the market would come right on the main road, Africa Avenue. This is in the 80s. Those were the days when kids were allowed to cycle on the Ring Road alone!

The market used to come up near Mohammadpur village. It still does now, the venue though has shifted to the bylane or road turning left from the Church, when you are driving towards Bhikaji Cama Place. It is the road which leads to R.K.Puram and the famous Ayyappa temple. The stalls start filling in from 3:00 pm onwards during winters, probably it is later during summers. The initial shops are those of vegetable sellers. And these are worth their weight in gold during the winter months. Fresh carrots, with amazingly clean white radish, loads of coriander leaves, long mirchi just the right kind to make into pickles, peas fresh, the lesser known gandh gobis, zuchhini, yam, fresh tomatoes, guavas, pears and oranges… the range impeccably fresh and reasonably priced. Of course, the trick in the trade is to visit the market late in the evening, when the shops are being wound up when one can get bargain prices for the vegetables.

Apart from the vegetables are the rows and rows of sellers selling everything one needs under the sun. There is kachri or dried fryums which one can fry and eat. The quality is pretty decent. Then there are those selling pickles, ground and whole masalas and spices. The Chole Bhature stall with interesting looking pickles of radish and carrots as accompaniments does brisk business. What stands out and are most frequented are the clothes shop selling everything from sarees, churidars, kurtis, cloth and more. The knick knacks plastic buckets, dustbins, mugs, sponge for cleaning utensils, clips, ropes, threads… There are a couple of gypsy women who sell good quality iron girdles, frying pans, tavas, handis, kadais and cups. As also skewers, hand masala grinders, belan, chakli. The quality is good and prices bargainable and affordable. Much cheaper than Dilli Haat!!!

Timings – Every Friday evening 3:00 pm onwards. Go around 5:00 pm when nearly all the shops are set.

Insider Tip – Watch out for the crowds, pickpockets and of course maddening traffic. It is chaotic but if you can handle yourself, your belongings and the crowd, it is immensely enjoyable. Fresh vegetables are the best pick. 

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