Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Shopping in Bombay

Mother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Shopping in Bombay

Million Mile SecretsMother-In-Law’s First Trip to India: Shopping in BombayMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Shopping in Bombay
Shopping in Bombay

Emily:  The next day, I woke up and found that 3 of our missing bags at arrived!  None of our bags had arrived when we landed, so I was looking forward to them arriving.

We then went for lunch and shopping afterwards.  Daraius went for a shave and a head massage and left us girls to do what we do best. 😉  First we went to Asiatic, a department store across from Churchgate railway station for a hair dryer, hair brush, and some other items.

Shopping in Bombay
Asiatic Department Store

Trip Report Index

My mom and Judi loved browsing through the different sections in the store.

Shopping in Bombay
Shopping in Bombay

My mom found a beautiful necklace set and my Aunt Judi got a little purse for her granddaughter.

Shopping in Bombay

I spent time at the “new arrivals” section!

Shopping in Bombay
Emily in Asiatic Department Store

I’m always amazed at the different types of Indian jewelery!

Shopping in Bombay
Indian Jewelery

We also browsed the clothes section upstairs.

Shopping in Bombay
Emily in a Salwar Kameez

The prices at Asiatic are “fixed prices” so you can’t bargain, but they are reasonable.  My mom picked out a couple of tunics, and I got a Salwar Kameez.

Shopping in Bombay
Shopping in Bombay

Another day we went to the Raymond store to get new shirts tailored for Daraius.

Shopping in Bombay
He Goes Shopping Only Once Every Few Years!

In India, you can get clothes made for your exact size very cheap.  Daraius likes Raymonds because he can get high-quality, tailored, button down shirts for only $30 each.  It was fun picking out the fabric. There were hundreds of colors and prints from which to choose.

Shopping in Bombay
At Raymonds

After that, we went to Colaba Causeway, which is a main shopping street and touristy part of town.  You can get anything from sarees to compasses, to wooden elephants, leather purses, and Indian sandals.

Shopping in Bombay
Judi at a Stall in Colaba Causeway

The prices can be good too, as long as you bargain aggressively.  We were quoted 1,200 ($22) rupees for a shawl but eventually paid 400 rupees ($7).  The shopkeepers can also be somewhat aggressive, compared to American standards. For example, they will put their goods in front of you and sometimes walk along side you imploring you to buy them!

They are good salespersons and eagerly unwrap items and make you feel and smell them to get you to buy them!

Shopping in Bombay
Eager To Show You Items

It can be sensory overload if you’re not used to it like my mother!

Shopping in Bombay
Connie is Through With Shopping

One man selling drums whacked on his drums next to us, perhaps with the hope that if we heard the sound often enough, we would want to buy his drums.  The best thing to do to these somewhat aggressive shopkeepers is to say “Nahi, nahi” or “nahi mangta” which means “no, no” and “no, I don’t want it”.

My aunt Judi got two shawls for 800 rupees ($15), and a sandstone coaster set and a wooden elephant for 350 rupees ($7).

Shopping in Bombay
“100% Silk, Only 2,000 Rupees.  I Give You Good Price etc.”


Shopping in Bombay
Judi Inspecting Her Shawl

My mom got a few leather wallets and looked at some tunics for 1,500 rupees ($28) but did not buy them.

After lunch, we went to Abdul Rehman Street which is the wholesale market in Bombay.  It is in a crowded street just across from the more popular Crawford Market.  The stores often have much cheaper prices, but many do not accept credit cards or will charge a slightly higher price for using a credit card.

Shopping in Bombay
Emily Outside Crawford Market

The prices are very cheap but the market is busy & crowded.  But I loved the color and sounds!  It is an authentic Indian experience that is not frequented by many tourists.

Shopping in Bombay
Somewhere in Abdul Rehman Street

Luckily, Daraius knew where he was going and we weaved in and out of the streets and lanes to visit the shops.  However, even if we didn’t know where to go, it would be okay because everything is generally in the same area.

We saw vendors that sold jewelry, handbags, clothing, fabric, and lots more.  We walked through Mangaldas market, the cloth wholesale market, and saw lots of colorful fabric.

Shopping in Bombay
Cloth in Mangaldas Market

I could have spend hours admiring the pretty fabric, but Daraius was with us!

Shopping in Bombay
Emily in Mangaldas Market

Soon we made it to my favorite gift bag shop and next door was a shop selling purses.

Shopping in Bombay
Connie & Emily Choosing Purses

We bought the purses for $2 which cost $30 on Colaba Causeway, the more touristy shopping area!  I got lots of gift bags at the stationary store.

Shopping in Bombay
Emily’s Favorite Stationary Store

Each street had lots of tiny shops in them.

Shopping in Bombay
Lots of Color

Abdul Rehman Street is a wholesale market, which means you are supposed to buy in bulk.  In my experience, some places will sell ~5 of one item.  The prices are so cheap that you actually save money by possibly buying more than you need (compared to buying fewer at the regular retail price).

Shopping in Bombay
Window Shopping

Just a few streets away was Zaveri bazaar which is the jewelery market.

Shopping in Bombay
Zaveri Bazaar

There’s even a mosque in the middle of the market!

Shopping in Bombay

Afterwards, we went to Crawford market (the fruit market), which is across the street to get some dried fruits.

Shopping in Bombay
Crawford Market

There were vendors selling druit fruits and nuts…

Shopping in Bombay
Emily Searching for Dried Fruit & Nuts

…as well as fruit stalls.

Shopping in Bombay

On the way out we bumped into a Million Mile Secrets reader, which was an unexpected suprise!

Next stop was at Fab India...

Shopping in Bombay
Connie in Fab India

…and Westside.  Westside has Indian and “Western” clothes, and is like a JCPenny department store.  The clothes are hung up, rather than folded.  FabIndia’s clothes are mostly folded and simpler. We both preferred shopping at Westside!

Shopping in Bombay
Connie at Westside

My aunt Judi got an Indian outfit at Westside—a kurta top and leggings. It looked very pretty on her!

Daraius:  One of my favorite things to do in India is to go for a shave and head massage!

Air Cool is a barber’s shop just to the side of the Churchgate Railway Station.  The barbers in white coats sit outside waiting for you.

Shopping in Bombay
Who’s Next?

You sit in a line of chairs facing a mirror.

Shopping in Bombay
Line Up

And tell the barber that you’d like a shave, massage, haircut, etc.  Soon you’re lathered up…

Shopping in Bombay
Lathered Up

and shaved while the barber (like those everywhere) tells you the solution to the failing cricket team and political woes of the day!

Shopping in Bombay
And Shaved

A shave & head massage at Air Cool (a more expensive salon) cost ~80 rupees  ($1.50) each!

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Normally I don't learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very compelled me to try and do it! Your writing style has been amazed me. Thank you, quite nice post.

Nusreen moideen

Hi....I will b visiting mumbai in a week. I wanted to knw frm where I can get good indian salwars n anarkalis in mumbai..??? Since I'm gng there first Tom...I hav no idea about this place. Kindly help me. Thnx

Million Mile Secrets

@Nusreen moideen - We (Emily!) liked Kala Niketan in Marine Lines and the shops near it. You can also find them in Westside and in Fab India.

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