Shopping in Mumbai (Bombay)
Mumbai is a shopper's paradise where bargaining is the norm. The shops and bazaars offer everything from expensive European antiques to local spices by way of electrical goods, silks, designer fashion and homeware.
For designer fashion, try the boutiques near Kemp's Corner, including Courtyard, 41/44 Minoo Desai Marg, which stocks top local designers, and Melange, 33 Altamount Road, for chic, high-end clothes by 70 Indian designers. Mumbai is also home to a number of tailors who will make clothes quickly at a reasonable cost. Bespoke leather ware is another good buy from the main road in Dharavi.
For antiques, curios and furniture, the shops along Merewether Road behind the Taj Mahal Palace & Tower are a good place to start. The main drag, Mutton Street, is teeming with antique shops hawking everything from grandfather clocks and English tea sets to crystal chandeliers. Many are, however, reproductions so choose carefully and haggle fiercely.
Mumbai is a major centre of the diamond trade and those who know what they're looking for can pick up some great bargains. Those with less cash to splash should visit the Bombay Store, on Sir P Mehta Road in the Fort area, for all sorts of Indian souvenirs. Cheaper still are the handicrafts at the Central Cottage Industries Emporium, Shivaji Marg, between Apollo Bunder and Regal. Colaba Causeway is a good place for souvenirs - bartering is expected; start at one quarter of the first price offered.
Mumbai's bazaars are worth visiting for the experience alone. Head to Mangaldas Market for silk and cloth, Zaveri Bazaar for jewellery, and Dhabu Street for leather goods. For fashion bargains, head to Fashion Street Market on M Gandhi Road. For antiques and furniture to shoes and car parts, try Chor Bazaar, otherwise known as 'Thieves Market'.
Many of Mumbai's malls are located in the city's outlying suburbs but there are a handful that are located in the city. High Street Phoenix, housed in a former textile mill on Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel, has an upmarket Skyzone floor dedicated to international and national stores. Atria Millennium Mall, next to the Planetarium, is split over five floors and is renowned for international designer brands. Oberoi Mall, off Western Express Highway, features an impressive atrium which acts as a shop front for every store within the mall.
Markets are generally open from 0900 to 1900, and shops do not open until 1000 or 1030 but tend to remain open until about 1900.
Avid souvenir hunters will not be disappointed with the wealth of products on offer. From paintings, sculptures, handicrafts and artworks to leatherware, carpets, rugs, shawls, antiques, and jewellery, there is a mind-boggling array of goods. Many throng to Mumbai to get tailor-made clothes, while outfits made from khadi, a type of home-spun cotton, are also popular.