Ten-second takeaway

One of the oldest markets in the city, Russell Market is where you can stuff endless shopping bags with everything from flowers to fruits, fish, meat, and spices. Bonus features include the architecture of the building and the hole-in-the-wall places that dish out biryanis and kebabs.

Once upon a time

A short walk from the Shivajinagar bus depot, Russell Market’s looming main market complex {a covered market} is what will first catch your eye. Built in 1927, the complex is fashioned in the Indo-Saracenic style, and its main entrance is marked by a grand arch and minarets. But by no means, is it a serene spot. You’ll have to watch your step, avoid bumping into crowds of shoppers and live with the constant sound of screaming hawkers and blaring horns. Still, the goodies that lie behind the walls of the complex and around it are so worth the trip.

Corner the market

Each section of Russell Market is dedicated to a particular product. There’s a flower market where the heady fragrance of blooms fill your nose. You’ll find jasmine garlands for weddings {or politicians} and exotic flowers made into delicate wreaths for funerals. The vegetable and fruit market too has a wide selection. You can pack home fresh, local produce and even cartons of imported goods {these tend to be on the expensive side}.

If you are looking for fresh meat, then try the side wings where the best cuts of mutton are available. There are also shops that sell all sorts of poultry – chicken, duck and turkey. Right at the back, there’s a bustling fish market. Hold your nose, and walk in valiantly to pick from the 15-20 stalls. While the prices are already slashed down here, you can bargain a bit to get a steal.

At the end of your trip, stop by the Beef Market, that stands on the opposite side. Just look for the circling eagles, in the sky, and you’ll find the market right below. Rows of butchers, call out to you and you can pack home kilos of meat – cut up just the way you like it. All this shopping will leave you famished, we’re sure, so just hop across to the row of restaurants on the side. And pack packets of biryani {at just INR 50 per plate} and seekh kebabs to go with it.

Where: Dharmaraj Koil Street, Opposite St. Mary’s Basilica, Shivajinagar

When: Some sections of the market start at around 6am

Price: INR 20 upwards

Featured image by: Devika Raman


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