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#LBBPhotoStory: Lilies And Roses Under INR 50? Only At The Dadar Flower Market

Jayati posted on 15th March

Ten-Second Takeaway

The colourful flower market in Dadar erstwhile known as phool gully is a sight as early as six am in the morning. Its madness can rub off on you, the narrow lane a challenge but the colours soothe your eyes as you make your way, bargaining and hoarding on as much as you can.

A Date With Roses, Lilies And Dadar


If you’ve been in Mumbai for long enough, you know the golden rule: avoid Dadar station as much as you can. The chaos, the people and the never ending trains, it all makes for a rather intimidating and often chaotic experience. To save us from the ordeal, we reached Dadar station at 6.30am, the skies still dark and eyes drooping from sleep. To our surprise, we found the station and subsequently the market to be bustling with vendors, hawkers and people.

Right outside the station, under the Dadar flyover flourishes the wholesale flower market, possibly the only one in Mumbai. The tiny, narrow lane is lined with kiosks, stalls and even wooden planks with one thing in common, flowers and the sweet fragrance that awaits us. We found roses, lotuses, Gerbera, Crimons, lilies, marigolds, chrysanthemums and so many more.

Exploring The Market

We step out, and walk onto the lane, first crossing the vegetable vendors and then catching up with the sweet fragrances that drifts our away. The market is generally flocked by retailers, shop owners, florists and even the locals who want to buy flowers in cheap. Since it’s a wholesale market, the flowers comes fresh, cheap and in abundance.

As we start walking, we pass by heavy baskets being carried by vendors on their shoulders and heads, in a hurry to catch the train. These flowers, we’re told, are supplied pan-Mumbai. We start seeing the baskets of marigolds aka genda in white, yellow and orange all set for the daily prayer and the endless garlands that are weaved from them. Hoard up on a kilogram for just INR 80. A step ahead, we spot our first flower surprise, the humble and majestic pink lotus, INR 5 a piece. We hustle alongside the serpentine lines of the market and finally come face to face with a myriad of roses in all colours imaginable. Think white, pink, red, orange. The seller offers to cut off the thorns and gives us a bundle of 20 white roses for INR 50. As routine as it goes, its mundane for them to be surrounded by colours and smell so bright, as we struggle to take it all in.

The light starts to filter in and the chaos seems to lose its pace. We pause to chat with Girish, a flower vendor who tells us he’s been open for business since 4.00am. They bring in their flowers everyday from Pune, Nasik and by the end of the day are replenished with their stock, a cycle that repeats itself day in and day out.

What We Love

Phool gully is a maze of colours and chaos. Be under no impression that the market is Eden, it’s truly a tough lane to crack. But it’s bustling with a variety of flowers at display, and some of them include: starry-shaped pink and purple hues of asters {INR 10 a bundle}, 20 lilies for INR 10, colourful bundle of 20 sevantis for INR 200 and white ones for INR 100. Towards the end of the lane, you can start seeing shops that sell imported flowers, like Thistle and Crimons. If you’re only looking for exotic flowers, then cross the road and head over the other side of the bridge which is massive and disappears by 10 am.

Watching the vendors at play is almost art-like, cutting off the thorns, creating a circle of roses in their baskets, dipping them in water to keep them fresh and shouting out the most lucrative prices to attract the customers.

So, We're Saying...

A revelation in itself, the Dadar flower market captures the essence of Mumbai, the perennial workers from am to pm. It’s a haven for photographers, necessary for the praying community and an experience for the regulars. With five different bundles of flowers in our hand and having spent INR 90, we return happy and satisfied.

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    Pedestrian Overpass, Lokmanya Tilak Colony, Dadar East, Mumbai

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