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Mumbai: In this bazaar, walking is a strategic sport

MASJID BUNDER: Walkers, hawkers all jostle for piece of invisible footpath

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Mumbai: In this bazaar, walking is a strategic sport
Yusuf Meher Ali road at Masjid
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In the second part of the walk-ability series, DNA’s correspondent and a photographer took a walk down Yusuf Mehrali Road leading from Masjid Station to Zakaria Mosque, and then turned into the bylanes and made a right angle to reach the station again.

Unlike other areas that have been redeveloped rapidly and allotted to the burgeoning crowd parking spaces and widened roads, Masjid Bunder’s maze of bazaars retains its chaotic charm. Dense markets branch from the main road and spread through the bylanes on the west side of the station, which lies on the Central line of Mumbai’s suburban railway system.

This network is host to all kinds of shops – brick-and-mortar wholesalers, hawkers who set up stalls on pavements and roaming carts laden with goods. They are sectioned into smaller markets – dry fruits, wire and copper bazaars, Bhat bazaar, and so on. In between are squeezed storehouses.

Where pedestrian shoppers patronise shops and hawkers, the storehouses draw tempos, pushcarts and loaders to move the bulky material.

Apart from this, the area also hosts various places of worship: Rason Shaare Synagogue, Sat Tad Kadim Shafai Masjid and Ananthnath Jain Mandir. Sprinkle all this liberally with food stalls and hawkers that eat up the narrow footpath, despite a Bombay High Court order prohibiting them. In other places, the footpath is broken and pungent drain water springs up. 

At any given point in time, Masjid Bunder overflows.

SHOPPER’S MAZE

  • Yusuf Mehrali Rd, which leads from Masjid Stn to Zakaria Mosque, hosts bazaars in its bylanes — dry fruit market, copper market, etc.
     
  • Area also has various places of worship: Rason Shaare Synagogue, Sat Tad Kadim Shafai Masjid, Ananthnath Jain Mandir
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