God’s own country will always surprise you with its unique flavour and fervour. Like its natural beauty shopping markets of Kerala are a must visit. If you are in Trivandrum don’t miss to explore the wonders of Chalai Bazaar, one of the busiest market of the state. Spread over 2km, road shops are lined up on both sides of the narrow road which connects Kallipalam and East Fort. In Chalai Bazaar you will get everything from flowers to gold or vegetables to furniture. Smells of eatables coming from tiny shops make this place more interesting.
History of Chalai Market
At the end of 18th century Raja Kesavadas, Dewan of Travancore established Chalai Bazaar for the supply of commodities to the kingdom. The Killi and Karamana rivers nearby were used to transport goods to the market. Whereas some documents suggest that Chalai Bazaar history goes back to 13th century, which describes the marketplace with a fish market, textile and a provision market. But officially it was set up in Travancore kingdom and traders from diverse culture used to come to market with their commodities.
How to get there
This busy shopping market of Kerala is located opposite East Fort Bus stand where all the city buses terminate. So, you can take a bus from anywhere from the city and come here and walk across to the market. You can come here by cab but try to get down near the market and don’t attempt to take your car through the market road as it is too crowded. Most of the shops are open from 9 am to 8 pm except on Sundays.
Things to know about Chalai Market
• Best time to visit the market is during festivals like Onam, Vishu, and Christmas when the market is full of colourful items to celebrate the festivals. More than 10,000 kg of flowers is sold in Chalai Market during Onam.
• It is one of the best places to buy handicraft items in brass or even utensils for your kitchen at a very reasonable rate.
• Like many other street markets in Trivandrum, there is countless goldsmith or gold jewellery shop in Chalai market, where you can get an unexpected variety of choices.
• Eat at Rahmaniya established in 1949, famous for its Kethel’s Chicken which is served on a banana leaf. If you are a Biryani lover Azad is the place for you which serves local cuisine and the restaurant is especially famous for its Biryani.
• When tired of shopping, get yourself energised with a cup of hot coffee at a local coffee shop which is one of the best features of shopping market of Kerala.
• If you are in Trivandrum, your shopping is incomplete without spices and the Chalai market is the best place to buy spices. Aroma of spices coming from the shop itself is a symbol of freshness.
• This place is famous for tourist to buy souvenir or memento for loved ones as you can get good stuff at best price.
• The market is crowded most of the time so be prepared for the hustle bustle lanes full of people. It will take a while to know where to get the things of your choice, so be patient and enjoy the craziness of the wonders of Chalai Bazaar.
If you are visiting Trivandrum then do visit to this incredible shopping area. Get your shopping list ready today!