Whether you like branded cosmetic products or some cheap shoes, it is time to visit Linking Road of Bandra. This is the fashion shopping spot of Mumbai and the place to buy souvenirs and personal items without burning a hole in your wallet.
All trendy fashion products starting from clothing to cosmetics are found in this market at an economical rate.
True, the number of fake products is higher. If you analyze and compare the products, you can choose an authentic one at awe-inspiring price, provided you can bargain.
History of Linking Road Market
During the early 1940s, this road was the link between Juhu and Bandra and thus, it is called the Linking Road. This is one of the first arterial roads of Mumbai. When it was constructed, it was called, the Dadabhai Naoroji Road. Linking Road did not start as a shopping paradise.
Over the next decade after its construction, a few shops started to appear along the length of the road.
After the construction of RD National College, closer to the road, the fashion stores started to thrive and many new shops started to appear.
Later, the road started getting more attention for its nightlife and economic shopping option.
Also Read : History of Mumbai
Things to Shop in Linking Road Market
This is a female-dominated market. You can find numerous feminine products like accessories, fashion clothing, leather products, cosmetics, and others.
Most of the stores have a small section for the other gender too, but comparatively, it is negligible. If you are looking for a break from shopping there are some branded showrooms for window shopping, some fast-food chains for munching like KFC, CCD, McDonald's, and others.
There are two types of stores here. There is a large complex, where you can find many private shops and on the roadside, you will find rows of shops licensed by the government.
This license allows them to perform trade and the government does not authorize the quality of the product or its authenticity. You can find numerous hawkers along the road.
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Top things to shop here are
- Traditional and modern clothing
- Textile materials
- Leather accessories like shoes, belts, and others
- Fashion accessories like rings, bangles, anklets, and others
- Embroidered handbags
- Indian maps and world maps
- Cosmetic items
- Toys and showcase items
How to Bargain at Bandra Linking Road Market
Most of the tourists who visit Mumbai markets are warned about the pricing style. If you look like a foreigner, they would do the currency exchange in their heads and mark up the products several times.
If the seller gives you a price for the price, you can be very sure that the actual price is at the most quarter of the selling price. If you start to bargain, they might start to converse in the local language, making it difficult.
The best tip is to walk around and get the cost of the product from a few sellers. Analyze the difference in the quality of the product and propose a price half of what was given by the seller.
You will have a short argument before both you would meet at a mid-price. Some sellers might be adamant about their prices. If you feel it is not worth it, just move on. There are hundreds of shops selling almost similar products and you need not worry about missing it out.
As a matter of fact, once you start walking away, the seller might reduce his mark-up and try to get your attention. If possible, bring along someone who is versed in the local language. There are numerous fake Chinese products in the market thus, it is best to look for the authenticity of the item before bargaining.
Visiting Time of Linking Road Market
The Market visiting timing is 10 Am to 9 Pm. The opening and closing times of individual stores depend on the seller. During festival times and weekends, the shops might open a little early and close way past 9 pm.
How to Reach Linking Road Market
Once you are inside Mumbai, reaching Linking Road is not very difficult. Although there are numerous markets in Mumbai, Linking Road is an important one and Bandra is a high-class residential region. Thus, finding directions to the market is not hard.
If you are looking for an economical way to reach the market, choose the metro trains. The closest metro station is the Bandra Railway Station West. The market is just 15 minutes of walking away from the station.
Walk out of the station and take the right. Walk until you cross a traffic junction and the market starts along the roadside. The market area is very crowded and you will be able to get to the market region much faster on foot rather than any road transportation from the metro station.
If you want to save energy, you can find autos and rickshaws in front of the station for a ride to the market. The auto rider would ask for at least INR 50 but, if you are visiting during a lean tourism season, bargain to INR 25 or 30. During the tourism season, the price can hike up to INR 50 or even more.
Finding autos or rickshaws during the rainy season would be very hard and even if you find one, the cost of the service will be sky-high.
If you are starting from central Mumbai or North Mumbai, choose the NH8, which covers the Worli sea link and on the right to SV Road, you will find the shopping area. It is better to avoid driving your own vehicle, as the process of parking your vehicle is a total nightmare here. There are numerous parking spots around the region and yet, every spot will be filled as the place is always crowded with customers.
If you are choosing buses, the nearest bus stand is located on Linking Road. You can find buses from Mumbai Central bus stand, SV road, Elphinstone Road, Sahar Road, and others.
Buses are usually crowded. It might be comfortable to reach Linking Road via bus but, if you are returning back after a long shopping trip, it would be hard to board the crowded bus with bags and bags of items. Buses will be even more crowded during the rainy season.
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Best Time to Visit Linking Road Market
The market will be flooding with products throughout the year. However, you would have to walk through the streets of shops, in and out of alleys and the crowd here is unexplainable. If you visit during summer (starts by the end of February and ends by mid of June), you would be sweating a lot and it might be uncomfortable.
Weekends and festival times would turn the place into mayhem.
Thus, stick with weekdays. The rainy season (starts by end of June and ends by the beginning of October) is another problematic time as the streets will be messy and it would be harder to surf around when it is pouring. Mumbai is a coastal region and thus, monsoon can be moderately heavy. Hiring transportations would also be hard during the rainy season.
Winter is the right time to visit. Winter starts by end of November and ends by February. The sky will be clear and humidity will be lower. This allows a comfortable ambiance for you to shop as long as possible.
According to avid shoppers, it is better to skip mornings. Each shop opens at a different time and you might miss a few good stores if you get there early. Afternoons are the best if you are looking for a less-crowded shopping experience. Weekday afternoons would be much easier as most of the shops will be scarcely crowded.
Evening times are the most crowded ones but, you get to enjoy the street food of the land, only by evening. Many street vendors would be opening their business by early evening.
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Apart from shopping and trying out local street food dishes, you can enjoy sightseeing by visiting St. Theresa Church, Shree Ram Krishna Matt, Hanuman Temple, Bandra Fort, and others.
If you are up for some pampering time, get skin massage, authentic Thai massage, visit a spa or catch a live concert (during festival times). There are a few theatres around the road for catching a Bollywood movie or even a Hollywood movie too.