Dadar Phool Gully, also called Dadar Flower Market, is Bombay’s biggest, and perhaps the only wholesale flower market. This market comes alive at 4 in the morning when truckloads of flowers from all across Maharashtra and neighboring states are unloaded here to be literally swallowed by Bombay, hence by 10 AM, the market is almost wrapped up.
So this rainy Saturday morning I got up at 4 and set foot on Dadar station (of course after uttering Jai Maharashtra in my head 10 times) at the break of dawn in order to catch the action well when the market (which is just outside the Western side of the station) was in its full glory and there was a lot of hustle and bustle.
The atmosphere here early in the morning is surreal. Though it’s crowded, filthy and damp due to the rains (I even saw a rat running around) the colors around you of various kinds of flowers and the fragrance in the air makes it worth a visit. And boy, I hadn’t seen so many different variety of flowers, be it Roses, Carnations, Marigolds or Mogras, at one place in my life until now!
There are hundreds of vendors either selling their flowers as they are, or after arranging them in a bunch, a garland or a bouquet. Then these flowers are sold either by weight, number or length of the arrangement.
And the best part, this being a wholesale market, the prices of the flowers are very economical compared to that in retail. This makes one wonder how minimal the farmer who’s planting the flowers must be earning.
And the clientele of the flower vendors is as varied as the city of Bombay itself, from middle class housewives who buy flowers for religious rituals to retailers who buy them for selling them at double the prices.
Also, when there, be wary of people carrying sacks of flowers on their head and give way to them, or else you’ll hear them shout ‘Hato, Hato’ (Move, move), thus showing the trait of a true chaotic Indian market.
The road is pretty much like this throughout the market during the rains, but yet a visit to this market is a must if you’re living in Bombay or even if you’re a tourist, for you don’t get to see such places everywhere!
While at the market, I brought a bunch of roses for the heck of it and for I couldn’t resist, and on my way back home, handed it over to this little kid on the street who was selling chillies and lemons; and boy, it brought a smile on his face!