Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat, is a thriving hotbed of commerce and trade. But nestled on the banks of its Sabarmati river, a unique weekly market reveals enticing new aspects to the city and its people.
Held every Sunday on the banks of the river, under Ellis Bridge, Ravivari Gujari Bazar – also known as Ahmedabad Flea Market – is a sight to behold with almost everything sold here. Spreading over 32,000 square meters, Ravivari Gujari Bazar is a true living heritage, a unique flea market started almost 600 years ago by Sultan Ahmed Shah, the founder of Ahmedabad.
Since decades, Ravivari Gujari Bazar has operated as an open flea market on Sundays, catering to the needs of people from nearby towns and villages as well as from the locality. It is estimated that over 5,000 people visit the flea market every Sunday.
Often compared to organized chaos, this market showcases a huge variety of merchandise on sale ranging from agricultural implements, household utensils, cycle rickshaws, electronic goods, domestic animals, raw foods, lanterns, and spare parts, to more exciting things like antiques and old books.
While the elitists may argue about the quality and authenticity of products sold and the overall crowded experience, Ravivari Gujari Bazar has long been the source of interesting articles for artists and designers.
In fact, the antiques and booksellers areas of the market are a treasure trove of old books, antique furniture, brassware, jewelry boxes with intricate carving, cast iron, rugs, and antiquated items that look like they belong to some Mughal period. Visitors may even stumble upon the most unexpected things like gramophone records, old coins, rare stamps, and even antique posters and photos.
The unique aspect of the Ravivari Gujari Bazar is that it has something to offer for all sections of society. For the common masses, the items sold here are basic domestic essentials, sometimes luxuries. For travelers, tourists and people new to Ahmedabad, the experience of the space can be more powerful and attractive than the items on display.