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An assortment of trinkets, bangles and other accessories (Photos: Emaan Rana/White Star)

An assortment of trinkets, bangles and other accessories (Photos: Emaan Rana/White Star)

If you can dream it up, Sunday Bazaar, also known as Itwaar Bazaar, probably has it. The Bachat Bazaar/flea market is spread over approximately 30 acres, with tiled pathways, parking space that can accommodate nearly 5,000 vehicles, a children’s play area, public toilet facilities, a prayer area and a food court that can cater to thousands of visitors every year.

A method to the madness… ‘Conquering’ Sunday Bazaar may seem like an impossible task; however, there is a system to help you navigate your way through. The Bazaar is roughly divided into thematic sections with main walkways branching off into a series of numbered alleyways where stalls selling similar items are bunched together.



Fresh produce at wholesale prices (Photos: Emaan Rana/White Star)

What to buy? Veteran shoppers agree that Sunday Bazaar seems to unite everything buyable, including bed linen and towels, ethnic handicrafts and jewellery, carpets and rugs, second hand clothes, shoes and accessories, books and DVDs, as well as more exotic offerings such as colourful, dyed, live chicks. Fresh fruit, vegetables, spices and nuts can be bought as can products manufactured by multinational companies – at wholesale prices.

Something for the home… Sunday Bazaar is the go to place if you are looking for that perfect piece of furniture or decoration (be it modern, traditional or Western, or perhaps handmade copper, silver and brassware) to brighten up your home. Prints of famous, and not so know well known, artworks are available too; Ceramics, glass and plastic ware and household accessories are huge crowd pullers.


Books for kids of all ages (Photos: Emaan Rana/White Star)

Books for kids of all ages (Photos: Emaan Rana/White Star)

Ten rupee deals… The many 10 rupee stalls have items ranging from 10 rupees and upwards, including hair accessories, ceramics, scissors, stationery and inexpensive items ideal for goody bags that can be distributed at children’s birthday parties.

Don’t forget to bargain… Bargaining is expected, if not mandatory and the prices are generally substantially lower than the shopping centres in the more central areas of the city.

Recharge your batteries… Because eating is a national past time, the central food court offers a range of eatables ranging from desi fast food such as bun kebabs to more exotic items like khao suey. Refreshing cold drinks, including fresh fruit juices are also available.

In a nutshell… Although the heat and dust can get to you at times, for many Karachiites Sunday Bazaar has become a favourite Sunday haunt – where the intent is not so much to shop but to discover and while away the time – and of course buy everything you could ever wish to and never use!

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– Fauzia Kerai Khan
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First published in the Real Estate Section of The DAWN National Weekend Advertiser on January 27, 2013.