The Gandhi Shilp Bazaar, a handicrafts and textiles exhibition is currently on at the Hiranandani Gardens in Powai, Mumbai. The newspaper advertorial had caught my attention in the morning. I needed a few colourful bangles for our music class’s Spring Festival on Saturday and so, thought that the exhibition would be the right place for some ethnic jewellery.
The Gandhi Shilp Bazaar, however, turned out to be the same/similar Fair, that tours various localities of Mumbai all year through – Bandra Reclamation, Powai, Borivili, Thane – there is always one Fair happening at some locality. In their previous avatars, they’d call themselves ‘Sahara Handicrafts Fair’. Not sure if they are the same set of people/businesses, but the wares on offer are certainly similar. There’s the stall with Hyderabadi Pearls; one with the Shantiniketan Bags; the dress materials from Rajasthan, Bihar, Orissa; the saree stall from West Bengal; the stall with Ceramic wares; with ethnic jewellery; even the kitchen utensils are the same.
Is the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar worth visiting then? Well, they offer nothing unique. You will get the same stuff in any market anywhere else in Mumbai. Neither are their prices so good that you’d be tempted to buy. I did pick up about 15 bangles that matched the colour of my saree, and my Mom picked up a Kurti and a skirt for my 6-year old.
What To Buy At The Gandhi Shilp Bazaar? Frankly, I have my doubts regarding the quality of the goods there. 2-3 years ago, I had taken fancy to an ethnic skirt at a similar exhibition in Powai. It’s colour vanished after the first couple of washes. From then onwards, I buy nothing more than INR 200 from such exhibitions. Thus, if the item turns out to be bad, I am not too upset or fuming. Although the stall owners swear by the quality, I’d like to be on my guard.
Should You Bargain at the Gandhi Shilp Bazaar? Yes. They generally have a mark-up of 15-20%. Which means, if they quote INR 200, you can negotiate and pay INR 150-160 for it. Depends from stall to stall though.
Gandhi Shilp Bazaar Location/Dates in Powai: It is on the Lake Boulevard Road – the grounds off the JVLR, opposite Café Mangi in Powai. The exhibition will be on until 30th March 2014.