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Wholesale shopping at Hindmata | Mumbai

What you see - Off the busy Dadar flyover, Hindmata cloth market is relatively peaceful. A faded iron arch with red lettering in English tells you where you’ve come, and you make your way past a children’s playground between the two gates of the compound. Divided into two buildings, the old market occupies the ground floor space of the Hindmata Housing Complex while the new market in the adjacent building is a recent addition.

The old market is easier to navigate as shops are grouped into three gullies - Mahavir, Laxmi and Saraswati. The new market can be confounding the first time as you end up at the same shops more than twice over. Inside, every inch of the wall is covered with dress materials. Black electrical wires run the length of the narrow ceiling as the shops need artificial lighting in daytime too. The stench of a gents’ washroom at one of the turns keeps you away from one part of the shopping area as you hurriedly make your way off the mosaic floors. The shops come with no seating area but just shelves, a walk-in space and counters to display the selections.

What you get - Apart from the two or three shops dedicated to men’s suiting needs, the greater number of shops here caters to women’s traditional clothing. Mainly dealing in wholesale, the market also offers good deals on retail purchases of cloth (one of the cheapest you’ll find in Mumbai).

Reams of polka dotted cloth come tumbling down when you tell a shopkeeper that you want to stitch something retro for a college dance festival, and in different materials ranging from cotton and polyester blends to crepe and chikan work patterns. Dress materials in pre-designed sets are available. But what’s interesting at Hindmata is that you can go crazy with the unlimited possibilities of mixing and matching your own attire. Plain cotton cloth for salwars, churidars and kurtas come in a mind boggling selection. There are exclusive shops selling just bandhini (tie and dye patterns from Kutch) too.

Most of the shops are stocked with cloth in every possible color at unbelievable rates. There are matching centers where you can find dupattas and blouse pieces in a riot of colors too. The collection of sarees is quite limited here and sticks to the traditional brocade, zari, Banarasi types. The men’s clothing brands available are Raymond, Mayur, Siyaram, Vimal and Arvind. Prices for cloth start from as low as Rs. 60 a meter.

Our verdict - Hindmata is a good place to shop for everyday wear since the cloth is durable and most of the materials are low maintenance. The best time to pay a visit would be in the afternoon - lesser crowd, better deals. The shopkeepers are quite friendly and give you good deals, especially on wholesale orders. Plus, shrewd bargaining always helps when you intend to purchase on wholesale rates. Most of the shops are closed on Mondays. Parking space is minimal outside the compound.

Anytime between – 10 AM – 9 PM

By Meera Suri
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