Monday, July 8, 2013

Sunday Sandhai (Market) at Navalur

Navalur, plays an important role in housing IT companies and is pretty engaged with IT employees from Monday to Friday/Saturday. This hi-tech face of it, turns different on Sundays, when a impromptu market of a different kind takes over the pavements of the IT companies of Navalur. This weekly market or Sandhai (a tamil word for market) wouldn't really come as a surprise for one with some knowledge of how the Indian village system works. However, the difference that this market makes from the others is the multi-lingual and multi-cultural influence that this brings in compared to a normal weekly market. A casual window shopping stroll around the market can help witness atleast a dozen languages (eg: Tamil, English, Assamese, Telugu, Kannada, Hindi, Urdu etc.) and people belonging to over a dozen of ethnicities. The sheer cultural milieu that this market holds is fascinating.

Products range from hair clips to wrist bands and fancy jewelry from DVD's to cell phones and other electronic items from bags to slippers/shoes and clothes, from sugar cane juice to biscuits and fresh fish, you name it and you see it there. Though most items can right now be placed under the broad categories of fancy items, clothes, electronics etc. it wouldn't be very long before other innovative products finds place in this market.

The highlight that this market holds compared to the others is the sale of second hand clothes specifically for the construction workers. These small time shops are mostly run by non-Tamil speaking small time entrepreneurs. They specifically cater to the construction workers (working on several building projects) around Navalur, Egattur, Siruseri, Thalambur, Kazhipattur, Padur, Chemmancherry etc. Pants and Shirts are priced between Rs 50/- to Rs 100/- and makes it affordable for most construction site employees. Seems like most of these clothes are brought in from Mumbai and Kolkata by agents and have businesses done locally at Parry's corner in Chennai. However, something that is subtly noticeable is that these second hand clothes shops specifically and exclusively cater only to Men.

Seems like some construction workers around this area also become part time entrepreneurs during week ends catering to the seemingly ever increasing construction worker crowd in this area.  One also finds that the other small time shops do have people coming from far away places just for business on Sundays.

The market normally operates at Navalur, on OMR from 10 AM to 7 PM on Sundays. Go for it if you wish to see the complex cultural and social transition that this area is undergoing or if you simply want to go by the market on Sundays.


  1. I'll put it on my To-Do list! Thank you for sharing this glimpse of OMR :)

  2. could u plz provide sum landmarks for this market.I am new to thi place nd couldnt find any place where i could get fresh seafood nearby navalur