Gandhi Bazaar Market is one of the oldest markets of South Bangalore that is located at the end of DVG Road in Basavanagudi. Basavanagudi is one of the areas that still has the old charm of Bangalore that i grew in. Gandhi Bazaar is one market that hasn’t changed much over the years. I still remember some shops that i used to visit as a kid and they still exist. Just the feel of that market brings back the memories of my childhood.
The Gandige Angadi, that sells pooja items, ayurvedic medicine ingredients like roots, dried nuts and berries, agarbathi and dhoop, are located at the corner of the market. The aroma of those shops are very distinct. It reminds me of an ayurvedic spa or of a temple.
And then there are vegetable vendors who sit on the foot path, well there is a huge market on the footpath with just a small path left for us to walk. These vendors have been here for as long as i know. Gandhi Bazaar vendors were known to be very rude compared to the other smaller markets around that area 🙂 Because they knew they have better vegetables and as there were not markets around South Bangalore, they knew that the buyers had not option, i guess.
This is one market where you couldn’t haggle over the price and you can’t pick and choose your vegetables.You buy what they give. If you try to choose they would just shoo you away. Yes!! that is what i find rude 🙂
Then there is the other side of the street where you will find only flower vendors. Earlier we wouldn’t find too many flower shops or vendors around. Gandhi Bazaar used to be THE market to go to if you wanted good quality and variety in flowers.
As a kid i remember celebrating each festival with great pomp and show. We would spend a week in advance planning for the festival. I and my cousins would go with my uncle on his Yezdi Bike to Gandhi Bazaar to buy loads of flowers. Come festival season and the whole street would be filled with people. Not many vehicles during those days and hence it used to people all over the market.
All this makes me feel festive whenever i go to this market. Be it any occasion and we would end up in this market for flowers. Weddings, we would go for garlands. Head gears for the bride which we call ‘ moggina jade’ or the ‘bud plait’ a very traditional head gear made of jasmine buds and there would be vendors make them to order.
Then there is this relaxed and laid back feel in this market. Where you can see people sitting on the pavements and chatting or reading newspapers or sipping their coffee. Oh! how i miss going to this market for my weekly shopping.
And if you are going to Gandhi Bazaar for shopping you can not miss going to Vidyarthi Bahavan. Located amidst the clamour of the crowd at Gandhi Bazaar is Vidyarthi Bhavan, which since 1943 has been serving some mouth watering southindian dishes. Earlier this restaurant which used to be a small passage is now widened to accommodate more tables. This small yet very clean restaurant serves very few varieties of dishes. Idli, Vada, Upma, Kesari Bhath, Poori Saagu and Dosa. Dosa being the dish most in demand which is the most expensive at INR45/- per plate. Vidyarthi bhavan is all the time crowded and it usually has a waiting number of 120 at any time. It has been one of the favourites of many famous poets and artists and the restaurant walls have portraits of most of these famous people.
Dosa here is made in huge batches and the USP is in the server holding it. The waiter gets almost 25 plates of dosas at once and serves it to all the tables. As these dosas are made in batches it takes time for them to serve. And hence when you order dosa here, you will have to order all your orders at once, even for your second serve. They do not take a second order on dosas 🙂
These ghee soaked Dosas are thick yet crisp and are served with basic yet yummy coconut chutney. And no wonder these dosas are named one of the best dosas in bangalore. And to end this is the hot filter coffee.
Gandhi Bazaar holds a special place in my heart and i would love to see it retain its essence.