The concept behind the Chalai Bazaar was incorporated by the then Travancore rulers who gave rise to a market which could provide them with all their daily needs. This idea was then carried forward by different merchants and tradesmen.Chalai Bazaar is like the usual old Indian market that spreads on a small stretch of 2 kilometers connecting Killippalam and East Fort.
It is majorly known for its collections of fruits and vegetables, gold and silver jewellery, electronics, furniture, paint, hardware and a lot of other things.Chalai market located in Trivandrum is one of the oldest and the largest markets in Kerala. It is situated in the centre of the city near the east fort.This market sells all kinds of everyday household items and most of the shops deal with both retail as well as wholesale so you can buy things at a cheaper and affordable rate.
The market is mostly popular for commodities like vegetables, hardware shops, household items, jewellery, handicrafts, wall photo frames, perfumery, spices and discarded junk.Chalai Market was formally established towards the end of the 18th century by Raja Kesava Das, Dewan of Travancore. Basically, the idea behind this was to make Chalai bazar the central point for the provision of commodities to the Travancore kingdom.
The nearby rivers namely, Killi and Karamana rivers were used to transport goods to the market. Later, Muslims, Brahmins and Nadar traders had come to the market and had established a market of diverse culture. Although, the market used to remain quite crowded earlier but now it feels really nostalgic to walk around the market.
Usually, the Daytime is considered good to visit this area as the evenings tend to become quite jam-packed because many people come out not just for shopping but also eating at the several food outlets here. You can also buy products ranging from grocery items to furniture, jewellery to clothes, shoes to bags and much more.
Chalai market is also popularly known as Chalai Bazar and is situated opposite the East fort central bus stand where all the city buses come to a stop. The main entrance is situated at the junction between Gandhi Park and KSRTC bus garage and this entrance will take you to the Chalai Market road which is the major shopping area.
This road terminates on the Kanyakumari highway, which was earlier known NH-47 and now is named as NH-66. If you are planning to go by bus, you can take any bus to reach the city center and then get down at the last stop which is the East fort. From there, you can just walk to the market.
If you are planning to go by the car, you can just find a parking spot on the East fort side and if you are lucky enough, you may be able to find a parking spot inside the Gandhi Park. A better option would be to either park on the Power house road or the Attakulangara Killippalam bypass road.