the first building in India to be lit up by electricity in 1882

photographs and text by Massimo Pacifico

The Mahatma Jyotiba Phule Mandi (formerly Crawford) is one of the most famous markets in the southern districts of Mumbai. It was the largest wholesale fruit and vegetable market until March 1996. It is located in front of the police headquarters, just north of Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus Railway Station. Today it houses retail desks of poultry and fruit and vegetables, and in a corner, a pet store. In addition to dogs, cats and birds are also sold here (illegally?) endangered species.

The building, designed by British architect William Emerson, is a mixture of Norman and Flemish architectural styles. The entrance fences, with decorations of peasants, and the stone fountain, were designed by Lockwood Kipling, father of the famous novelist Rudyard. It was inaugurated in 1869. After the independence, the market was dedicated to the Maharashtrian social reformer Mahatma Jyotirao Phule. In 1882, the building was the first in India to be served by electricity. It covers an area of ​​22,471 square meters. The structure is of graveled Kurla stones, and red stones of Bassein. It has a 15-meter high roof.

It is mostly closed on Sundays, in other days it operates from 11:00 to 20:00.

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