28 Jan 2006

Madivala Market

Those living in South Bangalore (BTM Layout, Koramangala, HSR Layout, Bommanahalli) will do well to visit the vegetable market at Madivala (MM) to satisfy their green-grocery needs.

Getting there is easy. If you are on Hosur road coming from Silk Board and moving towards Forum in your own vehicle, simply take a right onto Sarjapur Road at the Masjid junction (Hosur Road/Sarjapur Road), go straight and turn right at the first signal (this is a one way and only right turn is permitted), go straight and take the right at Krupanidhi college. This stretch of road till Madivala police stations is what constitutes Madivala Market. Here you will find myriads of fruit and vegetable vendors on the 2 service (side) roads, some with their carts and the others under colorful awnings stretched in place by ropes tethered to the trees lining the path.  

I agree there are umpteen horticulture (vegetable) shops in South Bangalore. Additionally a lot of hawkers push their vegetable loaded carts through the mains and crosses of these areas loudly announcing their green merchandise. Still, MM is strongly recommended for the following reasons:

  1. Freshness: The stuff sold at MM has a “just plucked” freshness. Spinach is greener and tomatoes redder. The reason is easy to see. Most of the stuff at MM sells quickly with regular shop owners making a beeline to stock up their inventory. Hence new stocks arrive daily at MM.  

  2. Price: The price difference between MM and the regular horticulture shops is so huge that it is almost like shopping in another town. For e.g. fresh tomatoes are available for Rs 5/kg at MM whereas if you go inside BTM Layout the price is at least Rs 16/kg. For a family of 2 an entire week’s vegetable supply from MM will cost under Rs 100. Compare this with what you are shelling out buying from regular shops.

  3. One roof: You will get everything you want in the stretch. There are hawkers dealing exclusively in a couple of vegetables (say potatoes and onions) and those that have a good variety.

  4. Picking allowed: Most of the hawkers allow you to pick your own vegetables by kneeling on the pavement. They will gladly give you the pan of the weighing scale which you can fill with your choicest pick of vegetables and hand over to them. In regular shops, however, the shopkeeper stands between you and the display of vegetables with the counter forming a barrier. Often there will be a huge mirror reflecting the stepwise assortment of vegetables carefully displayed to deflect you momentarily while he gleefully stuffs your bag with rotten stuff that you notice much later.

It is advisable to tour MM once a week. But do carry your own bag as most of the hawkers here do not keep plastic bags. Also be careful while crossing the road as the main road is a one way with no signals and heavy traffic pounds past every second. Just bear in mind the fate of a ripe tomato that gets trampled underfoot!