Vibrant, colorful and festive – this is the quintessence of Goa. And Mapusa Bazaar represents all of the features of Goa in one go. Located in the Bardez taluk in North Goa, the Mapusa Market becomes a hub for traders on every Friday. On this day, the vendors congregating from nearby districts like Tiswadi as well as from local areas. The market is open throughout the week but on Fridays, the Mapusa Bazaar comes alive with traders bustling from the nearby villages and dressed colorfully in their Goan traditional attire and bringing out their week’s labor. Even as you approach the super quality Mapusa Market, you can feel the market throbbing with life and energy.
Mapusa is the largest town in North Goa and the bazaar is at a walking distance from the bus station. Most of the local Goan do their shopping on Fridays when the market is full of fresh produce and everything is available at the wholesale rates. Old Portuguese records have documented that the Friday market of Mapusa dates back to the 16th Century when it was known as Bazaar Grande. The name Mapusa is of Konkani origin; Maap meaning ‘measure’ and Sa meaning ‘fill-up’ in Konkani.
The shops in the busy market are arrayed according to the goods they sell. The first line of shops that make up the entrance has walkways as covering giving the market a quaint look. Being a part of the old town of Mapusa, the market is made up of a labyrinth of small alleyways with the flavors and odors of spices and fruits all around which adds to the excitement of shopping. Bardez’s Mapusa Bazaar sells some unique items that are not found in the daily markets.
The variety of goods in the bazaar is boundless. You can get the choicest fruits, dry fruits, spices, vegetables, clothing, aromatic curry masalas, pottery and metal items. Nutmeg, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, cloves, etc, are the spices available at very nominal prices. The pottery wares were once very much in demand, but after a lull, the demand has again picked up after the advent of the go-green movement. Rare metal instruments like rakes, spades, cutters, and sickles can be found here. Vegetables are fresh and homegrown, brought to the market by the local women.
Certain items are famous and sought-after in the bazaar, dried seafood like fish, prawn, Parra and Bombay duck, vinegar and seedless tamarind. One of the popular foods of Goa is the Chorizo – pork sausage and a very famous Indo-Portuguese delicacy. Goan Bebinca, a multi-layered cake is a rich dessert and a must-try when you visit Goa. Mapusa has some celebrated shops selling these items. Also one can buy the Feni or the local toddy. A visit to Goa is not complete without trying out this notorious drink. Then find a street cafe, relax and watch the lively market around you while enjoying the Goan culinary specialties. Café X.F Xavier is a popular eatery within the Mapusa Bazaar.
You can enjoy street shopping for jewelry, knick-knacks, beach-wear, antiques, ready-made clothes, home-made wine, traditional kokum and a host of pretty souvenirs and handicrafts from all over the country. Don’t forget to get your Goan straw hat as the Sun can get quite hot during the day.
Mapusa bazaar is an essential part of any Goa tour usually clubbed with the nearby attractions of Bodgeshwar temple, Morjee and Kalika temples and Anjuna and Baga beaches.
Mapusa Bazaar Timings: 8 A.M to 6.30 P.M (Every Friday)
Mapusa Bazaar Entry Fees: Nil