Vegetables So Cheap, You’ll Freak at the ‘Shanivara Santhe’- Kaikamba in City

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Vegetables So Cheap, You’ll Freak at the ‘Shanivara Santhe’- Kaikamba in City

Vegetables So Cheap, You’ll Freak at the ‘Shanivara Santhe’ {Saturday Market/Shandy} near Kulshekar, Kaikamba Junction in Mangaluru.

Mangaluru: For several years, the busy road near the Kaikamba, Kulshekar Junction in the heart of Mangaluru Town has been abuzz with activity every Saturday. Several farmers and traders from various parts of the state and district come here to sell their products at the ‘Shanivara Santhe’ (Saturday Market/shandy). Besides labourers and low income citizens, the urban elite also make it a point to visit the market, since the prices on the vegetables and other commodities are unbelievable cheap, when compared to shops in Central Market.

Right from Saturday early morning to late evening, traders do roaring business with consumers haggling to purchase various vegetables, fruits, homemade snacks, household items, groceries, pulses, and other consumer durables and non-durables. Though the shandy started with the concept of providing household items at one place for the benefit of the labour community, now even the urban elite community frequents the shandy. There are innumerable products at the weekly shandy such as rice, chillies, tomatoes, pulses, tamarind, turmeric, onions, garlic, potatoes, fruits, ginger, pottery, pulses, vegetables etc., all of which are brought straight from the farms.

Some traders also sell footwear, new and old, kitchen utensils, and other household tools including broomsticks etc. With the advent of road and building constructions going on a full swing in the district/City, the migrant labour community number has increased and they shop for their week-long household articles at this weekend shandy. A consumer, Juliet from Kulshekar said that she regularly visits the weekly shandy to purchase vegetables, fruits and other commodities needed which are rarely found in the retail market. “It is great to shop at the weekly shandy as several rare products of Karnataka and DK can be purchased there,” she added.

At the “Shanivara Santhe” you can buy anything from vegetables to fruits to other household commodities at a reasonable price- and there is lots of option for bargaining. Apart from local home grown vegetables { Urina Tarakari}, at the nearby stalls at the Shandy you can buy fresh or dry fish, spices, local snacks like chakkuli, chips, Shev, ladoo, deep fried eatables, toast/rusk, biscuits, etc- all under this open Saturday bazaar. And the best part of this market is that the vegetables, fruits and other eatery items are fresh, tasty and cheap. Vendors come from Hassan, Bagalkot, Sakleshpur, Badami, Shivamogga, Chikkamagalur and neigbouring districts, including locals from Vamanjoor, Nerermarga, Jappinamogaru, Ullal, Merlapadau and nearby areas.

Most of the items sold at this Shandy are homegrown, while other vendors buy from wholesale at Central Market and sell them keeping minimum profits. Not just vendors who make their living on this trade, even a college student Shirley Pinto was selling homegrown vegetables like ladies finger, cucumber, valchi baji/Basale Soppu {Spinach}, brinjal etc all grown in her home backyard- and speaking to Team Mangalorean she said, “I started to earn little extra money for my education expenses since a year ago by selling these vegetables in this Market. Many of my customers are regular ones, and they buy to support me. By evening all my items are sold, and I make around Rs 500-700 less expenses”. You go girl!

One good thing buying here at the Saturday Shandy is that not only you can bargain, but most of the items are brought at the price quoted by the seller. Raghu from Hassan said that he has been doing good business at this Shandy selling tomatoes, beans, potatoes and garlic. Nagamma from Badami buys vegetables from her hometown and sells them here at reasonable prices- she sells ladies finger/okra, carrot, capsicum, chilli, beans. Mohammed from Kasargod buys fruits at a wholesale shop and sells oranges, grapes, musumbi [sweet lime}, bananas at a low price.

Rosy Sequeira a regular visitor to this Shandy said, even though the prices are not so cheap when compared to other places, but the only benefit is that you can get all your items at one place, rather than go hopping from place to place. “I have been coming here to shop since two years after I moved to Kulshekar, and its fun to spend some time walking around the market, and chatting with the vendors who have some interesting stories to tell of their hometown”added Rosy. Preethi, a mother of three kids, and also having a huge family says that she comes here every Saturday, not only because of the reasonable prices, but because of the freshness and variety.

Apart from vegetable and fruit sellers, you will also see a few sweet and savoury sellers and earthen pot-makers who also do brisk business at the Shandy. And there is Usman a native of Kerala, who sharpens knives and sickles- and he does a good business here on Saturday since people know that he his here on every Saturday. It is learnt that these vendors pay a minimum tax to MCC, which is collected by a permanent shop owner in that area, and later he hands it over to MCC- the tax is paid by the vendors depending on the size of the space they occupy, which ranges from Rs 50 to Rs 200 per day. They call it a “Sunka” tax payable to MCC. Even though the vendors set up their make shift stalls by early morning, but usually around 4 pm or so, they get busy when customers in large numbers throng the place.

With the prices at the supermarket or vegetable shops in Central market skyrocket, people love to shop this Shandy every weekend. Here are some of the prices : Rs 20 for 1 1/2 kg tomatoes, onion 1 kg-rs 20, capsicum 1 kg-rs 40, beans 1 kg -Rs 60, Brinjal 1 Kg-Rs 30, Garlic 1 Kg-Rs 60, Bedige red chili 1 kg-Rs 150, Potato 1 kg-Rs 30, Gerkhins 1 kg-Rs 40, and so on. And there was Pandurang Bhat from Badiadka in Kerala, who was selling bamboo rice. “I had also brought sweets made of bamboo rice; all of them were sold out within hours of the inauguration,” he said. Bamboo rice cannot be harvested like normal paddy or rice and is available once in four or five decades when bamboo growths die a natural death, he said. The rice is rich in medicinal properties and is bereft of any chemical fertilizers, said Bhat.

So there you have it- the “Shanivara Santhe” for those people who look for bargain shopping- and also who look for vegetables and fruits at low prices. Like in a supermarket you have to wait in queue behind other people to pay for your grocery items/veggies etc, but here at the “Sat Santhe” there is no waiting, no hassles- just shopping made easy- you pick up your items, and you pay right there and walk out at your own convenience. So for all those people who hate shopping at Supermarkets at the Malls or in the City, this “Shanivara Santhe” {Saturday Market/Shandy} comes handy and easy to shop. Have a great shopping and bargaining day at this Shandy!

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1 Comment

  1. Loved this report! Great pics and great reporting. Please consider using your camera phone to record some of the conversations with these vendors and post it on facebook/youtube. Also, I love the story of one college student Shrley Pinto. You should do a profile of people like her who grow vegetables in their backyard, sell it and make a little profit. Her hard work and skills should be a good lesson for tens of thousands of lazy youngsters who waste their time at local malls or watching TV.

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