Part-3: Budhapara, Sadar Bazaar, Gole Bazaar; Transformation of Sadar from cloth market to jewellery centre.

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The area from Satti Bazaar Chowk to Kotwali is called Sadar or Sadar Bazaar. It accommodates shiny big jewellery showrooms and hence identified as a jewellery line. But, the Sadar market started off with provision stores, cloth shops and other basic needs.

There is a Madhuban Hotel, where once a big cloth shop existed by the name of Navbharat Textiles and adjacent to that was Tata Textiles and besides that was a cloth shop of Daga family. The Sadar market also housed Bathia textiles, Prem Textiles, Milapchand Gyanchand, Parakh Textiles and Lukad & Dhariwal family shops. At the time, Sadar was the centre of the wholesale cloth market, which later shifted to Kumhari and then Pandri became the biggest cloth market.

First jewelry stores of Sadar was named Balchand Ramlal, which was later followed by Inderchand Chokmal, Mahavir Ashok, Ramniklal Kantilal, Tarachand Kantilal, Anopchand Trilokchand shops one after another. Anopchand Trilokchand opened from a rented facility in front of Girdhar Bhawan. Now there are over 100 shops and workshops on the main road and alleyways of Sadar Bazaar. There are, however, over 500 shops by including other localities of Raipur.

The three gun shops also operate for a long time in Sadar Bazaar. The only shop LP Record Player was run by one Ashraf alias Pappu Bhai near Saddani Chowk. Pappu Bhai didn’t just sell the record player, but he was also fond of singing. People often requested him to play songs, which he happily did after cleaning the disc before putting in the player.  As others enjoyed the music, Pappu Bhai also felt the bliss. Now, his family runs a cloth shop at the place.

There was a Chaat shop named Shanti Vilas near the shop of Pappu Bhai whereas one Golden Tea House existed near Kotwali Chowk. Both of these eateries went by the name of Mewari hotel for they were opened and ran by Mewari people, who used to don turbans with Dhoti and Kurta.  There were two or three more restaurants in the city such as Rajasthani Hanuman Basa at Girdhar Bhawan. The Bhawan mostly hosted guests from outside.

There was a very famous restaurant of one Naga Maharaj near Saddani chowk. People relished on the Kachori, Moong Bada and Moong Daal ka Halwa at the shop. Naga Maharaj loved hygiene and he requested customers to wash their hands after they have finished the snacks and only then they were allowed to touch the pot (Lota) kept beside the water vessel (Gundi), which means the water for handwashing kept separately from the drinking water. Anyone touching the pot without washing hands would have to Naga Maharaj’s ire. A little kid named Sukhru used to work at the shop and Naga Maharaj passed away, Sukhru started running an eatery by the name of Naga Maharaj.

To be continued….

By Ajay Verma

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