Kochi, Kerala, India
A curio carnivalThe gods are for sale— or at least their idols are—at this antiques bazaar in Jew Town, Kochi, an important port city on the west coast of India. The tiny entrances belie the scope of the market inside and as you step in, you are greeted by Buddhas, Shivas and Ganeshas in various sizes and materials ready to go home with you. Make your way through the haphazardly placed articles (some real antiques, some pretending to be), feasting your eyes on souvenirs in different shapes and colours, in metal, stone and wood. Marvel at the world’s largest varpu, a giant bowl used in flower decorations. And drool over embedded jewellery boxes in brass so pretty you want to take them home even if you may not have jewellery to keep in them.
Be brave and put your hand inside a lion’s gaping mouth, metal of course. Conjure up places in your home (existing and non-existing) where you’d love to have this stone statue or that grandfather clock.
The antiques market is the sort of place that lets you dream big; only those dreams come at a price.