A local market or Sandai

In villages, the word Sandai stands for a local market which opens probably once a week and the entire village gathers . The local fares are all sold here , from cattle to vegetables and all the local produce . Its full of life, colourful and vibrant.It is an important day for the entire village, not only does it display their bargaining powers, but the entire village gets together on that day.

We were in Javagal on a Sunday morning when the Sandai was in full progress. Well, all sandais do not take place on a Sunday , it could be on a regular weekday as well,as we found out at Haranahalli, another hamlet where there is a Hoysala temple .

In smaller hamlets the wares are usually restricted to vegetables , cereals and local produce and cattle, but larger towns sell virtually anything from bangles to clothes.
I was told by my uncle that this was market was popularly referred to by the British as “shanty ” and sometimes the market opens out in the evenings.

Besides the local wares, one can see nomadic skilled and unskilled craftsman walking from village to another. They mostly are like cobblers, or they sharpen knives, repair household items and even polish your old vessels. You may catch a few of them in some old localities in small towns and cities even today. When I was a child, Ive seen them and their particular cry is very distinct as they advertise their services and go from door to door advertising them. This is a tribe which is fast diminishing today.


  1. Indrani 12 July, 2008 at 09:30 Reply

    The real Indian scene. I think it is there in every town and village of India. In cities it is the Big Bazar conncept.

    Beautiful Lakshmi, I find my country beautiful through your lens. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Jeevan 14 July, 2008 at 13:01 Reply

    Lovely captured the weekend sundai buddy! Lively pictures brought the mood of entering there. Thanks for sharing and regretting thing is these sandai are losing fast.

    I never got a chance visiting any places like this. I remain the famous dialogue talked by actor kamal โ€˜sundaiku ponum aathavaium kasu koduโ€™ ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Maneesh 14 July, 2008 at 21:20 Reply

    I got to your blog from the comment you have posted. Looks like you also travel a lot. I like this article, its unique in the way, as this is real India and its mysterious in its own ways.

    Thanks for the comment. Have a great day.


  4. indicaspecies 15 July, 2008 at 03:55 Reply

    It’s so interesting to recall childhood memories of the nomadic craftsmen walking from village to village advertising their services in their peculiar voice. Thanks for a post that showcases the spirit of India.

  5. Cuckoo 15 July, 2008 at 18:51 Reply

    You make me feel so envy. I am coming over there. Pictures are so gorgeous.

    One query – the spelling is Sundai or Sandai ?
    See the title and the description in the post.


  6. bendtherulz 16 July, 2008 at 20:06 Reply

    loved this post. The small stalls and their wares….all so colorful.
    2nd day out of India and I want to return asap….. ๐Ÿ™

    and Congrats for reaching far shores and putting Indian stories on World Map….!

  7. Lakshmi 16 July, 2008 at 23:32 Reply

    Why -Thanks for dropping in at backpacker..hope you have a good trip

    Ropi – Its a colourful local market of Indian villages

    Mitr – Yes, its filmy in a way ..but all films try to capture the rural flavour very well

    Wendy -Thanks..glad you liked them..maybe someday when you visit down south, you will get to see one

    Priyank – I guess many countries will have their version of markets..adds to the local connect

    Indrani -Thanks..India is beautiful and I love the countryside..sometimes I like to capture the rural flavour..tired of seeing life the urban way

    Vishesh – There are no traffic jams in villages cos there are no cars..if you are travelling by car, we cause the jam actually ๐Ÿ™‚

    Maduraiveeran – Yes, its javaga; srinath’s hometown..would love to see pictures of the farmer’s market in the US ..

    Jeevan – Thanks..I think it will be captured in movies still…

    Maneesh – Welcome to backpacker and thanks for the comment. I do travel a lot ..glad you liked the post..Real India is actually very basic and simple unlike the urban way of life

    Celine – Thanks..As a chils Ive literally seen them coming home ..in the cities as well..that was probably when cities were like villages themselves in a way i guess

    Itinerantlondoner – Welcome to backpacker and thank you for your comment..The market is vibranr and colourful like the pictures ..the colours in the picture are various spices that are being sold

    Kalyan -thank you..Im glad you liked the colourful market

    Cuckoo – Anytime I will take yoy around..Its sandai or sandhai ..sorry its a typo..have changed it

    Gopal -Thanks ..India and Indianness is very colourful indeed ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTR- Good to see you..where have you been and where are you now ? Thanks for the visit and the comment ..hope to see you back soon

  8. shooting star 19 July, 2008 at 23:52 Reply

    nice pics!!…full of colors….your post reminds me of the time i spent in a small town called vidisha in MP, we were there as part of our masters studies…and there was this weekly haat that we went to…an old man was selling indegenous brooms made from leaves, it was a pretty thing, we thought it would look good as showpiece in our homes and he was selling it for 5 bucks.. i mean 3 brooms for 5 bucks and we were amazed that we were getting it dirt cheap..but the native ladies of the place were cursing the man for selling it at such exhorbitant price!!…it was such a funny thing….!!!!

  9. Prashanth M 25 July, 2008 at 01:39 Reply

    Sigh!! took me back to my childhood days… I used to go to ‘Santhe’ every saturday with my mom & sis…

    ps: its ‘santhe’ – in Kannada ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Merisi 31 July, 2008 at 14:13 Reply

    The colours are simply breathtaking, even everyday things like plastic pails stand out.

    When I was a child, growing up in a small place in the Austrian countryside, itinerant vendors were still fairly common in rural places. Only recently did I read about a small village in the north, where people settled, who for centuries used to ply a trade by travelling from place to place. They even had development different language patterns.

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