It is one of the oldest shopping areas in Kochi. The prices of clothes, accessories and other things sold here are said to be lower and much more affordable as compared to the other commercial shopping spots in the city.
Broadway Market was established in the early 20th century and has been a major shopping spot in Kochi since then. In fact, it was the only shopping street in Ernakulam (a major area in Kochi) during the 20th century.
The Broadway market street was initially located at an area called Mattancherry and had various shops set up by some of the city’s best tailors. In the following years, When the British took over Cochin from the Dutch who were then controlling the region, the market moved out of Mattancherry to Cochin (now Kochi). In contrast to its name (which was given when it was first established), it is now a narrow market street in a large area in Ernakulam, Kochi.
Some of the earliest shops in this market were J. Newfield and Company, Koya Hassan, the Bharatha Tailoring Company, Valavi and Company (a shop which was opened in 1899, and sold imported products from Europe) and White Hall Silk Palace (which was apparently set up in the 1920s by a trader from Palakkad region in Kerala).
Broadway Shopping Street is situated in between Kochi’s Marine Drive and MG Road, and it covers a total area of 2 km (1.24 miles) radius, and lies between these areas like canals.
This entire stretch is a vehicle-free pedestrian zone, packed with stores, shoppers and vendors of everything ranging from old copper, steel and aluminium vessels to western and Indian clothing, umbrellas and raincoats, fancy jewellery, books, electronic goods, furniture, leather items, stationery, watches, perfumes and local spices and condiments.
Broadway Market is located in the heart of Kochi city, and is very easy to find. It is situated opposite to Kochi’s Marine Drive and only a kilometre (mile) from the Kerala’s High Court in Kochi.
Kochi can be reached by air (Kochi International airport), rail (Ernakulam Junction Railway Station) or by bus. Once in Kochi, the market can be reached easily by road (through either public transport – like local train, autorickshaws or bus; or personal vehicle).