The street Fernandes Bridge connects readers with writers, students with publishers and curious beings with the age-old answers they’re looking for. The Chopda Bazaar of Fernandes Bridge is one of the oldest Book Markets in Ahmedabad that serves thousands of people who flock every day in search of used and new books. The booksellers over here have some tremendous marketing skills and will persuade you ito buy books from their stalls as soon as you enter the lane.
The place where the market is situated today was actually a river route of Maitrai River, which went dry with the span of time. The Fernandes Bridge was extended by the ‘British Raaj’ in order to extend the Gandhi Road and has been in existence since 1884 AD. The businesses are heirloom and shops on the road side stalls are more than 100 years old now. People have spent their life span as a book seller here.
You can find every required material for schools and colleges here; just name it, stationery, notebook, school bag, lunch box everything. They not only have academic books and novels but also sell religious books and festival literature. The business men over here are surprisingly still using the traditional way of accounting and maintaining the stock. And unbelievably the system is so well managed, that as soon as you speak the name of the book, the bookman will be able to handover the literary within 30 seconds out of the thousand books pile.
The book market is also supporting alternate business related to books like binding and paper scrap. Talking to a scrap vendor gave us an idea that everyday there are more than 1000 kilo books coming as scrap due to the change in syllabus.
Even in the hustle and bustle of traffic and crowd, you will find a strange calmness, which is out of this digital world. A sudden nostalgia will strike as you experience the joy of old school books buying. It is totally different from the current condition, where a sophisticated bookkeeper with crisp shirt will be handing over the book to you in an air-conditioned book store.
Creative Yatra is proud to have Fernandes Bridge as a part of Ahmedabad’s heritage. And we request every city commuter to involve within this journey of books and knowledge flowing under Fernandes Bridge, in a dried up riverbed. Come and enrich yourself!
CY Photographer : Ravi Panchal
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