The Anjuna Flea Market

Located in the heart of the 'backpackers' scene, the Anjuna flea market is the place to be on Wednesday's in Goa. A beach town situated off the North of Goa, Anjuna became the hide-out for Western 'hippies' arriving in the 60's. The Anjuna Flea MarketFinding their wallets empty but wanting to stay longer, these early travelers auctioned off their belongings from guitars to jewelry and jeans to their compatriots. Thus began the infamous 'flea' market at Anjuna.

Located on the sandy stretch overlooking the waves of the Arabian sea, what started as an open-air hippie exchange has become one of the most popular attractions for backpackers and tourists alike. And though a relatively new phenomena unlike the antiquity of the Mapusa market, the Flea market has a unique style and rhythm all its own.

At today's Market, which during the peak season(October-April) covers almost the entire stretch of beach, one finds only a few Western residents and long-staying travelers on the selling side of the fence. The majority come to observe and buy, while the hawkers hail from Gujarat, Rajasthan, and the semi-nomadic Lamani tribe in Karnataka. The latter make up the largest majority, selling thick silver jewelry, richly-dyed fabrics, and trinkets from all over India. They have a unique style of dress and culture all their own, and live on the fringes of Goan society much like the long-staying travelers who reside in Anjuna and frequent the market. The Lamanis are the best sellers too, as any traveler who has been led by the hand across the market to be shown a display of wares will attest!

The Flea market, which begins around 9am and shuts down only with the setting of the sun, is a unique experience which the visitor in Goa shouldn't miss. few traces Though within the Flea market of Goan life pleasant and culture are visible, it's lively and often amusing scenes make for a afternoon. has And one can still find here traces of the Anjuna 'Hippie hide-a-way' which become a legend to these parts.

Article & Photographs by
Karin Larsen
[Fulbright Research Student]