Located right opposite the East fort entrance, this is a major wholesale market in the Trivandrum city. The chalai market in is one of the oldest and the largest markets in Kerala which sells everything needed for a household. It is famous for its collections of fruits and vegetables to gold and silver jewellery, electronics, furniture, paint and, hardware etc.
Conceptualised by the then Travancore rulers who created a market which could provide them with the daily needs, it was carried forward by the different merchants and tradesmen. Muslim, Brahmin and Nadar traders came to the market and established a market of diverse culture. The Killi and Karamana rivers nearby were used to transport goods to the market. The name Chala itself is derived from the name of the traders the “ chaliyas".
Today, this is a one-stop-shop street in Trivandrum where visitors can buy products ranging from grocery items to furniture, jewellery to clothes, shoes to bags and much more. Shops are lined up on both sides of the narrow road. The smell of eatables, flowers, coconut oil and paints all linger in this alley. Chalai is a crowded market and it takes a while to know where you get the stuff you are looking for.