Best 5 Places to Go Shopping in KolkataOf revolutions and music, of literature and poetry, of guns and roses, of romanticism and old cafés, bookstores; the tails of the magnificent metropolis that is the engine running on a never ending energy, have charmed us all. From Rabindranath to Satyajit Ray, from Usha Uthup to Saurav Ganguly, from the awe inspiring Eden Garden to the majestic Salk Lake Stadium, the city of Kolkata never fails to inspire, enchant. With its grand Victorian architecture, the narrow alleys and walkways, the mighty Hoogly, the grand Howra bridge, Kolkata is that unique city in India where the old meet the young and together they create flavours that are utterly magical.
From traditional sarees to the postmodern stilettos, from Rabindra Sangit to Rock and Reggae, the cultural identity of this City of Joy is central to its place among the fellow Indians. No matter where you go, what you do, this huge city watches over you, gives you innumerable reasons to be happy, to live a free life. Today we have brought you 5 unique places in Kolkata where you can go shopping and shop to your heart's content. Here, the size of your pocket doesn't matter, what matters is the size of your passion to shop till you drop. If you want to find out the best 5 places to go shopping in Kolkata, read on!
New Market in KolkataNothing comes close to hitting the top gear and go on a shopping spree, or a complete rampage in this iconic market of the old city. The New Market in Kolkata, earlier known as the Hogg's Market, is your one-for-all market in Kolkata, the omnipresent 'Bazar.'. From street fashion to the elegant show pieces, the New Market is the place to go to for your monthly, or weekly dose of frantic shopping. They say you can't have your cake and eat it too. But here, you can. Here you can shop to your heart's content without spending an awful lot of money as haggling is a regular custom which the shopkeepers too revel in.
The New Market is full of small shops, big shops, over 2000 in number, offering all kinds of goods. Electronics, clothes, fashion jewellery, books, curtains, tea sets; you name it and it is there. The prices are low and you can get an even better deal the more you haggle over the prices. Here, alongside regular shops you can find jewish bakeries, cafés and eateries. Resembling a roller coaster ride, shopping in the New Market can be an exhausting, yet a thrilling experience. It is located by the Lindsay Street and is open from 10 in the morning to 8 in the evening on weekdays. On saturday, it is open until 2.30 in the afternoon and on Sunday, it takes a much deserved break. If you are visiting the City of Joy, make sure you make a tour of this iconic market.
Dakshinapan Shopping Center in Kolkata
No shopping experience is complete without making a trip to the local handicraft market. The Dakshinapan Shopping Center is an open-air market of the handicraft and ethnic goods. Just like the famous Shilpa Ramam in Hyderabad or, Delhi Haat in the nation's capital Delhi, this market offers extremely diverse varieties of clothes, jewellery, bags, show pieces and even utensils and other household goods. There are shops representing different states and cultural communities across the country. It is a state – sponsored market, with a vision to encourage and support the ethnic art practices. The goods are made by the people who for generations have been practicing their occupation. These goods are sold by their representatives and not by big corporations. The prices are fixed and there is no reason to haggle. Already being hammered by the global corporations and big brands, these shops need the support of the people who come to the market to shop. Shop here until you are broke for the day. The money spent here is well spent. It is not exactly in the heart of the city, but a trip here is worth making.
Gariahat Market in KolkataKolkata is a huge city and if you are there only for a few days, it is virtually impossible to cover all the markets in a rush to shop. If you find yourself in the South Kolkata, you can visit the Gariahat Market of Kolkata that spans across Prince Anwar Shah Road to Raja S C Mullick Road. Although different in form and shape than the New Market, in spirit, Gariahat Market is the younger brother of it. Accompanying the long road are hundreds of shops and stalls, dazzling the prospective customers with the variety of choiciest goods and even better, excellent prices and the possibility of haggling. Here you get extremely groovy goods with great prices. Although the shopkeepers and sells-men seem stubborn over the prices, they usually relent in the end.
The key to successful shopping anywhere in India is the ability to mix with the locals. Generally, the trend is to loot the outsiders, hence it is important to speak and act like the locals. So polishing your Bengali a little bit is a very good idea if you are going shopping in the Gariahat Market. Apart from shopping, here you can find a good numbers of restaurants where local delicacies can be had for great prices. Nowadays, a number of malls and high fashion shops have also sprouted here and there in the market. They offer multinational apparel and fashion gear, electronics at reasonable prices. From a shopaholic to a glutton, the Gariahat Market is a jewel crown for the shoppers in Kolkata.
College Street in KolkataA city's greatness lies not just in the way it looks, but also in the way it conducts itself, builds its identity. You can learns of the intellectual sid of any city by the number of book shops it has up its sleeve. In this case, Kolkata wins hands down, courtesy College Street. The street owes its name to the high number of colleges that stand on either side of it. The College Street is a 1.5km long stretch of wisdom – as it is literally flanked on both sides by hundreds and hundreds of book shops. So much so, that the locals call it Boi Para or, the Colony of Books.
A haven of the intellectuals, this book market has rare collections not just from all over India, but also the world. The gems in the Russian literature, British and French, Spanish too can be found here at throwaway prices. Here you get new books as well as the treasures from the bygone era. This is the best place to buy old, second hand books in Kolkata. This book market is the second largest book market in the world and the largest in India. This street is also home to the Indian Coffee House, which is frequented by the cultural and intellectual elites in the city. In case you are a book lover, or in case you want to know what fascinates the book lovers; just spend some time in the market. We are sure you will come out not only enchanted, but also enlightened, and yes, with a bagful of books!
Flower Market in KolkataAt the end of the Howra Bridge stands the legendary Mallick Ghat Flower Market. Shimmering gold and tangerine for the most part, this market offers colours and fragrances unheard of. Locally known as the Howra Phool Bazar, tons and tons of flowers of every colour, every shape are brought here and sold to the vendors, shopkeepers in wholesale rates. Here you get mind boggling varieties of flowers. From marigold, rose, gladiola, there are uncountable varieties of flowers. The flowers come in trucks, rikshaws, the boats in the river. While the city slowly wakes up to a new day, the flower market is in full swing by the time the sun god rises to bless us with its golden rays. It probably sums up the character of this truly mesmerising city.
Although outwardly, Kolkata might come across as a reserved, precocious city, stubborn as the grand old buildings that surround it, the Phool Bazar symbolises its colourful, fragrant and soft side. If you are an early waker, you should visit this colourful market. You might want to leave your camera at home though, as clicking photos here is not welcome at all. Instead, just go there, buy a handful of the beautiful flowers, get a steaming cup of tea, grab a local newspaper and immerse yourself in the fragrance and let the colours of the flowers take you onto a beautiful trip.
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