To the point: There’s something about going to your neighborhood markets and finding a treasure-trove of stuff that is rather unparalleled. To make it easy for you, we’ve put together a list of which street/market to go to – and for what.
One of the oldest markets in the city – it is over a 100 years old – the S.S Hogg Market or New Market has become an institution of sorts for the people of Kolkata. Walk towards the pavement near New Empire Cinema and you will find the street filled with vendors. You’ll find everything from stylish sling bags, clothes and toys. There’s no dearth of options here but put your best bargain face on.
One of the busiest junctions in South Kolkata, Gariahat is the hub of shopping – for everything you can think of. Though there are well-known brands located here, nothing beats the street shopping at Gariahat. The entire footpath stretch has been taken over by street hawkers selling home décor, dishware and clothes. But when it comes to fashion accessories, you will be surprised to see the varieties and collection this place has to offer.
Why can’t shopping be all about book? College Street, Asia’s largest market for second-hand books, owes it’s name from the popular educational institutions located here including Calcutta University and Presidency college to name a few. There are numerous shops selling books on the subject of medicals, engineering, journals, examination guides as well as preparation test papers for the civil services examination. It’s nearly unlikely that you won’t find what you’re looking for here.
Don’t want to splurge on shoes yet want good quality? Get up early and head to this morning market known as Birsulhaat at CIT Road, near Paddapukur Maidan. It opens up at 6 am and trade is in full swing until noon. Walk from the main road and as you move further down you will see tables with tons and tons of shoes displayed on them. Apart from footwear, there are several stalls selling ladies handbags, wallets and other accessories.
The pedestrian area under The Oberoi Grand is where the stalls starts from and goes on until the Metro Cinema. There are folding beds or chowki with denims displayed on them and cloth racks for hanging t-shirts, shorts and track pants. There isn’t much scope for bargaining here unless you are buying in bulk. The clothes aren’t premium quality but hey, you get what you pay for!
There’s no place like Hatibagan in North Kolkata that can impress you with the wide selections and types of sarees on offer here. The saree shops here boast of an impressive collection with choices such as Bengal Cotton, Bengal Silk, Kanjeevaram as well as sarees from Orissa including Sambalpuri silk and Katiki silk.
One of the oldest enclaves of Kolkata, Rabindra Sarani has a large population of Muslims from North India who settled here several decades ago. A narrow road with a tram line running through Rabindra Sarani has several shops selling ethnic wear on either side of the road. Apart from the regular sherwani and wedding wear, there are exquisite collections of hand-stitched Lucknowi kurta, Angarkha, Aligarh kurta and pyjamas. A visit to the small outlets selling ittar bottles is a must as well.