Having lived in The city of joy – Kolkata for almost 6 years, I am absolutely in love with the city. Unlike other metro cities, Calcutta ( as I still prefer to call it ) boasts about its affordability, amazing monsoons, cute yellow taxis, killer (not literally!) street food, variety of sweets, and bangkok ka maal and more! Let’s visit ( virtually!) the top 5 must visit shopping places in Calcutta or Kolkata as you may call it.
1. New Market a.k.a Hogg Market -This is Calcutta’s oldest and most well known market. It’s got over 2,000 stalls and is a bargain hunter’s delight. Head to the reconstructed section of the market, which got rebuilt after a fire in 1985, if you want to buy saris. You’ll find plenty to choose from there. You will come across street vendors selling cheap jewelry and eye catching bags out the front of the market. Just be prepared for the crowd!
On the periphery of the new market you’ll find many other shopping places, which are a must visit too. Sim Park Mall– the basement market, for fashionable tops, bottom wear, dresses, gowns, bags, and shoes..Treasure Island – for suits, sarees and bridal wear. Sudder Street for funky, bright coloured, printed kurtis, dhoti pants, jhola bags.
2. B.K Market – located at Shakespeare Sarani, and quite close to Camac Street, it is a must visit, I repeat, it is a must visit to get your hands on bangkok ka mall. A rage among the younger generation residing in Calcutta, B.K market has it all. From tops, to dresses, to jumpsuits, to amazing footwear, to most fashionable bags and accessories, they have it all. And all that what is in fashion! Very close to B.K market is A.C Market and Emami Market which can be visited too.
3. Gariahat Market – as the name suggests, it is located bang in the middle of Gariahat.There is both street as well as store shopping here. You can get second hand books from street vendors who also work as libraries where you can return the books after reading and get most of your money back. You can buy clothes, cotton sarees, household stuff, jute bags, electronics and plants from here.
4. Chandni Chowk- located just next to esplanade, I believe this is the best place to buy electronics from throughout India. Good, authentic electronics at unbelievable prices.From small mobile repair shops, to various service centres of electronic brands, to malls selling just electronics, you’ll find them all here. Also, you will get a feel of the British era and the good old Calcutta, as you walk through the roads here at chandni chowk, owing to the architecture.
5. Dakshinapan– located on gariahat road, this open air shopping center is a little out of the way, but it’s an excellent place to buy Indian handicrafts and artifacts. You’ll find many Indian state government emporiums there, stocked with fixed price goods from all over the country. It’s also the place to buy cheap Indian clothing. Tea enthusiasts must stop by the renowned Dolly’s Tea Shop. This small but enticingly decorated boutique tea shop has 20 different fruit flavors of tea to choose from, as well as refreshing fruit infused iced teas. You can even buy attractively packaged gifts.
p.s. do not forget to put your bargaining skills to the best use at these markets, and if you are a pro at bargaining, you’ll be able to steal many deals at almost unbelievable prices!