Shopping is not just a word any more. It has become an expression. People shop when they are happy. They even shop when they are sad. We hear a lot about how women shop when they have mood swings. We also hear a lot about the residents of Kolkata that they shop like crazy before Durga Puja since the tradition goes that new clothes are worn on all four to five days of the most important festival of the Bengalis. Nevertheless, when it comes to Kolkata, shopping is a festival in itself which is celebrated throughout the year. There are almost unlimited numbers of shopping centres in the city. Let’s see how many such places we can catch up with:
1. New Market:
Whenever a question arises about where to shop in Kolkata, the first option to come in mind is New Market. New Market was constructed in 1874 by the Calcutta Corporation and was mainly for the British residents of Kolkata. The locals of Kolkata got the flavours of this market quite late. But since its inception, the popularity of this market has not been limited to the locals. Be it the visitors from other states of the nation or other countries altogether, everyone knows the name and wants to shop here.
Shoppers get to browse through over 2000 stalls in New Market. Every possible thing which can be sold under the sky, can be found in this market. Starting from apparel and accessories, to shoes, and even utilities – everything comes at a very reasonable price compared to other markets. Though the catch is to bargain your way through, yet it is an experience to cherish for a lifetime.
Quite a few big brands adorn the sidewalks of the main road and the Lindsay Street, and the Hogg Market is like an old crest of treasure which has some amazing Jewish confectioneries.
The area is so huge that it can be marked right from the area when one steps out of the Esplanade Metro Station, around Lindsay Street and off Chowringhee Road. The whole market area runs from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on weekdays, and till 2:30 pm on Saturdays. Sunday seems to be an off for the sellers as well.
2. Simpark Mall:
Simpark Mall is the newest shopping mall in the New Market area located on the Lindsay Street adjacent to the Hogg Market. It has an underground shopping zone with centralised AC system & underground automatic car parking system. It is stuffed with the latest apparel, shoes, accessories & gift items which makes it a shopper’s paradise. One can even find identical branded items but at a price of his own. Not much, but still there is scope of bargaining and buying your favourite stuff at a fortunate price.
3. Gariahat Market:
Gariahat is a major hot-spot in South Kolkata, and also one of the posh areas of Kolkata. The Gariahat Road is a long stretch of road which intersects and connects an array of small roads like Gurusaday Road, Hazra Road, Rashbehari Avenue, Southern Avenue and Prince Anwar Shah Road, and many smaller roads.
The Gariahat Market is the biggest shopping destination right after New Market. Everything from branded clothes to exquisite Bengali sarees of cotton and silk, trendy western wear on the street sides, variety of shoes, and even junk jewellery. Oh, and not to forget the mouth-watering taste of the Kaathi Rolls, Phuchkas, Cutlets, and Ghooghni.
4. Hatibagan Market:
The market in Hatibagan is very famous in North Kolkata for everything starting from garments & clothes to daily necessities, from shoes to gold jewellery and even junk jewelleries.
Another attraction of this market is the Star Theatre, which was built in 1883. It is one of the first institutions of commercial Bengali theatre. The ‘Star Theatre’ is one of the heritages of Kolkata which has survived a major breakout of fire.
5. Burrabazaar Wholesale Market:
The market of Burrabazaar (Boro Bajar in Bengali) holds ground till date. It is the oldest wholesale as well as retail market of Kolkata. Located very close to the Mahatma Gandhi Metro Station, it is a one-stop destination for people of all ages, religion and social strata. Burrabazaar is also known as the Chandni Chowk of Kolkata.
Even groceries, textiles and a huge variety of special Bengali sweets are there in this market.
Being one of the most nostalgic market places of the city, Burrabazaar is still very much alive throughout the year. It is decorated during the time of Durga Puja.
6. Park Street Market:
Park Street is the most hip and happening place in Kolkata. It is a posh location with high-end brands and restaurants at every step. It is also very famous for the celebration of Christmas. During Christmas, Park Street is decorated like a new bride and people from every nook and corner of Kolkata gather around.
It is place of origin for the Pub culture in Kolkata. Park Street has very rightly fully itself the nicknames – “Food Street” and “The Street That Never Sleeps”.
7. College Street Book Market:
College Street is the other name for the World of Books. It is actually called Boi Para in Bengali, which means “Colony of Books”. Some of the big shot publishers who rules in that area are Ananda Publishers, Abhijan Publishers, Dey’s Publishing, Rupa & Co., and many more.
One more attraction of the place is the stock of Wedding Cards printed by the ones in business as if it’s in their blood.
College Street even made it to the list of “Best in Asia” of Time Magazine in the year of 2007.
Situated in Central Kolkata, College Street also marks the inception of the idea of a Café with the establishment of the “Indian Coffee House” in 1942. The place has nothing hip about it but what it has is the impression and memories of greatest poets, literati, artists, writers, etc. like Rabindranath Tagore, Subhas Chandra Bose, Manna Dey, Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen, and many more.
8. Salt Lake City Centre:
Covering an area of 42 thousand sq. m. on five acres of land, The City Centre at Salt Lake is the first mall to bring in the mall-culture to Kolkata. It was built in June 2004 and it made the area quite popular and entertaining. The area surrounding City Centre has developed immensely since then.
Renowned brands like Levi’s, Allen Solly, Wrangler, Manyavar, U.S. Polo, Arrow, United Colours of Benneton, Sony, Samsung, Bose, Reebok, Adidas, Puma, Nike, Woodlands, Hush Puppies, Archies and many more, adorn the mall. It is not only a favourite shopping centre for people from and outside Kolkata, but also a great hang-out especially with INOX and food-joints like CCD, Tea Junction, Afraa, Pizza Hut, KFC, Wow! Momo, Swirl, etc.
9. Shreeram Arcade:
‘Shreeram Arcade’ is one of the oldest shopping mall in Kolkata located at New Market area. It has over 275 shops and is expanded over four floors. It is right opposite to the ‘Light House Cinema’ and is famous for textiles, readymade garments, electronic items, etc. There are also exquisite items like fish-net stockings and beautiful Lehengas available in the shops. The interior decoration of this shopping mall is simply awesome. There is a capsule elevator and a sparkling fountain that makes shopping quite a bit of fun for the people from all the age groups.
10. South City Mall:
South City Mall is the largest shopping mall, not only in Kolkata but even West Bengal. It is located on Prince Anwar Shah Road, near Jodhpur Park. Therefore, this caters to all the posh crowd of the south.
Luxury brands like LLadro, Jack & Jones, Swarovski, Guess, Tie Rack, Marks & Spencer, Lacoste, Satya Paul, The Body Shop, Infinity, The Prime, Wills Lifestyle, Hush Puppies, Adidas, Catwalk, Hidesign, Nike, Puma, Reebok, Pepe Jeans, Roncato, United Colors of Benetton, Samsonite, Allen Solly, Giovanni, Louis Philippe, Dulce Celia, Ritu Kumar, Arrow, Bose, etc draw all the brand-conscious people as well as the tourists.
11. Mani Square Mall:
The Mani Square mall is located right on the EM Bypass Road, which makes it easy for everyone to visit. Because of the location, the footfall is very high. There are over 250 shops and 2,000 footfall daily, with brands like Swarovski, Marks & Spencers, Reebok, Adidas, Nike, Lee Cooper, McDonals, Westside, Tissot, ColourPlus, Fastrack, Raymonds etc. Apart from that there is the multiplex named “CineMAX” – famous for 3D movies. Also there are other entertainment options like “The Scary House” and “Amoeba”. One can also soothe their taste-buds at the eateries like Haka, Cookie Man, Flame N’ Grill, Machan, McDonalds, and even the Food Court.
12. Quest Mall:
The Quest Mall is the newest mall built extravagantly, as a host of the exclusive foreign brands, to add an extra start to the City of Joy.It is built on an area of 730,000 sq. ft., hosts around 130 stores and has parking for 1,300 vehicles.
The brands present are Gucci, Breitling, Tag Heuer, Burberry, Canali, Emporio Armani, Villeroy & Boch, Furla, TUMI, Michael Kors, Omega, Paul Smith, Rolex, Tommy Hilfiger, Estee Lauder, MAC, Nautica, Louis Philippe, Armani Jeans, Mango, Lacoste, DKNY.
The food court consists of fast food chains like Pizza Hut, a Forever Yogurt kiosk, an Au Bon Pain Kiosk, a high-end restaurant – Chili’s, a Michilen-Starred restaurant Yauatcha. It houses a Spencer’s hypermarket and a Starmark bookstore, along with electronics stores of Sennheiser, The Gadget Store, and Bose, among others.
There is also a six-screen insignia class multiplex INOX and the biggest apparel store in the city, LifeStyle with a total area of 100,000 sq. ft.
13. Treasure Island:
One can actually find ethnic treasure in Treasure Island. This is the place to go looking for all those ethnic apparel you have dreamt of, starting from Sarees to Salwar Suits, to Lehengas. That too, not just for the elders but also for kids and yougsters. There is huge scope for buying and it is a place which is buzzing with shoppers all throughout the year.
14. Forum Shopping Mall:
It is a perfect place to shop when you are brand conscious and love to flaunt your branded collection. Spread over six floors, you name the brand and it’s there. Covering an area of 200000 sq. ft., it is one of the biggest shopping malls of Kolkata and hosts the most expensive brands. It is noted for its upbeat layout and signage.
Being open throughout the week, it takes an off on Sundays. For entertainment, there is the INOX theatre and for foodies, there are unlimited options.
15. Avani Riverside Shopping Mall:
The newly built Avani Riverside Shopping Mall has added to the beauty of the placid waters of river Hooghly. With an area of 600000 sq. ft., the mall is located very close to the 2nd Hooghly Bridge and overlooks the waterfront. The mall attracts people from far and wide, not only because of its breath-taking appearance and ambiance, but also because of the stores offering a sell-out of offbeat and quirky products, the PVR for entertainment, and restaurants like Machan.
16. Vardaan Market:
Vardaan Market is a hot favourite for a huge number of the population of Kolkata because of the imported stylish ethnic as well as western wear, fashion jewellery, and even cosmetics. It can be easily spotted on Camac Street, with four floors. The complex is open from 11:30 pm till 7: 00 pm from Sunday to Wednesday, and from 2:00 pm till 7:00 pm on Fridays. It remains closed on Thursdays. The pavement just outside the market is decorated with stalls of lip-smacking fast food that you surely have never tasted before.
17. Lake Market:
Lake Market, on Rashbehari Avenue, is known for the flowers ever since. Be it a bouquet of roses, or flowers for funeral, or for daily puja – one can find it all at this one place and that too of the best quality.
It is also a one-stop destination for the South Indians to buy their unique commodities and spices for their food preparation. Fresh vegetables and fruits, raw meat and fish is also found in abundance here.
Recently the Lake Mall has been built in the area which has brought a new elegance and class to Lake Market, making it quite eye-catchy.
18. Dakshinapan Market:
It is very easy to spot a state Government emporium here and there. But to make it easy for the ones who love to bank on ethnicity and souvenirs, Dakshinapan is the answer. It houses genuine handloom, textile, handicrafts and imitation jewellery of all states under one roof. It is a Government shopping complex and thus, all products are at fixed rate but are genuine and of great quality.
The market is located adjoining the ‘Nazrul Mancha’, near the Dhakuria flyover. Another attraction of Dakshinapan is Doly’s Tea Shop, which is a boutique tea shop offering 20 different fruit flavours of tea to choose from and refreshing fruit infused Iced Teas.
19. Maidan Market:
Kolkata, a city of the Bengalis, is full of football lovers. Nonetheless, people jump in to action when other sports are considered as well. The Maidan Market, also known as ‘Bidhan Market’ or ‘B C Roy Market’, is a favourite place for all these sports fanatics. It is the largest sports goods market of the town. All sports goods from Jerseys to high-end shoes can be found in this market but at a cheap and pocket friendly price.
20. Free School Street Market:
The “Free School Street Market” also known as “Mirza Ghalib Street Market” is mostly adorned by restaurants and stationary shops which sell out everything at cheap prices. Many foreign visitors stay in the hotels at Mirza Ghalib Street (Free School Street) because they are very affordable but are located at the heart of the city. One can have an experience of a lifetime, dining in any of the restaurants at Mirza Ghalib Street because of the ambiance and the unique taste of the food they serve.
The stores of this area are living witnesses of the hippie culture that has survived ever since. This area is a paradise for the ones who want to shops bohemian outfits, or chunky hippie jewellery. There is a shop of Hungarian origin, named Kalman’s. The street also has the house William Makepeace Thackeray was born in, and the ‘West Bengal Fire Services’ headquarters is also situated there.
21. A.C. Market:
The A.C. Market is the first ever air conditioned mall to step into Kolkata. It is located on Theatre Road with not a living soul in Kolkata which does not know about it. There are many ethnic as well as western wear stores scattered over the three floors of the mall.
22. Emami Market:
One can easily spot the Emami Market on Theatre Road. It is best known for the amazing collection of fashionable clothes, shoes and fashion jewellery at very convenient prices when bargained efficiently.
23. Metro Plaza:
The one with a fetish for shoes is sure to fall in love with Metro Plaza and the collection it houses. This shopping mall is mainly known for its consistent performance in storing the best collection of shoes throughout the year. Nevertheless, hi-fashion western as well as ethnic apparel are also found in the three storeyed Metro Plaza, situated on the Ho Chi Minh Sarani.
24. Fancy Market:
Just like a coin has two sides, Fancy Market has a good as well as a bad name. It is not only one of the popular markets in Kolkata but also known in other states and countries. Fancy Market offers you an unbelievable variety of products with unimaginably low prices, but there is catch. One has to know how to choose and what to choose.
There is no brand whose duplicate cannot be found in the Fancy Market. Located in the Khidderpore area, the market stocks a huge range of electronic items, clothes, glassware, and many other things from the markets of Singapore, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Open from 11:00 am till 9:00 pm from Tuesday to Sunday and Mondays closed.
25. Khidirpore Dock Market:
This place is mainly known for the collection of shoes. Duplicate shoes of posh and hi-end brands can be collected from here if one knows the tricks of bargaining. The products come so cheap mainly because they are directly collected as soon as they are shipped in from foreign countries, or other cities.
Located on Chittaranjan Avenue and just beside the Chandni Chowk Metro Station, the E-Mall is the first specialty electronic mall in India. It is an ultimate shopping centre for each and every electronic product, Indian or imported starting from Consumer Electronics, to Home Appliances, to Computers, Laptops, Mobiles, IT Software, and even Accessories or Peripherals.
27. B.K. Market:
Find a plethora of inexpensive fashion accessories planted right from the streets of Bangkok to this market. The B.K. Market is merely 500 metres from the A.C. Market and yet it survives beautifully with a huge number of loyal customers of its own.
28. Diamond Plaza:
The Diamond Plaza is a gift from the Diamond Group, to the people of North Kolkata. It is an elegant surprise of North Kolkata. Being a lively mix of Shopping, Food and Entertainment, it attracts people from all nooks and corners. Also, it is a proud host of the first ever PVR in Kolkata.
Popular brands like Big Bazaar, Reliance Digital, Home Town, Bata, Gini & Jony, Max, Pantaloons, The Mobile Store, Tea Junction, KFC, Archies, BIBA, Jockey, Global Desi, and restaurants like Village, Rang De Basanti Dhaba, etc. make it a perfect destination for a family outing.
29. Kumortuli – Pottery Market:
‘Kumortuli’ is the pride of Kolkata & West Bengal as well. It is the abode of the potters of Kolkata and the place of inception of the idols of various Gods and Goddesses. It has been there for about 300 years. One can see the potters making idols small to huge. It is a treat to the eyes, watching the very talented and very patient potters craft out a lively idol merely out of clay. Every year during Durga Puja, the most important festival of the city, sees some 4000 to 5000 idols going out of Kumortuli to the different houses and societies where Durga Puja is a tradition.
Around 150 families live there and earn their living through pottery. Not only idols, but all essential things required for a Puja celebration, can be found at Kumortuli. Kumortuli also offers amazing lip smacking fast food and snacks available in and around. “Mitra Cafe” & “Allen’s Kitchen” are the famous fast food restaurants in this area.