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Started in 1874, New Market was supposed to be an enclosed shopping area reserved exclusively for English residents during the British colonial rule. The original Gothic structure was laid out by the East India Railway Company and housed prestigious names like Rankin and Company, Cuthbertson and Harper and Thacker Spink. In 1903, New Market was officially named Sir Stuart Hogg Market, honoring the then Calcutta Corporation Chairman's involvement in the project. The original covered market area was expanded over the years and the defining clock tower was introduced in the 1830s. Today, New Market includes the S.S. Hogg Market as well as the large expanse of open shopping area all around it. Taking up a major part of Lindsay Street, now Neli Sengupta Sarani, New Market includes a number of crafts stores like CCIE, Curio Crafts and Kashmir Government House Emporium, restaurants like Ralli's, Nahoums, New Karco and Aminia, and various hawkers all along the footpaths. In spite of the many malls the city now boasts of, New Market continues to see throngs of locals and tourists alike. You can find almost anything you want here and at cheap prices too, as long as you navigate the crowds and use all the possible bargaining tactics. Make sure you carry cash, as most shops in New Market do not accept credit cards. Bear in mind, this is a tiring experience for most; the claustrophobic should avoid going in the evenings and during Durga Puja season.
Burrabazar is located in central Kolkata and is the largest wholesale markets of India. It was initially a yarn and textile market which slowly entered the commercial heart of shopping. It is a market area with a number of shopping opportunities for everyone. To start with there is the Shishu Bazar, Muskan, Tulsi Boutique, Janata Shop and Paras Jewellers. It also has quite a few restaurants where you can relax after spending a hectic day in shopping. It is a very famous area in Kolkata and a very nice area to pick some authentic Bengali products. Being a textile wholesale market, lucky ones will also be able to bargain to a great extent and buy products within their budget.
Chowringhee Road, rechristened as Jawaharlal Nehru Road, runs on the western part of Kolkata and is an ultimate shopping destination for shopaholics. Apart from being a shopper’s delight it is also an entertainment place and has quite a few restaurants nearby. This place is centrally located with all major areas nearby. It is close to Park Street, Bhowanipore, Taltala and Janbazar. The buildings on this road have a lot of British influence that is evident from their style of construction and architecture. It is also close to metro stations such as Maidan, Park Street and Esplanade, thus making it convenient to locate.
If the city center has New Market, south Kolkata has Gariahat; although it does not match the New Market's popularity, it remains one of the main shopping areas in the city. If you're looking for traditional Indian wear, especially sarees, at relatively cheaper prices, this is the place to visit. A number of covered shops sell everything from electronic goods and furniture to clothes and accessories at fixed prices. But the hawkers on the pavement are the ones to turn to if you're looking for some great bargains. You can also find relatively modern establishments like the Gariahat Mall, Gariahat AC Market and a Fab India outlet on the same street. Like all good bazaars, Gariahat has a number of eateries, the most popular being Bedwin, along the way. The Gariahat fish market is considered to be the best of its kind in town. Get a local to give you a few bargaining tips before you start the shopping spree!