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Although the street may not look like it understands technology, Chandni Chowk Market is the place for gadget shopping in Kolkata. The ambiance is that of any busy Indian market, and you can choose to step into one of the little shops or browse the thelas (open stalls) that line the footpath. Whether it's amplifiers, hi-fi systems or computer components that you're looking for, this is where you will find them, cheap and easy. Audiophiles of all ages can be found roaming the narrow streets in search for the perfect gadget. Just make sure you master the art of bargaining before you enter here. As it is the case with most street shopping, quality is never guaranteed but it seems to work for many, nevertheless.
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.
Hatibagan Market is located in the northern part of Kolkata. It is almost a 100 year old market and the favorite of the locals. Being so old, it is evident that one is sure to be impressed by the area. It is very close to Shyambazar and has a number of shopping opportunities. Shopaholics have a lot of shopping options to choose from. The items found here fit into customer’s pockets very well as all the available products are priced within the budget. Bengal is famous for its cotton and silk saris. Make sure you pick some of them while you are here. Apart from the shopping avenues, this market is also famous for its cinema halls and old theaters.
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!