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In a city like Kolkata, where art and literature are a top priority, books and bookstores are regarded in high esteem. Oxford Bookstore is one of the prominent bookshops right from the Victorian period. During the British Era, the Oxford store also had toys, trinkets, silverware, photo frames and perfumes. As time went by, the brand and the bookshops radically changed and modernized to adapt to the younger generation. This shop on Park Street, on par with the name 'Oxford' that connotes quality, has an excellent collection of books and an impeccable service. From classics like 'Gone with the Wind' to the latest released titles, cds, dvds and accessories, the store has it all. It also has a computer, which allows you to check if the desired book or novel is available at the store sans any hassles. It also has a Cha Bar upstairs, where you can enjoy a cup of tea and conversations with your peers. For further details, check the website.
Situated off Strand Road, Posta Market or Posta Bazar is just north of Central Kolkata and is surrounded by neighborhoods like Burrabazar, Jorasanko and Jorabagan. Named after the near-by Posta Ghat on the river Hooghly, Posta was once the hub for prosperous traders and merchants of Bengali origin. However, over the years it has assumed the role of a wholesale market, with the Marwari community and other immigrants forming most of its population. Traces of its former glory can be seen in the various old constructions that dot the streets of the neighborhood and this is juxtaposed with the constant market place hustle-bustle as goods are carried in and out of the place. Aluposta and Dalposta are dedicated wholesale markets for potatoes and lentils respectively and there are various other shops that sell products like salts, cereals, spices, sugar and the likes.
Auctions have been a long standing tradition in the city, first introduced during the British colonial rule. Once considered to be symbols of wealth and prestige, most auction houses have now closed down due to poor business. Russell Exchange, one of the oldest of its kind in the country, stands neglected on Russell Street; a stark reminder of its glorious past. What was once the premier stop for antiques and furniture only manages to sell a few items that, sadly, can only be termed as junk. Gone are the days of chandeliers and china sets and the celebrity bidders. However, if you do want to visit this auction house, auctions generally take place on Sundays and Thursdays. On any other day, the auction house remains open for people to browse through the display. If you want a detailed account of the history behind Russell Exchange, make sure you speak to one of the employees.
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.
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.