With a number of street shops and malls all over, Kolkata has always been known to spend copious amounts of time and energy on shopping. Catering to the rapidly evolving shopping trends, South City Mall is designed to be a one stop shop with a number of international as well as Indian brands under its wing. Located opposite Jodhpur Park, this wide glass structure is visually stunning and rightly projects the grandeur that awaits inside. With special attention to harmonious design, shops are placed systematically in order to appeal to the customer. Some of the brands found here include Pepe, Zodiac, Wills Lifestyle and Reebok. Those who crave refreshments after or in between their shopping spree can visit Food Talk, a large food court serving all kinds of mouth watering specialties. The multi-level parking lot can accommodate about 1400 cars; even so, it is sometimes tough to find parking space on weekends. This swanky establishment is considered the best in southern Kolkata and is always dotted with teenagers and students at any given time.
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.
Haldiram's is a popular Indian brand, known mainly for its sweet and farsan products. This particular endeavor is a full-fledged food extravaganza of 80,000 square feet, keeping in line with the brand's various products. At the ground level, you can find traditional Indian sweets and namkeens (savory snacks) as well as the cake counter which has a variety of egg-less cakes. The first floor has a large food court serving Indian and Continental food. The supermarket on the second floor stores household items and also has free home delivery in areas within 5 km radius. The third and fourth levels each have 6600 square feet of banqueting facilities used for exhibitions as well as private parties. The fifth floor is dedicated to all things vegetarian. Situated close to Birla Temple, Birla Industrial & Technological Museum and Calcutta Skating Rink, this Ballygunge establishment is especially crowded during the Durga Puja season.
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.
EnSoie is a designer store where you will find a variety of clothing and accessories. It is a Zurich based brand that spread its presence to Los Angeles in the United States and Kolkata in India. They take extremely good care in the fabric quality thus offering their consumers nothing but the best. They also have scarves, jewellery, ceramic items, cook books, perfumes, cushions and leather bags on their list. All the colors used in textile are designed at Zurich head office. They ensure that the fabric is free of any harmful substances such as lead. Constant re-invention, artistic techniques and challenging convention are the principles of EnSoie.
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.
If the thought of books makes you smile, this lane is going to lead to some serious excitement! Listed under 'Famous Landmarks of India' by Time magazine in 2007, this street is lined with books, books and more books. Considering that Presidency College, Hindu School and Calcutta University are located here, there is an abundance of research materials, school textbooks and study journals available at regular prices, but students who can't afford it can always choose to photocopy entire books or required pages. However, for those who wish to find great bargains on various fiction and non-fiction titles, there is no better place than here in all of Kolkata; just make sure you put your negotiation skills to the test. Second-hand bookshops sell everything from classics, rare titles as well as recent additions. In fact, if you're unable to find what you want, the shopkeepers would be more than happy to order it for you! This place is always abuzz with youngsters, college groups and tourists alike. The book shops shut down by five, after which you can walk to the famed Indian Coffee House for a steaming cup of coffee as you browse through your bargains.
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.
With the traditional terracotta horse or the 'Bankura Horse' as its logo, The Central Cottage Industries Emporium or CCIE is a Government of India undertaking started in 1948. Over the years its dedication to preserving and showcasing various facets of Indian heritage has made it a trusted name among many. In fact, it has been visited by the likes of Queen Elizabeth II and Jacqueline Kennedy in the past. Art, handicrafts and handlooms from all over India can be found here. Some of the interesting products include Filgree art objects, Brass and Bronze artifacts, traditional paintings, unique ethnic toys, embroidered works as well as a range of ethnic jewelery and accessories. CCIE also extends its facilities to interior designing and event management projects. A number of events with an aim to exploring and popularizing Indian art are frequently organized by the establishment. If you're looking to buy a few souvenirs, this New Market store is definitely one worth visiting.
In India, there is no dearth of sculptors, painters, craftsmen and other skilled artists and artisans, but there is a lack of the the right platform to these creative groups that hail mostly from rural India. Curio Craft showcases art pieces and ethnic stuff from far off villages and ensure that villagers get a fair price for the same. It has hand-woven Pashmina shawls from Kashmir, sandalwood carvings from Mysore, curios and royal jewelry sets from Jaipur and much more. You can chose from a range of beautiful paintings for your living room or small miniature lamps for your bedside table. The helpful and friendly staff will give you a detailed explanation on each artifacts tirelessly. Be it the string puppets, wooden boxes or delicate accessories, each piece is crafted to perfection. So do not worry about buying gifts for people back home, all you need to do is drop in at Curio Craft.
Over a century old, the Girish Chandra Dey & Nakur Chandra Nandy sweet shop in Kolkata dishes out some of the most divine Bengali mithai. Simply referred to as Nakur, it features sinful traditional delights and an array of unconventional alternatives for the more adventurous, in addition to the special festival assortments. With flavors like chocolate, black currant and vodka on offer, Nakur promises a unique gastronomical experience sure to leave you asking for more.
Nahoum and Sons may not have the classy decor nor does it flash its advertisements in the local dailies, but it has withstood competition from many new and old bakeries in the town for over a hundred years. This Jewish confectionery, located within the New Market, is a family-owned establishment that has been passed down from one generation to the next. Not much has changed at Nahoum's since its opening, and even the display-cases, decor fixtures and cash-registers here remain the same. The delectable snacks and mouth-watering desserts served here have loyal patrons lining up for their share of goodies. Gorge on the plum cake and brownies and you won't be able to resist a second helping. Amid the chaos, the staff patiently attends to the myriad of customers. So if you are in the mood to relish mutton samosas coupled with tasty sweets, this small bakery is the place to be.