There goes an old saying that, “Bagh’er Doodh Theke Hathi’r Daant, Sob Pava Jabey”. To translate it in simper words, it means that you will get everything from Tigress’s milk to Ivory. Such is the notoriety of this place which brings everyone at least once to live a shopper’s dream. Gariahat Bazaar or Gariahat Market is quite renowned for being a one-stop solution for every shopper’s needs.
If you visit South Kolkata, then it becomes quite inevitable that you would end up in the narrow passageways between the shops and the million stalls that line the footpath in front. No wonder it is congested and you are being constantly hollered at by the shop-keepers to have a look at the goodies. However, the real fun is making a way amidst all and still making the best deals for you.
Quick Shopping Guide for Gariahat Market Kolkata
Gariahat Market in Kolkata is one place which will surely give you the ultimate satisfaction of retail therapy, once you master the art of shopping and bargaining at Indian flea markets. The thumb-rule is to start the bargain from downright half of what the seller asks. For instance, if you visit a stall selling terracotta handicraft and choose a clay plaque, then chances are there that you would be asked somewhere around Rs. 140-150 per piece. So, if you intend to buy multiple pieces then you can ask for a bulk bargain whereby each piece would cost Rs. 75. After a couple of minutes long negotiations, eventually they will give up if they find the rate suitable. Of course, they key to this is to offer a reasonable rate which would be suitable to both the parties.
From Helencha Shak to Akash Morich
Gariahat Bazar is a treasure trove for those who are looking for unusual vegetable and spices. You will find a plethora of green leafy vegetables that includes a variety of shaak, indigenous Bengali vegetables and fruits. Apart from these, one would always get farm fresh and organic produce offered by small produce farmers.
They get down here early in the morning and offer their produce and often pack up before mid-day as they sell out everything. So, it is always wise to pay a visit early in the morning to witness the brightest and freshest of all produce that one can get to see.
During the winter days, this part of the market is filled with numerous varieties of guur or jaggery sourced from Sugarcane to Dates. The liquid is extracted and then crystallized to form a solid lump of jaggery which can be stored for rest of the year. A rich source of Iron and Vitamins, jaggery offers an unrefined source of sweetness which benefits our health in multiple ways. During winters a small lump of jaggery is often advised for consumption as it keeps the body warm and cozy.
As you move ahead, you will find a series of stores offering a wide range of apparels and traditional sarees. You will find windows, one after another turned into a display shelf putting out bright and intricately done beautiful saris, to lure the passersby. There are a number of stores that have been around and doing business for past few decades, almost as much that they have become iconic landmark to this place.
One such name is Select Stores, situated right at the corner of Gariahat junction which has been there for over 6 decades now. Some other names which count numerous sari lovers as their regulars would be Indian Silk House, Traders Assembly, Rmgc Basak, Tantuja (which offers saris made by authorized weavers under West Bengal State Government Handloom), and many more. If you move ahead towards Triangular Park, you will find two majestic saree showrooms, facing each other. One would be Adi Dhakeshwari Bastralaya and another is Priyo Gopal Bishoyi. Both boast of their grand collection of a variety of saris, ranging from traditional to modern designer ones.
After spending few hours at Gariahat, if you find yourself hungry then you will always find a ‘muri-wala’ or a stall selling puffed rice mixed with variety of spices and flavors. It can be namkeens to chopped onion, coriander, chili often mixed with a dash of mustard oil.
On the other hand, if you have indulged in over eating then you will probably find the digestives shops handy where you will get a variety of mukhwas or candy coated tablets made with Indian spices and dried fruits like mango, gooseberry, ginger, pomegranate, etc. Mukhwas on the other hand is a mixture of spices like fennel seeds, carom seeds, sesame seeds, finely sliced betel nuts and sweetened candies. They are normally offered as after meal snacks or as a mouth-freshener after a rich and heavy Indian meal.
Apart from these, you will get plenty of other retail shopping opportunities at Gariahat market. Some of these are:
- Gariahat market is known for cheap junk jewelry options for the ladies. There are stalls, as well as, stores that offer Costume jewelry options in silver and oxidized silver jewelry options. They come in different size and shapes like studs, tops, hoops, jhumkas, etc.
- The stalls leading to the Golpark as well as Rashbehari Avenue are dotted with stalls offering a variety of household furnishings, such as bed sheets, bedcovers, draperies, table covers, napkins, etc. Do not forget to bargain as they often quote a price which is often higher than what it should be.
- To complete the look, the series of stalls dotting the path of Gariahat market offer economic options for footwear for both ladies as well as gents. If you are looking for branded options then you can visit some of the footwear showrooms which offer quality footwear at reasonably affordable rates. These are Ajanta Footwear, Bata, Radu, Kamal & Kamal, etc.
- The Gariahat Municipal Market houses an entire collection of shops that offer products ranging from stationery, kids apparel to kitchen and household items.
Gariahat Market Timings
Gariahat market shops and stalls largely remain closed on Sunday. They even take their own sweet time to re-open their shops and commence business on Mondays. So, the best time to visit Gariahat Market would be post lunch on Mondays and 11am onwards on rest of the week. The shops and stalls of Gariahat road market remain opened till 9pm in the evening.