Travel and shopping complement each other seamlessly during travels. Purchasing souvenirs and other mementoes is a delightful part of the travel experience. With its deep-rooted culture and history, Kolkata in West Bengal, India offers many distinctive items for travellers to take home and cherish. In this article, we will guide you through the best things to buy in Kolkata.
Best Souvenirs to Buy in Kolkata
Kolkata is a city synonymous with cultural richness. It is renowned for its diverse array of offerings, particularly its exquisite sarees crafted from various fabrics like cotton, silk, and muslin. Among these, the Tant, Dhakai Jamdani, and Murshidabad Silk sarees stand out. Besides these, diverse attire for women like party-wears, 3-piece salwar kameez sets, embroidered lehenga sets, etc is widely popular among tourists visiting Kolkata.
In addition to sarees, Kolkata is celebrated for its terracotta handicrafts, meticulously shaped from clay. These handicrafts come in a myriad of shapes and sizes, adorned with intricate designs.
Shola pith or sholapith (also known as shola or Indian cork), a unique reed, finds its purpose in crafting delicate figurines, masks, and jewellery. The craftsmanship involved in creating Sholapith handicrafts is awe-inspiring, making them a coveted gift item.
Conch shell bangles (also known as Shaankha) are a good choice as memorable souvenirs. Crafted from conch shells, these bangles come in various colours and sizes, suitable for any occasion. These bangles add to Kolkata's list of distinctive offerings.
A visit to Kolkata will be incomplete without indulging in this city’s delectable sweets. Rasmalai, Mishti Doi, and Sandesh, made from fresh milk and sugar, and flavoured with cardamom or saffron, present a symphony of taste. They epitomise the city's culinary excellence.
All of these showcase the city's skilled craftsmanship. Kolkata's vibrant tapestry of culture and craft beckons visitors to take home a piece of its artistic heritage and culinary delights.
Home Decoration Things to Buy in Kolkata
Kolkata is revered for its diverse craftsmanship, notably its brassware. Forged from brass, a versatile metal alloy, brassware presents different shapes and sizes, often embellished with intricate designs. Incorporating brassware into your home decor can infuse an appeal of elegance.
Another prominent craft in Kolkata is woodwork, fashioned from various high-quality woods. This craftsmanship manifests in furniture, figurines, and wall hangings. They adorn your living space with warmth and sophistication. The natural beauty of wood adds a timeless charm to any home.
Best shopping malls in Kolkata
Kantha embroidery is a traditional form of needlework predominantly practised on cotton fabric. It is a hallmark of Bengal's artistic finesse. Often adorning sarees, scarves, and various other items, Kantha embroidery brings a touch of traditional Indian style to home decor.
Lastly, hand-painted Bengali Kulo, a traditional Bengali winnowing tray, further accentuates Kolkata's rich artistic tapestry. Kolkata's craftsmanship is a testimony to the artistic prowess of its people. They offer a wealth of options to adorn your living space with timeless beauty and cultural significance.
Other Special Things to Buy in Kolkata
Kolkata offers a plethora of distinctive products that make for wonderful gifts or personal indulgences. Darjeeling tea, synonymous with the region, is celebrated for its delicate flavour and enticing aroma. A perfect choice for tea enthusiasts, it embodies the essence of the lush Darjeeling hills.
Another thing is Bengal cotton, cultivated in the state of West Bengal, is renowned for its softness and durability. This type of cotton is a popular pick for clothing and bedding, providing comfort and longevity in every use.
Jute products, another gem of the region, are crafted from the versatile jute fibre. Items like bags, rugs, and mats made from jute are not only eco-friendly but also durable, making them ideal gifts or personal accessories that align with sustainability.
For those seeking to capture the essence of Kolkata in a tangible form, Kolkata-themed postcards featuring iconic landmarks like Howrah Bridge and Victoria Memorial encapsulate the city's unique charm. These postcards are a beautiful way to share a piece of Kolkata's culture and heritage with others.
Where to Shop in Kolkata
Kolkata houses several notable destinations to buy diverse things like clothes, jewellery, souvenirs, home decoration items, etc. New Market is one of the most popular markets, offering a variety of products ranging from souvenirs to clothing and electronics.
Gariahat Market is another favourite among locals and tourists. It is renowned for its extensive collection of traditional Indian clothing, particularly sarees. It is a go-to destination for those seeking exquisite ethnic wear.
Acropolis Mall caters to modern shoppers, featuring a diverse range of stores from international to Indian brands, making it a hub for contemporary shopping experiences. Additionally, South City Mall is another prominent shopping destination. It offers a blend of shopping, dining, and entertainment, making it a popular choice among the city's residents and visitors.
Cautions While Shopping in Kolkata
Like any other city, while roaming in Kolkata, caution is key. It is always necessary to be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded areas, and to keep a watchful eye on your belongings. In Kolkata, bargaining is a norm, particularly in bustling markets. So try to haggle for the best deals.
It is always suggested to stay clear of counterfeit or pirated items, inspecting potential purchases meticulously. While navigating Kolkata's malls and markets, maintaining awareness of your surroundings is crucial.
It is safer to steer clear of overcrowded spaces and opt for purchases from reputable, authorised vendors to avoid scams and counterfeit products.
And do not forget to bargain to get your product at reasonable prices.
All the cautions together ensure you have a safe and enjoyable shopping experience.
Kolkata is a great city for roaming around and buying things. Shopping in Kolkata is not just an activity; it is an experience that allows you to delve into the heart of the city's culture. From vibrant markets to heritage shops, the city offers an array of items to suit all tastes. Therefore, indulge yourself in travelling to Kolkata and take home a piece of its rich heritage.