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Kolkata Shopping Guide - Find where and what to shop and buy

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No city in India can compete with the Southeast Asian cities of Bangkok and Singapore when it comes to shopping, but Kolkata more than holds its own as a place to spend money. There are a growing number of shopping malls and department stores, particularly in South Kolkata and the plethora of souvenirs left over by the Raj keep outdoor markets very well stocked.

The main Kolkata trading specialty is horses, with the stock horses and polo ponies sold here said to be the best in all of Asia. More practical souvenirs for the average visitors would probably be leather goods or saris. Beautiful hand embroidered fabrics and studded belts and shoes are very good buys.

Kolkata's main markets are the Chandni and the Maidan. At Chandni, electronic and batteries are in heavy rotation while Maidan market specializes in sporting goods. The New Market is mainly a clothing market while a modern, enclosed market like Treasure Island sells a wide range of cosmetics.

South City Mall

The largest mall in all of Asia is Kolkata's South City Mall, a retail behemoth located, as its name suggests, in South Kolkata. This enormous precinct contains a cinema multiplex with IMAX screen, huge food court and several hundred retail outlets. The Mall has its own Metro station.

Maidan Market

Anything to do with the Maidan is guaranteed to have something to do with sports, and the Maidan Market, open every day, sells every kind of bat and ball imaginable. There is a very good range of nets and goals here too, as well as great quality sports shoes and sneakers.

 

Sir Stuart Hogg Market

Inside a large red brick building in the Esplanade is this large market specializing in delicious Indian sweets and handicrafts. It is commonly known as New Market and on approach along Lindsay Street the haggling starts in earnest with promotional touts out to grab tourists before they even arrive at the market.

Kolkata shopping tips

Credit cards will not generally be accepted outside the larger five-star hotels and some very upmarket retailers. The same applies to debit cards. Cash is really the only way to pay for purchases in any of the markets and in most restaurants and cafes.

ATMs are prevalent in the major shopping malls and their surrounding retail precincts but in general, the streets of Kolkata are not lined with ATMs. Bargaining is expected at markets but not at restaurants, major hotels and sports clubs, where prices are fixed.