It’s been around 5 years I left the City of Joy, Kolkata and moved to the Silicon Valley of India, Bangalore. Each time I travelled to home, my friends always asked me get some gifts for them while I return. While this Kolkata still lives in my heart and memory, I always made sure to carry something that tell them a story about this lively city. Something that truly gives them joy and pleasure the moment they take it in their hands. Thinking what I am trying to say? Well don’t worry this isn’t any long tale that I am going to share today, but yes might sound emotional to those who belong to the city of joy.
Kolkata has a very wide range of immensely popular emotional and materialistic souvenirs; these are perfect for those who want to keep the memories of Kolkata always living with them. So be it the visitors or the residents, people from all over the world flock into the stores to buy these souvenirs. Well it is not really possible to carry everything physically with you isn’t it? These souvenirs give you at least some chance to store those precious memories for sure. One more thing these souvenirs include jewellery, sarees, home decor and eatables too. So make sure you too pick up at least one of Kolkata’s Most Special Souvenirs for yourself and for your loved ones too.
8 Of Kolkata’s Most Special Souvenirs To Pick Up
Come with me to these places who dedicatedly sell these specialties of this metropolitan city.
Photo by mathew.chacko
1. Jute Craft Items and Home Decor
Kolkata is a home for beautiful jute items. You can find a diverse range of jute items like, jute wall hangings, jute handbags, totes, jute photo frames, jute jewellery, jute footwear, jute dolls, jute doormats and much more. The state of West Bengal as we know is quite popular for its jute production. Guess this is the reason why it tops when it comes to top quality jute items. The best part about Jute items is that it adds an aesthetic touch to the home, apart from that it’s an eco friendly way of living. Looking to grab some jute items? Walk straight to the Dakshinapan Shopping Complex, Central Cottage Industries Emporium and Ankur Kala Kendra.
Photo by Light Play
2. Terracotta Structures
Terracotta Structures are originally made in Bankura, well Kolkata gets its supply from there only. When it comes to Terracotta Structures, the terracotta horses and elephants are immensely popular. Terracotta items can is found in red and blackish red shades, the shades depend on the time for which it’s been actually smoked. There are a variety of terracotta items available, like vases, pots, plates, bowls and ashtrays. Try taking a small road trip to Keyaboti or Bishnupur to to see a terracotta product being made live. Terracotta items are a part of the tradition of West Bengal; one can find terracotta items in almost every household in Bengal. So if you want to take back something which connects with the tradition of Bengal, then choose these. The Chowringhee Lane and the Swabhumi Heritage Park are the right places to buy some beautiful Terracotta Structures.
Photo by angee09
Dokra is a craft which is being used in India for over thousands of years and is now popular across the globe. This craft is used to produce non-ferrous metal casting and the Kamar tribes of West Bengal are very proficient in this particular skill. The artists produce beautiful figurines of deities, birds and animals. They also produce rustic ethnic looking jewellery like necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Other popular items are figurines of tribal’s, dance postures, vases and vessels. Exclusive Indian Handicrafts and India Craft International sell these beautiful items.
Photo by Nupur Dasgupta
Well no one can forget carrying some delicious sweets when it comes to Kolkata. In fact no write-up on Kolkata can ever be complete without mentioning the world famous sweets isn’t it? Its just not the Rosogollas which are popular, but you will also fall in love with the Mishti Doi, Chom-Chom, Kora Pak Sandesh, and Cchaanar Jilipi. And to add further to this sugary journey, if you are lucky wnough to be travelling to this city during the winters then do grab the wide array of sweets made with Jaggery or the special Nolen Gur. Your trip to Kolkata will be totally incomplete without indulging in some of the most famous Bengali sweets. Also these are totally perfect to take back for your loved ones too. Some of the best sweet shops are Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Dey, Radharam Mullick, Deshbandhu, Bhim Nag, Ganguram’s and Mouchak, Ballaram Mullick.
Photo by appaji
5. Traditional Sarees
You can never unotice the beautiful Bengali women in those totally beautiful traditional Bengali sarees. I am sure you would have noticed the “Lal Paar Saree” the one with red borders on a white saree , these are the most popular traditional saree worn by the women of Kolkata. You would see the Bengali women wearing these Lal Paar Saree during the Durga Puja Festival. Let’s move a bit more ahead of the Lal Paar Saree, as there are many in queue. Kolkata is also quite popular for its beautiful silk sarees which are known as Vishnupuri and Tassar silk. Jamdani work sarees are equally elegant and gorgeous and have their own fan following. Kolkata is also known for its hot and humid weather and in this season the Handloom cotton sarees become a perfect partner, these come in bright colours and are very comfortable to wear. The Baluchari sarees is another beautiful saree which deserve a mention; these have pictorial themes and are in huge demand during festivals and religious occasions. The Benarasi Sarees, this option is another very popular as if it’s a Bengali wedding the Bengali bride will surely wear one of these. The Benarasi Sarees have very minute thread work done on them. The Bangladeshi Dhakai saree is another sophisticated piece from Bengal; these are treated as valuable pieces for every Bengali lady. The best places to go shopping in Kolkata especially for sarees is Dakshinapan Shopping Complex, Adi Mohini Mohan Kanjilal and Adi Dhakeswari Bastralaya.
Photo by Partha Sarathi Sahana
If you too are a tea lover like me, get ready for some of the most exotic options as they make their way straight from the tea estates of Darjeeling. The tea leafs are totally pure, so be it green tea, black tea, roasted tea or organic tea you will easily find them all in the city of joy. You can also find them in a variety of flavours like ginger, cinnamon and masala. Thinking where to buy these aromatic beverages from? Well one of the best places for tea shopping is Mahabodhi Tea Company (Rashbehari Avenue).
Photo by RubyGoes
7. Kantha Embroidery
Kantha Embroidery is a highly demanded embroidery work which is done on silk and cotton fabrics. This embroidery comprises of intricate running stitch and is very commonly done on Kurtas, dhotis, , sarees, stoles and the very popular ‘Panjabi’ which is worn by men. These days’ beddings and bags with Kantha embroidery are also becoming quite popular. Kantha is one of the most demanded souvenirs of Kolkata, and the cherry on the cake is that it is quite cheap when it comes to price. Dakshinapan Shopping Complex and Gariahat Market is the right place to go Kantha Embroidery shopping.
Photo by scratchpost
In case you are a bookworm or you have friends who are bookworms too, then Kolkata is a paradise for you. A rare edition academic book which has been out of publication since years to the most recent bestseller and also the international hard bounds you find everything right here. And the best part is that being rare it isn’t really going to burn your pocket, as these books might come at a fraction of a price than anywhere else. So head straight if you want to smell those old books or feel the crunchiness of the new first hand book that too in the price of a second hand one. College Street in Kolkata will full fill your impervious love for book. Just keep one thing in mind, brush up your bargaining skills as you might be able to crack the best possible deal.
Now that you have the list, I hope you don’t have to worry much. So take back along with you the perfect box of memories from the city of joy. Without any doubt these are the best things you can buy in this city, and the best part is that the money you spend is worth each penny. Start shopping some for your beautiful home and some for your stomach too. I guarantee you that Kolkata is not going to disappoint you.
Did you like reading about Kolkata’s Most Special Souvenirs? Do let us know which ones you bought and which one was your favorite. Share with us your shopping experiences and also how did your loved ones like the gift from the city of joy as comments.
Featured Photo by Light Play