What this tour is about: The Chitpur area is the heart of the “native” or “black” quarters of 18th and 19th century Calcutta. It is home not only to vibrant traditional bazaars, but also to several palatial residences of wealthy Bengalis who lived the rich “babu” lifestyle.
The area is populated by Hindus (Bengali and Marwari) and Muslims. The markets reflect a wide range of textiles, utensils and daily needs goods to meet the diverse needs of these communities.
How it works: We’ll start the walk from the Marble Palace, the home of the Mullick family. Built in 1835, this home has been described as “the richest, the quaintest, the eeriest, the most haphazard and the most ridiculous, the most astonishing and the most lovable” of the palaces of Kolkata.
From here, we will turn into Chitpur Road (now called Rabindra Sarani). As we stroll along, we will see rickshaw pullers, trams, auto-rickshaws and cars, all trundling along amidst a medley of shops and people. We will see lots of little shops selling cane baskets, pottery, ‘puja’ worship items, clothes, household wares and hundreds of other things. In this part of the bazaar, several food-stalls are set up alongside the pavements, where you can see popular snacks sizzling away. Tea shops do brisk business as people stop to chat over mud-cups of sweet chai.
We will visit Mechuabazaar, the wholesale fruit market, where mountains of fruit are unloaded from trucks and auctioned. We will also visit a traditional covered market that was built around the time of World War I, which houses lots of tiny shops selling cereals, grains, vegetables and spices. The walk finally ends near the Nakhoda mosque area, from where we will help you find local transport back to your hotel.
|Start Place||:||Marble Palace|
|End Point||:||Nakhoda Mosque|
|Cost||:||Rs 1500 per person for a minimum of 2 persons. Solo travellers pay for two|
|Includes||:||English/French speaking guide, personalised walk, illustrated handouts, all taxes|