What’s this? Traditional Southeast Asian-style buying in India? In January, Kolkata welcomed India’s first floating market – a logical step for a metropolis lengthy related to life on the water, from boat rides alongside the Hooghly River to sunset cocktails aboard the Floatel floating resort and flamboyant immersions of Hindu idols throughout the Durga Puja pageant.
Inaugurated by West Bengal’s chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, this government-backed enterprise is now home to some 250 distributors, afloat on greater than 100 boats, promoting the whole lot from flowers, fruits, greens and fish to street-food snacks and a plethora of trinkets and collectable knick-knacks.
Got a gown to sew, or a beard to trim? Well, that’s taken care of too, by a number of floating tailors and barbers. And all of this whereas bobbing on the placid waters of a picturesque lake (which suggests the photo-ops come without cost).
Developed within the southern suburb of Patuli as a rehabilitation initiative for small companies that had been affected by urbanisation tasks within the metropolis, the market sprawls over a community of picket ramps that department out over the waters on stilts, with boats moored on either side of the walkway inside arms’ attain of customers.
While the vast majority of store homeowners communicate Bengali, many are familiar with fundamental English, and pleasant locals are at all times comfortable to play mediator if required. Even in the event you’re not shopping for a lot, it’s fascinating to strike up a dialog with sellers and undergo their wares.
The market is open from early morning till early night, though noon is a nasty time to go to (particularly by the summer time months), given the market’s lack of shade. To attain the floating market from the centre, journey the Metro to Shahid Khudiram station (Garia), or take a shared autorickshaw from Jadavpur 8B bus stand to the Garia terminus.
By Anirban Mahapatra