Galiff Street Market
Located in Galiff street in the Bagbazaar region, this market is one of the few Only Sunday markets of Kolkata and is a pet lover’s paradise. Starting early on each Sunday morning, this market is open to visitors until late afternoon. Located a few minutes from the Shyambazar 5 point crossing. From the crossing, one has to travel towards BT road and the market would be situated at the left side, before the first bridge ahead. Considered the place to be to get oneself a pet, this is the largest pet market of the city as well as the oldest one. Initially developed in Hatibagan, a well-known place also in North Kolkata, this market was shifted to a bigger base due to space constraints owing to its soaring popularity. Also, known as the “Bagbazar Sokher Haat” or the Bagbazaar Hobby Market, the road on which this market thrives every Sunday is non-functional and closed for the day except the movement of a few trams, since the depot is to be reached through the road. The market is open by 4;30 a.m., and is fully functional and flooded with customers by 7 or 8 a.m. Pet business owners are usually the first ones to arrive along with the hobbyists. Hobbyists can sell their stock directly in this unique market.
Occupying the length of the entire street, this market is divided into sections dedicated to Pets and Plants. Upon entering from a side, one sees the dogs and puppies on one side and the birds on the other. Apart from the varied breeds of puppies available from a Dalmatian to a Pug, as far as birds are concerned one gets Java sparrows here for 200 rupees or so and some sell little chicks even! The bird market is probably the most crowded area, with pigeons selling the most along with people selling cages, food and other supplies for the birds. There are also ducklings and hens for sale. The animal market also offers guinea pigs, white rats, and the prettiest rabbits.
Then, comes the fish market which is as colorful as the bird market area, with different breeds of exotic fish available here for sale. One might even buy fancy aquariums to keep their fish as the options are plenty and accessories ranging from filters to pebbles and ferns are available here in. This area is fully organized owing to the fact that the Kolkata Aquarium Club looks after the market and gives regular updates to the hobbyists about the prices and other information required. The prices being cheaper than regular market rates, this place is crowded by enthusiasts as well as little kids with their parents who want their first pet to be a fish.
Lastly, there is the flower and plant market on the other side of the road. A plant or flower enthusiast’s paradise, this side of the market enchants with the bright hues and greens. There is an array of seasonal and flowering plants at display, along with varieties of Bonsai and other essential garden plants. These wholesalers offer everything from pots to plant medicines for the needs of one’s garden.
Despite being the oldest in the business, this market is the one stop solution when it comes to pets as well as plants and there are not a lot of places that offer one that. It is a perfect spot for an animal lover as well, just to take a look around as well as the aesthetic beauty of this place and the vivid colors one sees here attract the many photographers who walk the streets of Kolkata to capture its many charms.
The morning flower market (8.00 am onward)
Across the street. (8.45 am onward)
Fish and Animal Market (9.30 am onward)
Animal Market (10.00 am onward)
Photographs from the market: