Bengal has an extremely rich culture with age old traditions, fine arts, music and craft. Several Nobel laureates were born in this blessed land of Bengal and have called it their home. Bengalis love to relish their food, read Sarat Chandra, sing Rabindra Nath and travel frequently. A visit to Kolkata is incomplete without shopping for the famous Kantha work, Batik or Rosogolla. Carry a bit of Bengal and create memories forever.
Here is a list of the 7 must buy things from Kolkata.
The humble white wonders are the pride of Bengal since the Raj days. Right from Mini rosogollas to the Jumbo rosogollas, it all melts in your mouth and disappears into your soul only to crave for more. Look out for K.C.Das and Nobin Chandra Das who are the best in the industry and have appeased since generations. In Kolkata the chenna balls have got brighter and colourful, they are now available in 100+ flavours all doled out with love without the use of any artificial additive.
2. Red and white cotton saree
The quintessential Bengali attire is incomplete without a Red and white saree. You may want to buy it in silk (Gawrod) or cotton (Tant). Artistically woven red and white sarees handcrafted by local artisans with intricate designs all over are available in most of the traditional saree showrooms in Gariahat.
3. Alta, Sindoor, Shakha and Pola
Signifying the marital status, every married Bengali woman is supposed to don sindoor in their parting of their hair, a sindoor bindi on their forehead and a pair of Shakha and Pola bangles. The Sindoor available here is of a typical red colour very specific to this land and is known to have therapeutic properties. Shakha, the conch shell bangle is delicately carved and at times inlaid with gold filigree to pair up with red coral bangles worn in both the hands for that ultimate bong look.
Delightful sweet meats made out of chenna and sold in various patterns and flavours is yet another speciality of Bengal. Abar Khabo, Jol Bhora, Chocolate Sandesh and Kancha Golla are a few Sandesh -es that one must try out at either Girish Chandra Dey and Nakur Chandra Dey, Balaram Mullick or any other old world Mishti shop.
5. Nolen Gur
Planning a trip to Kolkata during the winters? Indulge in packing the soulful Nolen Gur, the speciality jaggery of Bengal. Jaggery derived from date palm with a lot of love and patience. This winter delicacy is available as Nolen Gur er ice cream, Nolen Gur er Sandesh and can also be accompanied with traditional pan cakes. Pack a few tubes of the liquid which is sold at Biswa Bangla stores.
6. Kantha stitch
Kantha which had once originated in Bangladesh was used by homemakers to upcycle old sarees is now a rage in the fashion industry. By courtesy of a few Fashion influencers Kantha has hit the global market and created a niche for itself. Invest in a silk Nakshi Kantha saree for your loved one or an intricately embroidered Kantha scarf for that corporate outfit. Plan for a day trip to Shantiniketan to witness an extraordinary collection of Kantha work.
A visit to any of the WB Government run emporiums can showcase the exquisite Batik work done on leather and textile. Leather Batik bags, batik sarees, dress materials and garments don the highly popular craftwork using the process of repeated dyeing process in certain patterns and designs.
What did you buy during your last visit to Kolkata?
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