Iconic markets of India: The British had banned Indians from this market in Kolkata

The New Market is one of the oldest markets in Kolkata, established in 1874 because the Britishers wanted an exclusive market of their own. They did not like brushing shoulders with the ‘natives’ at the local bazaars.

A committee of the Calcutta Corporation commissioned Richard Roskell Bayne, an architect of the East Indian Railway Company, to design the Victorian Gothic market complex. The giant shopping arcade was thrown open to the English people with fanfare on January 1, 1874.

Sir Stuart Hogg, the then Chairman of Calcutta Corporation, was a big supporter to build the New Market. On December 2, 1903, the market was officially named Sir Stuart Hogg Market, and later shortened to Hogg Market. Bengalis referred to it as “Hogg Shaheber Bajaar”.

Despite two devastating fires and regular flooding, and the appearance of A/C malls, New Market remains at the core of the shopping experience in the city. Over the years, a number of extensions have been made with names like New New Market.

Under its apparent chaos lie extraordinary finds as well as remarkable bargains. More than 3000 stalls under its roof sell everything from clothing to luggage to electronics to a special cheese found nowhere else.

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