As mentioned in my previous posts here and here, exploring the local markets, especially flower markets is a “must do” in my travel itinerary. Ubiquitous yet unique, these markets truly reflect the native culture and spirit of a place.
Diversity in India is truly endless; whether in terms of climatic conditions, types of terrains, languages, religion, flora, fauna and even trade. All this lends an eclectic mix and variety in our aromatic flower markets. They are an authentic picture of the native customs, beliefs, and traditions. Coupled with the fact that flowers are a big market in India and are used extensively for all occasions, these markets are a picture of hustle bustle, energy and hectic activity.
While I have visited multiple flower markets, few experiences can be as fascinating as that of the Malik Ghat market in the metro city of Kolkata. Located at the southeast end of the Howrah Bridge, even a short visit to this market can be an fascinating experience. Touted as one of the largest markets in Asia, there are as many as 2000 vendors indulging in the super quick trade and brisk business. Built in the year 1855, it is not only one of the largest flower markets of India but also Asia!
The place is a sea of colour with people wading through innumerable strings of fiery red-orange marigold on their backs. The place is the epitome of hustle bustle, continuous activity and color.
Starting as early as four in the morning, the market is teeming with vendors and buyers selling flowers in myriad hues, shapes and sizes. Most vendors also live in makeshift shelters inside the market and are usually busy in making flower arrangements and bouquets that are in great demand during festivals and religious occasions. The almost 24-hour market reaches its peak of activity during festive seasons and special occasions.
Since the market also supplies flowers to the neighboring states, packaging flowers in bales and transporting the same is another significant activity here.
While the sunflowers, lilies and roses form a colorful spectacle, do not miss out on some of the local specialties like the togor phool.
The native togor phool which resembles the round jasmine has a pleasant yet intoxicating fragrance, and is found mainly in this region.
Blooming during the months of March and April, this flower signifies the onset of the Bengali and Assamese new year.
This article was originally published in Happy Trips. To read the full article, click here and here.
To read more about the city of Kolkata, read my post here.
40 thoughts on “Malik Ghat Flower market in Kolkata: a truly arresting and striking experience”
Nice read and pictures
Not understanding the importance of diversity is the reason we see monoculture – not good since it is not ‘natural’
Good to see you highlighting the diversity in flower culture
I love when your stories pertain to flower themes:) Haha:)
Diversity in India manifests in the smallest of things right :)…While we see Shaamantige & Mallige in the South, this beautiful market is showered with Marigolds & Sunflowers! Thank you for sharing Rashmi 🙂
Thanks Divya! Very true; that togor looked just like “gundmallige”. Only when I inquired, did I know it so different.
Wow, nice blog post. I have always wanted to visit India and this post was a delightful visual and (virtual) olfactory delight. Thank you! (I live in Arizona, USA).
Thank you Caroline; I hope you can visit India soon:) Appreciate you reading the post!
Wow, what an amazing looking place. Truly a beautiful country. I imagine the atmosphere and smells in the flower market are great. Blessings to you Rashmi.
Thank you so much:) Appreciate you stopping by and reading!
beautiful photographs…thanks for making us aware about the flower market…
What an amazing looking place! I imagine the scents are great. Blessings Rashmi.
Thank you so much!
I love flowers and I love colors!
You can imagine how this post has made me happy. 🙂
I also went to this flower market in Kolkata but I could see only Marigolds there. Probably it was too late.
Thank you so much Nisha!
2000 vendors. The colour and scents must be breathtaking.
Yes it is !
Gorgeous – the colours are wonderful.
I love flowers so much and especially flower market is a treat to the eyes.
Yes that is true!
Very nice shots, though i have visited this area but did not have so much details. enjoyed reading it.
Wow ! Very beautiful clicks and nice description abut the market 🙂
Thanks so much:)
Such a colourful place with so many gorgeous blooms all around. Early morning walk through the vendors setting up their shops and selling flowers is such a sight to see. Thanks for the share 🙂
Yes it is a wonderful sight! Thanks for reading:)
Quite a riot of colour! Always wanted to visit Kolkatta. I’m not sure if it was because of my friends or the food. 🙂 Thanks for taking me there!
Quite a riot of colour! Always wanted to visit Kolkata. Not sure if it was because of my friends or the food! 🙂 Thanks for taking me there.
Thanks Cheryl! Appreciate you stopping by and reading:)
Reminds me of Flower market just next to qutub minar in delhi …
Thanks Chandresh for reading! I hope to see the one in Delhi very soon:)
Local markets is one of the most authentic as well as learning experiences in India for me)) I’ve visited many of them in different states, though haven’t reached to Kolkata. Thank you for sharing, Rashmi!
Thank you so much Natalia! Appreciate you stopping by and reading:)
Totally agree with you Rashmi! Markets are definitely a must do as they bring out the true culture of a place and it is great to be there and witness the local slice of a destination! 🙂
The pictures are fabulous! Thanks for sharing 🙂 This market is on my bucket list now!
Thanks Divyakshi! Hope you can visit soon:)
So glad you made it here. Being from Kolkata, I have fond memories of visiting this market, specially before the festivals.
Yes I love local markets and the flower market in Kolkata is just amazing!