Kolkata is often known as the cultural capital of India because of its rich tradition, art, and values. This city is inclined towards academic excellence and the creativity flows in the expression of art – literature, poetry, movie, drama, painting, etc. The history of this city is more than 300 years old and you will find many fascinating facts about this city when you are traveling here. From their traditional sweets to the iconic Howrah Bridge, the charming Victoria Memorial to the crowded College Street – there are various things and places from where you can pick up a piece of Kolkata and treasure them in your collection for years to come.
When you go back to your home, you must, therefore, take back some souvenirs from this beautiful and intelligent city. Here is the shopping list of things which you must buy from Kolkata.
This art truly belongs to Bengal. The soil of Bankura district often finds a place in people’s drawing rooms through figurines to ladies ears & necks through jewelry. Your shopping here in Kolkata won’t be complete without taking something made of terracotta. If you travel closely into the interiors of Bengal, you will see the temples are often made with terracotta panels because of the lack of stones in this geography. The most famous figurine is the horse which is available in various sizes. These Bankura terracotta horses have tall ears and you can put them up in your drawing room, at the entrance door, or in front of your mirror. Apart from the intricately designed horses, you will find many other statues and things (like boats, ships, flower vase, etc.) made from terracotta that will elevate your home décor.
Those who are fond of jewelry must not miss the exclusive range of terracotta jewelry in Kolkata. The sets of artistic earrings & necklaces would match with any traditional dress and make you look like a Diva. So, get ready for countless likes on your Social Media Posts with this jewelry.
The rest of India is simply fascinated with the red-bordered white saree which every woman in Bengal wears during any religious festival. Apart from that saree, you also have plenty of options to choose from. These cotton sarees are very comfortable, easy to carry and make you look gorgeous. The soft yet crisp Taant saree generally has pastel or light colours as the base with bright colours used only for the patterns on the borders or small bootis on the Sari and vice versa (Priyanka Chopra in Gundaay flaunted many such Taant sarees).
Baluchari is another famous saree type which is a must-buy here. What makes them different than the rest is that these sarees are more like a story-telling on silk material. On raw silk, the talented weavers of Bankura weave the patterns on the borders and pallu that are mostly seen on temple walls or mentioned in the mythologies. You may see Lord Krishna & Radha in such sarees or a particular scene from the Mahabharata. The base colour of Balucharis is of raw silk while the stories are woven with bright colours like red, green, or purple. Isn’t that a great way to flaunt your history, tradition, and culture?
Sola or Shola or Solapith – is also known as Indian Cork. This soft, lightweight, and milky white thing is the dried core of a plant that grows on the marshy wetlands of West Bengal. The artisans come up with beautiful pieces of art that you can take back home. The garlands that you see on Gods & Goddesses here are mostly made from Sola. You also must have seen the face of Goddess Durga in white material – they are carved from Solapith. Apart from the small art pieces of deities, you will also find many other things made from Sola and they all are amazing. As they are lightweight material, you will often find them glued to a solid base and some comes in a glass or fiber frame too so that you can carry them safely.
This tea-loving state is also the producer of one of the finest qualities of teas across the world. Darjeeling Tea must be at the top of your shopping list in case you are an intense tea lover. You will surely find many shops to pick up this world-famous tea, but, you must stick to the old tea houses only for the sake of authenticity. There are a few such old and renowned shops in Dharmatala & College Street and you must talk to your hotel managers or local guides to find you the best shop. There is a great variety of Darjeeling Tea – the costliest ones are leafier than the refined lower grades. You will also find black and green colours too. So, take your time and sniff well to search for your kind of tea here.
The artisans of Bengal hold the conch shells and chip off parts of it to reveal a story or to make patterns. In our ancient tales, we often hear that to initiate anything, the sound of conch shells was believed to be auspicious. It is still believed so. The conch shell sound is often heard two times a day in any normal household in Bengal (as they offer prayers to God). This sound is believed to clean the air from all negative energies.
To blow the conch shell, one needs to put an effort through their mouth and Doctors say that it is a great breathing exercise. So, you can take some conch shells (available in a variety of shapes and sizes) and enhance the positivity at your home. You will also find bangles made from conch shells here which are usually worn by married Bengali women. These bangles are also convolutedly designed and you can buy them for the special woman in your life.