New Market

Kolkata (Calcutta)

Marked by a distinctive red-brick clocktower, this enormous warren of market halls dates to 1874, but was substantially rebuilt after a 1980s fire. By day, handicraft touts can be a minor annoyance, and the crowds can swell in the evenings, especially on weekends. It's more engrossing just after dawn, when there's a harrowing (and a wee morbid) fascination in watching the arrival of animals at the meat market, with its grizzly chopping blocks, blood-splattered floors and pillared high ceilings.

Within the main market, Chamba Lama is one of the best-known shops to pick up silver and semiprecious jewellery. Another curiosity is Nahoum Bakery, with plum cakes and lemon tarts displayed in its showcases. Little has changed here since 1902, when its erstwhile Jewish owners arrived from Baghdad. The little teak cash desk is more than 80 years old.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Kolkata (Calcutta) attractions

1. Clocktower

0.05 MILES

New Market has a grand colonial clocktower, but by day it's a nest of handicraft touts. Come before 8am, while the touts are sleeping, to calmly…

2. Indian Museum

0.18 MILES

India's biggest and oldest major museum celebrated its bicentenary in February 2014. It's mostly a lovably old-fashioned place that fills a large…

3. Metropolitan Building

0.27 MILES

With graceful corner towers and large window arches, the 1905 Metropolitan Building was originally the Whiteway and Laidlaw department store. It takes its…

4. Shahid Minar

0.31 MILES

Dominating the upper Maidan near Esplanade bus station, Shahid Minar is a 48m-tall round-topped hollow column commemorating martyrs of the Indian…

5. Lenin Statue

0.37 MILES

For 34 years after a decisive election victory in 1977, West Bengal was a stronghold for the Marxist Communist Party of India – CPI (M). Although the…

6. Tippu Sultan Mosque

0.39 MILES

This fanciful multidomed mosque was built in honour of nawab Tippu Sultan by his son during the 1830s.

7. WWI Cenotaph

0.43 MILES

In the northeastern corner of the Maidan, this chunky cenotaph formed of brown-stone blocks commemorates Calcuttans who fell in WWI.

8. Raj Bhavan

0.62 MILES

Somewhat resembling the US White House, the grand Raj Bhavan was designed in 1799 along the lines of Kedleston Hall, the Derbyshire home of the Curzon…