Also known as Bazar Kolkata in earlier days, Burrabazar is the nucleus of commercial Kolkata. Renowned as the oldest wholesale/retail market, Burrabazar is located on Mahatma Gandhi Road and it covers over 250,000 sq.ft of land area. The market deals in over 10,000 varieties of goods and trades. Situated to the north of BBD Bagh, it stretches from the Writers' Building territory. Even in the past, when the British reigned, it was the business hub of the city.
During the British period, Burrabazar was largely occupied by the cloth-merchant Basaks, the gold-merchant Mullicks and such other rich businessmen. Their regal lifestyle is still seen reflected in the palatial buildings and offices that they once inhabited. From the mid nineteenth century onwards, the Marwaris gained control over the region, monopolized all industries and even the indigenous banking system. They built numerous mansions in splendid Rajasthani architecture, which still give Burrabazar its characteristic splendour.
Burrabazar is characterised by narrow lanes and alleys, bustling crowds, garbage and squalor, the tinkling and mad rush of rickshaw pullers, honking of vehicles etc. In the midst of all these, this is the ideal place for wholesale shopping in textiles, groceries and other food items. Jeevan Das Hosiery, Pranjeevan Readymade and Thakurdas Store are a few of the retail outlets where consumers can buy products at the wholesale price. Food outlets like Rallis, Haldiram, Tewari's, etc also attract all groups of consumers.
The market has around 15,000 shops and several thousands of customers visit this place. The market functions from 10:30 hrs to 18:30 hrs from Tuesday to Saturday. On Monday, the shops open at 1.30 pm. Burrabazar also has the biggest fruit and textile wholesale / retail market.
Burrabazar is accessible on foot from BBD Bagh or by any bus going towards Howrah from BBD Bagh.