College Street (Kolkata)

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College Street.
College Square at Night

College Street is a ~1.5 km long street in central Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. It stretches (approximately) from Ganesh Chandra Avenue Crossing in Bowbazar area to Mahatma Gandhi Road crossing.[1] Its name derives from the presence of many colleges (Presidency University,The Sanskrit College and University, City College of Commerce & Business Administration to name a few). Housing many centres of intellectual activity especially the Indian Coffee House, a café that has attracted the city's intelligentsia for decades.[2]Kolkata’s historic College Street is India’s largest book market, lending it the endearing nickname Boi Para–”Book Town.”

Book stores[edit]

Small bookstores along College Street

The College Street is most famous for its small and big bookstores, which gives it the nickname Boi Para (Colony of Books).[1][3] People from whole city and different parts of the state gathers here for their books. Many bigwigs of the Bengali publication industry (like: Ananda Publishers, DasGupta and Company Pvt. Ltd, Dey's Publishing, Rupa & Co., Asha Book Agency,etc.) are situated here. The street is also dotted with countless very small book kiosks which sell new and old books.[1] An article in the journal Smithsonian described College Street as ...a half-mile of bookshops and bookstalls spilling over onto the pavement, carrying first editions, pamphlets, paperbacks in every Indian language, with more than a fair smattering of books in and out of print from France, Germany, Russia and England.[4] One can buy rare books at throw-away prices and extensive bargaining take place. The place is a heaven for bookworms. Rare kind of books are available here. Readers who go to college street, find all the bengali books are on


In 2007, College Street featured among the famous landmarks of India which have made it to 6pm to 9pm Magazine’s "Best of Asia" list.[5]

Educational institutes[edit]

Well-known academic institutions situated on this street include

, and one of the first major multidisciplinary university in South Asia.


  1. ^ a b c d College Street or the Boi Para Archived 2013-11-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 March 2013
  2. ^ Kolkata Heritage- College Street Archived 2013-09-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 March 2013
  3. ^ a b Kolkata's historical College Street 'Boi-Para' ceases to exist Retrieved 24 March 2013
  4. ^ Hollick, Julian Crandall (July 1991). "Amid Calcutta's poverty, there's no dearth of cultural wealth". Smithsonian. 22 (4): 32–41. ISSN 0037-7333.
  5. ^ Press Trust of India (28 April 2007). "Mehrangarh Fort, College Street, figure in Time's Best of Asia". The Statesman. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 22°34′23″N 88°21′37″E / 22.573144°N 88.3602°E / 22.573144; 88.3602