College Street (Kolkata)

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College Street.

College Street (Bengali: কলেজ স্ট্রিট) 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, housing many centres of intellectual activity especially the Indian Coffee House, a café that has attracted the city's intelligentsia for decades.[2]

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, Abhijan Publishers, Dey's Publishing, Rupa & Co., Katha-O-Kahini, Lalmati Prakashan, Mitra & Ghosh Publishers, Patra Bharati, Purushottam Publishers, Future Publishers & Distributors 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] It is the largest second-hand book market in the world and largest book market in India and collectively boasts of a collection of almost any title ever sold at Kolkata.[2] One can buy rare books at throw-away prices and extensive bargaining take place.


In 2007, College Street featured among the famous landmarks of India which have made it to Time Magazine’s “Best of Asia” list.[5]

Educational institutes[edit]

Well-known academic institutions situated on this street include


  1. ^ a b c d College Street or the Boi Para Retrieved 24 March 2013
  2. ^ a b Kolkata Heritage- College Street 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 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-05-05. 

External links[edit]