College Street (Kolkata)
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. 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.
The College Street is most famous for its small and big bookstores, which gives it the nickname Boi Para (Colony of Books). 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. 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. 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. One can buy rare books at throw-away prices and extensive bargaining take place.
Well-known academic institutions situated on this street include
- Presidency University, established in 1817, making it one of the oldest educational institutions of western education in South Asia.
- University of Calcutta, established in 1857, and one of the first major multidisciplinary university in South Asia.
- Medical College and Hospital, Kolkata, established in 1857, first college of European medicine in Asia.
- Sanskrit College, established in 1824, affiliated to University of Calcutta, and Sanskrit Collegiate School.
- Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, established in 1953, affiliated to University of Calcutta. It is India's first MBA offering institute.
- Hare School, established in 1818.
- Hindu School, established in 1817.
- College Street or the Boi Para astrainfotech.org. Retrieved 24 March 2013
- Kolkata Heritage- College Street westbengaltourism.gov.in. Retrieved 24 March 2013
- Kolkata's historical College Street 'Boi-Para' ceases to exist webindia123.com. Retrieved 24 March 2013
- Hollick, Julian Crandall (July 1991). "Amid Calcutta's poverty, there's no dearth of cultural wealth". Smithsonian. 22 (4): 32–41. ISSN 0037-7333.
- 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.
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