Bowbazar (also spelt Boubazar) is a neighbourhood of Central Kolkata, in Kolkata district in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Neighbourhood in Kolkata (Calcutta)
Ceramic mural on the wall of Central Station, Kolkata Metro, located on B.B. Ganguly Street
Ceramic mural on the wall of Central Station, Kolkata Metro, located on B.B. Ganguly Street
Bowbazar is located in Kolkata
Location in Kolkata
Coordinates: 22°34′07″N 88°21′48″E / 22.5687°N 88.3632°E / 22.5687; 88.3632Coordinates: 22°34′07″N 88°21′48″E / 22.5687°N 88.3632°E / 22.5687; 88.3632
Country India
StateWest Bengal
Metro StationChandni Chowk, Central, Mahakaran(under construction) and Sealdah(under construction)
Railway stationSealdah
Municipal CorporationKolkata Municipal Corporation
KMC wards46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51
36 ft (11 m)
Time zoneUTC+5:30 (IST)
700012, 700072
Area code(s)+91 33
Lok Sabha constituencyKolkata Uttar
Vidhan Sabha constituencyChowranghee


On Lt. Col. Mark Wood's map of 1784, the portion of the eastward road from Lal Bazar to what was known for a long time as Circular Road - which ran along the filled-in Mahratta Ditch and is now Acharya Jagadish Chandra Bose Road - was shown as Boytaconnah Street, which received its name from the Baithakkana, or "resting place", where merchants formed and dispersed their caravans, sheltered by an old banyan tree (called a peepul tree in Cotton), at the road's eastern extremity.[1][2][3]

Bow Bazar Street has been renamed Bepin Behari Ganguly Street (named after Bipin Behari Ganguli (1887 – 1954), revolutionary leader, who spent about 24 years in British Indian jails, later joining the Congress movement).[4] However, the locality continues to be called Bow Bazar. In keeping with the neighbourhood's earliest name, a road stretching from B.B. Ganguly Street to MG Road is called Baithakkhana Road,[5] as well as the market along the road at the easternmost part of B.B. Ganguly Street being called Baithakkhana Bazar.

At the cross roads where Lal Bazar, Bow Bazar, Chitpore Road and Bentinck Street meet was the place of execution, where the pillory was.[1]

In 1888, one of the 25 newly organized police section houses was located in Bowbazar.[6]


Police districtEdit

Bowbazar police station is part of the Central division of Kolkata Police. It is located at 13, Kapalitoalla Lane, Kolkata-700012.[7][8]

Taltala Women police station covers all police districts under the jurisdiction of the Central division, i.e. Bowbazar, Burrabazar, Girish Park, Hare Street, Jorasanko, Muchipara, New Market, Taltala and Posta.[8]

Red light districtEdit

Bowbazar has a red-light district where about 12,000 prostitutes work.[9][10][11]


Bowbazar is in the administrative and commercial heart of the city.


Chittaranjan Avenue (C.R. Avenue) and College Street-Nirmal Chandra Street pass through the area from north to south. Bepin Behari Ganguly Street (B.B. Ganguly Street) and Dr. Lalit Banerjee Sarani-Khirode Vidya Binode Avenue (New CIT Road) pass through the area from east to west. Many buses ply along these roads.


Sealdah Station and B.B.D Bag railway station are the nearest railway stations of Bowbazar.


There are, as well, shops dealing in wooden furniture, musical instruments, shoes, seasonal fruits, fresh vegetables and meat, etc.[12]

US-Bangla Airlines has its India offices in Bowbazar.[13]

Bowbazar bomb blast incidentEdit

Mohammad Rashid Khan, a satta don, bombed Bowbazar on 16 March 1993, which killed 69 people. He and five of his associates were sentenced to life imprisonment.[14][15]


Banga Natyalay, in nearby Pathuriaghata, was the first theatre to print admission cards in Bengali.[16]

Traditionally, musical soirées were held in the large private houses of old Kolkata; but there also were some humbler houses that had similar soirées, amongst the latter being the Bowbazar home of a musical family, the Borals.[17] The music maestro Jadu Bhatt, who gave musical lessons to the Tagores, died in Babu Ram Sil Lane, at the abode of the Adhikaris, which is also referred to as the Jhulan Bari. A festival of Indian classical music is still held there each year during Lord Krishna's festival of Jhulan Purnima.[18]

Very old sweet shops, associated with the memories of Iswarchandra Vidyasagar and Sir Ashutosh Mukherjee, still exist in Bowbazar.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, pp. 285–286, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
  2. ^ Cotton, H. E. A. (1907). Calcutta, Old and New: A Historical & Descriptive Handbook to the City. Calcutta: W. Newman & Co. pp. 9–10. Retrieved 13 July 2014.
  3. ^ Nair, P. Thankappan in The Growth and Development of Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 17, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-563696-3.
  4. ^ Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, (in Bengali), p. 349, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  5. ^ Map no. 31, Detail Maps of 141 Wards of Kolkata, D.R.Publication and Sales Concern, 66 College Street, Kolkata – 700073
  6. ^ Nair, P.Thankappan, The Growth and Development of Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. I, pp. 18-19, Edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, Oxford University Press, 1995 edition.
  7. ^ "Bowbazar Police Station". Kolkata Police. Archived from the original on 8 June 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  8. ^ a b "Kolkata Police". Central Division. KP. Archived from the original on 10 March 2018. Retrieved 9 March 2018.
  9. ^ Youth Partnership Project South Asia (YPP-SA) (July 2010). Vulnerability of Children Living in the Red Light Areas of Kolkata, India (PDF) (Report). Sanlaap. Retrieved 12 September 2019.
  10. ^ "Jabala Jaag". CRY. Archived from the original on 8 December 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  11. ^ "Truckers Study". Prantik Jana Vikash Samity. Retrieved 16 August 2007.[dead link]
  12. ^ "Bowbazar Market". Kolkata information. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2007.
  13. ^ "Contact Us Archived 13 March 2018 at the Wayback Machine." US-Bangla Airlines. Retrieved on 6 September 2017. "India Office 31, Ganesh Chandra Ave, Chandni Chawk, Bowbazar, Kolkata, West Bengal 700072, India"
  14. ^ "Life term for 6 convicted in 1993 Kolkata blast". The Times of India. 31 August 2001. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  15. ^ Sen, Shyamal Kumar (13 April 1994). "Md. Rashid Khan vs State Of West Bengal And Ors. on 13 April, 1994". Indian Kanoon. Kolkata: Calcutta High Court. Retrieved 17 July 2014.
  16. ^ Mukhopadhyay, Ganesh (2012). "Theatre Stage". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
  17. ^ Mitra, Rajyeshwar, Music in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, p. 183
  18. ^ Sen, Sandhya (1 January 2005). "Music: Thumri power at Jhulanbari". The Statesman. Retrieved 16 August 2007.[dead link]

External linksEdit

  Kolkata/North Kolkata travel guide from Wikivoyage