College Street (Kolkata)

College Street (Bengali: কলেজ স্ট্রিট) is a 900 metre long street in Central Kolkata in the Indian state of West Bengal. Also known as Boi Para (Bengali: বইপাড়া; lit. Book Town), it stretches from Bidhan Sarani road up to Bowbazar (before Nirmal Chandra Street) via MG Road crossing and Surya Sen Street crossing.[1][2] Its name derives from the presence of numerous colleges and universities like University of Calcutta, Calcutta Medical College, Presidency University, The Sanskrit College and University, City College of Commerce and Business Administration, Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration etc. The road houses many centres of intellectual activity especially the Indian Coffee House, a café that has attracted the city's intelligentsia for decades.[3] College Street is the largest book market in India as well as Asia[4] and the largest secondhand book market in the whole world.[5]

College Street
Boi Para (Books Neighborhood)
College Street - Kolkata 7387.JPG
Book stores and tram tracks along College Street
Native name কলেজ স্ট্রিট (Bengali)
Maintained by Kolkata Municipal Corporation
Length 0.9 km[1] (0.6 mi)
Location Kolkata, India
Postal code 700012, 700073
Nearest Kolkata Metro station MG Road, Central and Sealdah (under construction)
Coordinates 22°34′32″N 88°21′48″E / 22.575514°N 88.363354°E / 22.575514; 88.363354Coordinates: 22°34′32″N 88°21′48″E / 22.575514°N 88.363354°E / 22.575514; 88.363354
North end Bidhan Sarani
South end Bowbazar

Book storesEdit

The College Street is famous for its small and big book stores, which gives it the nickname Boi Para (Colony of Books).[2][6] People from the whole city and different parts of the state flock the innumerable book stores along the side-walk for books. Many bigwigs of the Bengali publication industry (like: Ananda Publishers, Mitra and Ghosh 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 small book kiosks which sell new and old books.[2] 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.[7] One can buy rare books at throw-away prices and extensive bargaining takes place.


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.[8]

Educational institutesEdit

Front view of Hindu School, the oldest educational institution in College Street, in August 2022.

Well-known academic institutions situated on this street include



  1. ^ a b Google maps
  2. ^ a b c d College Street or the Boi Para Archived 2013-11-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 March 2013
  3. ^ Kolkata Heritage- College Street Archived 2013-09-02 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 24 March 2013
  4. ^ "Cyclone Amphan wipes out Asia's largest book market, College Street, in Kolkata - Business Insider India". Archived from the original on 11 June 2020.
  5. ^ "The World's Largest Secondhand Book Market is in Kolkata, India". 23 March 2016.
  6. ^ a b Kolkata's historical College Street 'Boi-Para' ceases to exist. Retrieved 24 March 2013.
  7. ^ Hollick, Julian Crandall (July 1991). "Amid Calcutta's poverty, there's no dearth of cultural wealth". Smithsonian. 22 (4): 32–41. ISSN 0037-7333.
  8. ^ 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 linksEdit