Siliguri, being the gateway to Northeast India, is a torrid love affair of various cultures blending in seamlessly with rich cuisines, enriched traditions, and appealing attractions over diverse landscapes. Surely, at this point, if you think you have got the best out of the place and you have known EVERYTHING and nothing can take you by surprise, then this is a good time to explore the hallowed lanes of Siliguri's bazaars.
The town is a busy little place and home to one of the most sought-after marketplaces in the Northeast. From bustling flea markets to flashy shopping malls, this little town is a shopaholic's euphoria. If you are one of those travellers who love a good retail therapy every once in a while whilst travelling, then look no further for a detailed outlook on the best places to shop from when in town.
1. Hong Kong Market
Hong Kong Market, apparently the Chandni Chowk of Northeast India, is a quaint street market with a labyrinth of shops and vendors popping out on the alleyways. The products are mostly from everywhere in Nepal and China, making it a great place to hunt out unique, fancy and inexpensive goods to import back home. The market hosts an assortment of things, ranging from everything that falls within fabrics to electronics. Wander through its byways and soak in the chaos and madness of this bustling shoppers' ghetto. The products are mostly imports and knock-offs and to get a great deal make sure you bargain big.
Mahabirstan is one of the oldest marketplaces of the town and is abuzz with a happening crowd of shoppers, all swarming around its roadside stores and showrooms. The market is popular for its reasonably priced fabrics. Some of the best bargain shopping in Siliguri can be done in this crumbling and chaotic bazaar. The shops and stalls in the market offer an exciting blend of food, fabrics and fashion accessories that sprawl onto the streets. The stores have been in existence for a long period of time and an exploration of its crooked narrow alleyways is right on impelling.
3. Seth Srilal Market
Lying at the heart of the town, Seth Srilal Market is the perfect amalgam of colour, energy, and vibrancy. The market is a favourite among the locals and the tourists alike. From fabrics to old silver stores full of silver jewellery, there is nothing that is not sold here. The market is a mosaic of myriad stores and shops, disseminated here and there. A few of the stores even deal in wholesale. Sample some delectable street food, indulge in some banter, bargain, and enjoy the madness.
4. Bidhan Market
Bidhan Market and its by-lanes are branched out into bazaars with different areas of specialization. Venture through its busy lanes and keep an eye out for the variety of items that can be found here - shawls, fabrics, perfumes, bags, carpets, there is something for everyone. It is the have-it-all bazaar and is the perfect place to pick up some cute souvenirs and affordable gifts. There is nothing you won't find here. The market is punctuated with multiple eateries, so you can wrap up your shopping with a delicious meal at one of the local restaurants!
How to reach:
Siliguri, nestled among Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, is reachable through the roadways, railways as well as the airways. The town has good and easy connectivity and is pretty accessible from parts all over the country.
By Road: Siliguri's bus terminal is the Tenzing Norgay Bus Terminus, which is well connected to the town.
By Rail: The nearest railhead, the New Jalpaiguri Railway Station, is one of the busiest railway junctions in Bengal.
By Air: The closest airport is the Bagdogra Airport which makes the town accessible through the airways.
Best time to visit: The weather is pleasant and temperate in the summers and chilly in winters, making it a year-round destination for tourists and travellers.