Mallik Ghat Flower Market in Kolkata

(Probably) the largest flower market in Asia

Mallik Ghat flower market in Kolkata, near the Howrah bridge, is (probably) the largest flower market in India, and by some accounts Asia. These photos were shot early morning (around sunrise) during Durga pujo. While it is busy throughout the year, Durga Puja triggers a mad rush.

Most of the colour in the images are courtesy the marigolds, probably because they are the cheapest and can help with volume. There’s also lotuses being sold. Lotus sales typically peak during Durga Puja since it plays an important role in the rituals. You can see a lot of greens as well. Different types of leaves (like mango and betel) are also critical to hindu rituals. There’s of course many more varieties of flowers and leaves in these images that I know nothing about.

Photo tips

The best time to visit the Mallik Ghat flower market is of course early morning. For one the light is beautiful and it is also relatively easier to navigate before the shopping crowds start to build up. Another thing to note about the market is that you need to cross a footbridge over a railway line to get from the main road to the market area. This footbridge is where I took the top view shots from - perfect for photographing a flower market.

If you are visiting the market though make sure you go beyond the market on to the actual ghats (river bank). The Mallik Ghat is situated bang underneath (well, almost) the legendary Howrah Bridge. That makes it a double whammy for anyone with photographic interests. This is where I shot the rituals of Kola Bou Snan (check out that post for more images and read about the rituals). There’s also an akhara (wrestling club) which provides additional photo material. However, there wasn’t many there due to the crowd gathered for the rituals. I will be back there soon.

Mallik Ghat Flower Market - top view of transaction in progress

Gear Used

One of these were shot with an iPhone 6s (which one?) and the rest with the Nikon D500 paired with Sigma 18-35mm f1.8.