First, the warning — You can’t do this tour if you are not an early bird, or at least have the will to wake up with the lark for a day. Plus, you need to have a zest for life, be willing to walk past dirty lanes, disregard absence of hygiene around you. If you do not meet these basic requirements, please do not even think of taking the Mallick Ghat and Flower Market tour. Period.
Now for those who haven’t bounced off after reading the first paragraph above, this blog is for you because you obviously love stories, frames, colours, exploration, discoveries…
Remember, the Mallick Ghat and Flower Market tour needn’t be done with a professional guide. You can simply hop into a local train or taxi and come here on your own.
Suggested Route of the Mallick Ghat and Flower Market Tour:
1. Reach Howrah, whether by bus, local train, taxi. In case, you have taken the train and have reached Howrah Station, come to the exact opposite end of the Howrah Bridge. Guess what? We did that. And we walked across the iconic bridge, alternatively gazing upwards at the old bridge and recalling childhood days when we’d have crossed this bridge in a taxi after a long train journey from Guwahati/Delhi, and then gazing downwards at how the Hooghly and marvel at how her people co-exist.
In case you plan to take the bus or taxi, ask to be dropped at Mallick Ghat.
2. The Flower Market is a wholesale one, catering to the fresh flower needs of the entire Kolkata city. It’s stretches from under the Howrah Bridge to a little beyond the Mallick Ghat. Flanked with flowers shops on either side, the market is a flower lover’s heaven. Remember, it’s a wholesale market. The prices can stupefy you – 25 one-meter stands of marigold for 70 bucks. Why, we buy one small-sized garland for 30 in Mumbai!!!
3. Mallick Ghat will come to your right as you come down the Flower Market. A few steps and an open courtyard will lead you to the banks of the river from where, the Howrah Bridge can be seen in all its magnificence. People bathing, getting tonsured, cleaning clothes, offering prayers are a familiar sight here. Photography enthusiasts ca go bonkers here….
4. This is it. That’s all there is to see in the Mallick Ghat and Flower Market tour. Time for breakfast now at Deshbandhu Mistan in MG Road!
Things To Bear In Mind When You Take The Mallick Ghat and Flower Market Tour:
1. First, we insist you do not get your car. Taxi, Bus or local train will give you a lot of freedom.
2. Reach Howrah early, preferably just around sunrise. You will get an excellent photography opportunity.
3. Women travelers, it will be good if you have a male companion with you. Dress conservatively (full sleeves, long pants, neckline covered) and make sure you carry a long scarf. Comes handy against dust and unwanted glances.
4. Drink tea from the tea-vendors selling tea in small earthen pots, called ‘bhar’. Awesome taste and experience.
5. Carry your own bottle of water.
Time now for some breakfast at the Deshbandhu Mistan close by….their Luchi-Alur Torkari is to die for…
For more pictures, jump into Wheels On Our Feet’s Facebook page — Images from Flower Market @Mallick Ghat, Kolkata