As Sunday comes, the Galiff Street is bustling with the cacophonic sounds of birds, dogs and people selling their ‘merchandise’. Welcome to the largest and the oldest pet market of Kolkata – the Galiff Street Pet Market, also known as the” Bagbazar Sokher Haat”. The city of joy holds the pet market every Sunday from early in the morning to the late afternoon and the Galiff Street literally becomes the “alley of joy”. Pets of various kinds like dogs, birds, rabbits and guinea pigs, fishes and even various types of plants are sold here. The pet business owners from Kolkata as well as from the neighbouring states all gather here. Even hobbyists are seen. The Sunday morning thus becomes a carnival for selling and buying the stocks.
Earlier the market was situated at Hatibagan area. But due to space constraint, the market was shifted to Galiff Street. The entire market is divided into different sections with all the owners selling their stocks. The diversity of the pets in this market is simply overwhelming. The busy market is also flocked with people like us who just want to savour the moments through their eyes or camera.
Dogs at Galiff Street Pet Market
“Happiness is a warm puppy “
As you enter the Galiff Street from the northern part, the right side of the road is dedicated to the dogs and the left side to the birds. As we strolled down the market, we were almost awed to see the variety of dogs and pups being showcased there. From a Spitz pup, a golden retriever, the spotted Dalmatian and the cute Lhasa, there was also the quintessential pug on display. Here dogs of almost all the breeds and price range are available. Dog lovers are surely in for a lovely treat here.
Birds at Galiff Street Pet Market
“If you’re a bird, I’m a bird” – Notebook
As we came to the birds’ section, we simply saw all the hues of a rainbow. Birds of various types and colours were created a mesmerizing scene. There were various types of sparrows, parrots and pigeons. But the bird market is not regulated. Birds that are prohibited from sale under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 are also found here changing hands. This section is simply a paradise for bird lovers. The costs of the birds are also not very high, Java Sparrows are sold for Rs.120/- each, and lovebirds are sold for Rs.500 /- a pair. We were also surprised to see the people selling chicks for Rs.15/- each! Though we cannot guarantee the health of the birds!
Fishes at Galiff Street Pet Market
“Even a fish would not get into trouble if it keeps its mouth shut!
This section is as colourful as the bird’s section. Different breeds of fishes are sold here. But this section is quite organized with the Kolkata Aquarium Club looking after it. This forum regularly gives updates about the prices and other information to the hobbyist. Not only fishes, this section sells aquarium and all the accessories related to it. And the price is quite cheaper than the market price! They are selling a pair of goldfish for Rs.25/-. There were other exotic breeds of fishes also.
Rabbits at Galiff Street Pet Market
These are the cutest things we saw in the market. Little white rabbits in their cages were nibbling at leaves. There were guinea pigs for sale too. I was almost tempted to buy one of those cute white things!
Plants at Galiff Street Pet Market
“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.”
The plant lover can find his love here. Various seasonal and flowering plants are on display. And so are plants and other bonsai varieties. I just thought that if my mother ever visited this place, she would have gone entirely crazy seeing such varieties of flowering and ornamental plants. This is a wholesale market for all the needs of your garden.
There is also a section for pet accessories where you can find aquariums, bird’s cages and other things. Fish food is also sold here.
In spite of all its limitations, the Galiff Street Pet market is continuing a history. Being the oldest pet market of Kolkata, this place is a one-stop solution for the pet lovers and very rightly called the “pet lover’s paradise”. If you are in Kolkata and love animals, take some time on a Sunday and visit this “Shoker Bazar” (hobby market). You will not be disappointed.
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