First Floating Market in India – A Visit to Patuli Lake

India's First Floating Market

Since the clock struck 12 on 31st December 2017, hundreds of us from every corner of the world claimed that it will be a “new year, new beginning”. And, for most of us, it has been – a new year and a new beginning that is. Over the past year, our beloved country also has made a lot of new developments – the introduction of GST, the introduction of India as a full member to Shanghai Cooperation Organization, 71 years of Independence, banning of Triple Talaq, and so on and so forth. The year 2018 will also bring a lot of changes (hopefully positive) and to set the stage for the same, on 26th January 2018, Kolkata’s Patuli Lake was rewarded with what is and will always remain in the country’s history as the First Floating Market in India 

First Floating Market in India

 

The Patuli Floating market is an attempt by the Government to rehabilitate the hundreds of shopkeepers who were made to move from the nearby VIP Patuli market after it was demolished for the purpose of widening the Eastern Metropolitan Bypass.

Luckily for the shop owners, they can now set up shop in the boats by paying a meager “maintenance fee” of INR 5 per day. As confirmed by one of the shop owners, the money is used towards the upkeep of the area and to pay the security staff that manages the market area.

Here is everything you need to know about the First Floating Market in India:

Location

Patuli Lake, Kolkata

Timings

06:00 AM to 09:00 PM (the hours may vary on Sunday so check before you go)

Admission Cost

Free

How To Get There

You can take a cab or bus to get here. It’s located on EM Bypass so all the buses that go towards Garia should halt there. It’s always good to check though.

So, what exactly can you expect out of First Floating Market in India?

In all fairness, I went on Sunday and to say that it was crowded is an understatement. Nonetheless, the well-constructed wooden pathways make it extremely convenient to walk around.

Truly inspired by the floating markets of Bangkok, Thailand, the Floating Market has around 200 shops set around in over 100 boats selling everything that you can expect in a normal Indian Bazaar such as fruits, vegetables, grocery items, fish, and meat, and some that you do not expect to see inside a Floating market such as a salon, a tailor shop, garments, and even beddings (go figure!).

First Floating Market in India

The best part – the rates are the same (maybe just a couple of bucks here and there).

The area is huge and is nicely decorated with fountains sprouting from between the lake. Once you complete walking the left side (there are walkways in between if you wanted to cross over to the other side) and take u-urn to get to the right, there are comfortable wooden benches for you to relax and a public toilet. There is a restaurant at the entrance for some quick bites if you’d like.

India's First Floating Market

I preferred the small shops set up on the boats for my quick fix – tea, boiled eggs, and a few other stuff for you to enjoy while you gawk at the beautifully decorated boats. After all, you are here to enjoy India’s First Floating Market so why eat at a restaurant?

First Floating Market in India – Yay or Nay?

Absolutely Yay!

If you are a resident or visiting the city, don’t miss a chance to be here. Of course, it is not as fancy as the ones in Bangkok and you don’t really get to enjoy a boat tour, but, Kolkata has done its best and the place is a great spot to have a quick weekend visit (and cater to our grocery needs at the same time).

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