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Kolkata’s Holi markets for your last-minute shopping spree

Holi in Kolkata is a unique experience. Known as Doljatra, the day begins with ‘probhatpheri’ (mini cultural processions in the neighborhood) and ‘Basanta Utsab,’ a celebration of the arrival of spring accompanied by melodies, songs, dances, and recitations in which people of all ages participate enthusiastically. And when it comes to Holi shopping? Whether you’re planning ahead a week before your Holi bash or seeking last-minute solutions, Kolkata’s markets like Barabazaar, Jadu Babur Bazaar, and New Market take the spotlight, having set up Holi markets weeks ago. Wondering about the top Holi market destinations? Here’s our pick.


If you’re in search of herbal gulaal, Abeer, water guns, masks, wigs, or water balloons, Barabazaar is a must-visit hub. As one of the largest wholesale markets in Eastern India, its lanes are filled with myriad shopkeepers stocking and selling an array of colors. Whatever you need to make your Holi celebrations memorable, you’ll find it here. “We usually stock up a month in advance but set up shops with Holi materials at least ten days before the festivities. We have several new items this year, like electric water guns, which have been selling like hotcakes,” shares a shopkeeper.

Jadu Babu Bazaar

While renowned for its fresh produce, meat, and fish, Jadu Babu Bazaar undergoes a transformation in the evenings a few days before Holi. Temporary makeshift shops and permanent ones alike offer everything from colors and water guns to masks. Shop owners note, “Modi masks are in high demand. People are opting for herbal colors the most, with pink and red being the favored shades this year.”

New Market

New Market, bustling with crowds daily, becomes even livelier during the Chaitra sale (year-ending stock clearance sale) and the vibrant Holi market. If you’re looking for Holi-special t-shirts, pajamas, or kurtas, New Market is the place to be. Searching for the trendiest Holi pichkaris and masks? You’ll find everything you need here. “Sales have been strong this year,” says Prasanta Manna, an old-timer shopkeeper selling colors and Holi essentials for almost a decade.