Galiff Street in Kolkata
Galiff Street in Kolkata is a haven for any and all pet enthusiasts. Also referred to as Bagbazar Sokher Haat, Galiff Street is a weekly marketplace that begins fresh in the day and closes late in the afternoons.
It is regarded as being one of India’s biggest pet marketplaces, having been in operation since the British era. Anything from various kinds of animals and birds, to numerous types of flora, may be found herein. Galiff Street is host to a wide variety and has the honor of being Asia’s largest weekly pet bazaar.
It is claimed that during the 18th century, the very last sovereign Nawab of Bengal, Siraj-ud-daula, established a specific region for elephant stable. Hatibagan was afterward given to this location. Several species gradually managed to get into the site.
A bazaar, or haat, developed over time, wherein livestock was purchased and traded. The marketplace grew in size over time. The bazaar was relocated from Hatibagan to Galiff Street because of space and traffic concerns. It is now a booming market for birds, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, fish, and flora.
Biggest Pet Market in India
Based on estimates, nearly 40 to 50,000 customers enter the market on a typical Sunday. Some of the numerous varieties observed here are birds, fishes, canines, rabbits, and even flowers.
The marketplace forbids the purchase, sale, or capture of bird kinds protected by the Indian Wildlife (Conservation) Act of 1972, including certain quails, bulbuls, and owls. If found in violation of this act, the individual might face up to seven years in jail or a Rs 25,000 penalty, or even both.
The typically sleepy, laid-back avenue transforms into a swarm of people. Owing to traffic congestion, the pet marketplace was relocated to Galiff Street in 1996 from Hatibagan. Vendors with exotic fish, pet canines, birds, and flowers may be seen at the marketplace from as far out as Khardah and Bandel.
Galiff Street was closed in March 2020 as a result of the Covid-19 induced shutdown. It later reopened in September 2020. Then again the third Covid wave did not show up to have made a bearing on Asia’s largest pet marketplace. According to some sellers, the pandemic had, on the flip side, boosted the numbers of animal lovers and enthusiasts, resulting in boosted market traffic.
The early hour’s sight is worthwhile, with a plethora of customers and vendors haggling with one another, and others wandering about with DSLR cameras to record the vibrantly active and colorful commercial area. The chattering birds, the pups barking, and the traders shouting contribute to the energy in the air.
The whole vicinity is usually buzzing from approximately 4:30in the morning till 2 in the afternoon. Pet shop proprietors and enthusiasts are one of the first to come in the early morning hours. Later buyers arrive between 7 and 8 a.m. This is a place wherein enthusiasts may offer their stock directly. The variety of pets available in this marketplace is just astounding.
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