Browse the Books in Kolkata!

By June 7, 2019Free Friday
Image of woman at the world's largest secondhand book market in Kolkata

Thanks for joining us on this next edition of Free Friday, the blog that highlights free things to experience around the world. Today, we’re taking a stroll through Kolkata to any bookworm’s paradise: College Street Book Market. Even if you don’t want to purchase anything, it’s worth a visit to say you’ve visited the world’s largest secondhand book market.


Free Friday: World’s Largest Secondhand Book Market

Kolkata, India


Just over 200 years ago in 1817, a man named David Hare established the Hindu college on College Street. (And yes, that’s where the street takes its name). Since then, several other colleges have put down roots here and with all the academia floating around, it’s no surprise this is the site where the world’s largest secondhand book market developed. Today, the market is known locally as “Boi Para,” or “Colony of Books.”

Stacks of books at world's largest secondhand book market.

You never know what you’ll find at the world’s largest secondhand book market.


At nearly 1 million square feet, you’ll need a whole day in itself to truly see it all. It spans a mile along College Street. Even if you don’t wish to buy anything, it’s a sight worth seeing due to the sheer enormity of it all. If you’re a fan of Indian literature, you’re in luck! This landmark is home to the Indian Coffee House where many of the country’s most notable writers chose to take their cup of tea. You might be fortunate enough to stumble upon a rare book for a bargain price. Just be prepared to haggle with the many street vendors if you do indeed find a treasure.


Reaching the book market is easily accessible by car, bus, or train. Just be sure to let your Jaya agent know you wish to visit when you request your free travel quote! Call today or fill out the form here.

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