How Did The Streets Of Kolkata Get Their Names?

Ever wondered why this place near ballygung is called the Lovelock street or does Burra bazaar really mean Big Bazaar or Bad Bazaar? From where does Naktala or Dharamtala get their names? Let us dive into the history of the streets of Kolkata and the stories behind these interesting names.

Let’s start with the most famous streets of Kolkata,

The Park Street


The real name of this street is Mother Teresa Sarani Street. It is called Park Street because it runs through what earlier was Deer park of Sir Elijah, Chief Justice during 1773 to 1789.

Camac Street

streets of kolkata

Famous for its high-end shopping. Real name of this street is Abanindranath Thakur Sarani. The older name came from Sir William Camac, the rich merchant of the British era.

Theatre Road

streets of kolkata

Come towards Chowringhee and you will cross the famous Theatre road, now renamed as Shakespear Sarani. The original got from the “Theatre of Calcutta” from 1813 to 1839. The Theatre burned down in in 1839 and was never rebuilt.

Sudder Street

streets of kolkata

South of Shakespear Sarani, you will find Sudder street. It is famous among foreigners and notorious for sales of drugs. Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore lived on 10 Sudder street for a brief period of time.


streets of kolkata

Another peculiar name of the street is Hatibagan, bagan mean garden and Hati is elephant. The story goes back to the time of Nawab Siraj Ud Daula, who kept his elephants here.

Lovelock street

streets of kolkata

Don’t get your imagination running now! The street got its name for all the right reasons. It is named after businessman Arthur Samuel lovelock.  Lovelock lived in Ballygunge and the house in which he lived still stands near the entrance of Lovelock Place.


streets of kolkata

Any guesses about the real origin of Burrabazar, it seems like a big or bad bazaar.  The neighbourhood was earlier named after ‘Buro’, the popular name of Shiva. The Hindi-speaking merchants who ousted the earlier local merchants, made it ‘Bara”.


Word origin of Naktala is perhalps pretty simple, according originally it was Nag(tala) where nag means snake. The pronunciation played chinese whispers and became Nak means Swarg or Heaven.


streets of kolkata

Dharamtala is very evidently Holy street from its word “Dharam”. Haris and Doms, who are worshippers of Dharmathakur, predominant in the area even in the memorable past. Whatever be the name, there aren’t many places of worship in Dharamtala.

As we have seen, Kolkata is superfluous with strange street names and renames. Whatever be the name of street, they will always be beautiful and mystic in its existence.



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