Thousands take the gateway to Kolkata – Howrah Bridge – every day to earn a living. Right under the iconic structure, at the entry to the city, is the century-old Mullick Ghat flower market which comes alive at 3 in the morning regularly.
One may witness the scenes and gauge them to be still primitive. Here, mostly vendors from the suburbs take the earliest trains to Howrah and march to the market with their flower trugs on top of their heads. Few workers live in makeshift shacks also. While festive and marriage seasons provide the market with a thrill, the routine for the vendors turns tough during winters, when Kulhad chai and hot samosa are the only sustenance at dawn.
Once a fire had burnt down the market to ashes over a decade back, now, sees more than 2,000 vendors set up a bustling outdoor market offering a wide selection of colourful flowers and garlands for sale. With the social media interest on the rise, the place provides shutterbugs with scores of Insta-worthy shots and a feel of rustic colonial planning.
Marigold, Tuberose, Lotus, Hibiscus, Mogra, Shankhpushpi, paan leaf, Bouganvilla, blue pea, milkweed and hundreds of other varieties can be spotted here. However, skirts of garlands hung around the necks of the vendors in a very common sight. While one moves around the market, the liveliness can be sensed around. The dingy by lanes and muddy roads almost turned like a green carpet with leaves chopped and fallen from the flowers.
Don’t miss out the Ghat at the end of the market. The splendid view of the intimidating Howrah Bridge stands next to none. However, if you’re lucky on your day, at around 7am, you may get to see local wrestlers practise their art on a small caged area of sand set near the river bank.