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Artist Impression

Varnaparichay – the BOOK MALL

Dedicated book malls, even globally, are a rarity.There’s one at Denver in the US, and another is opening up at Shenzhen in China. Designed by renowned architect Mr. Hafeez Contractor, this is to create a landmark that will put Kolkata on the architectural map of the world.

Varnaparichay is India’s first integrated Book-Mall, a unique idea to bring together the publishers and the buyers, the bookshop owners and the book lovers from different corners of the world, in the collection of all kinds of books on earth. In a capsule, it will have anything and everything for all book lovers, in an area nearly of a million sq.ft. College Street is a unique place by itself and Varnaparichay will be an extension of this uniqueness.

Varnaparichay will have books in different subjects and in different languages. The book mall will accommodate much more than just a series of bookstalls, but will provide solutions to any sort of book related problem. Not only that, it will provide every conceivable facility required in a modern mall environment. This book mall will be a state of art theme mall.

College Street -The Cultural Epicentre Of Kolkata

College Street is the epicenter of Kolkata’s cultural milieu. In the early 19th century in process of building a better Kolkata, road axis along Cornwallis Street, College Street, Wellington Street and Wellesley Street, straight, central and convenient was made for greater convenience. This symbolizes a greater and happier deviation, which became the great seedbed of the aspiration of the enlightened Bengalis. Hindu College in 1817, Sanskrit College, the pioneer institute of oriental studies in 1824, Medical College, Asia’s first medical college in 1857 and Calcutta University in 1857, Hare School in 1872 made College Street the intellectual nerve centre of Kolkata. College Street virtually monopolized the administrative, academic and medical worlds of Bengal and even beyond. They still play an important part in all these spheres, but the street’s greatest function is as the “Cultural Capital of Kolkata”, the wellspring of its literary and scholarly vitality

Book Market Of College Street

The area is also popularly known as bai-para, ‘book quarter’ or ‘book mart’. The College Street bai-para is more than hundred years old. The world of academics and bookmen. The pavements overflow with makeshift bookstalls, half hidden behind them are the established bookshops, between which loom the walls of, Hare School, Presidency College (formerly Hindu College) and Calcutta University and Sanskrit College. The visible coexistence indicates the symbolic relation between the educational institutes and the book trade.

The Origin Of Varnaparichay

Varnaparichay is the first text book for basic Bengali education. The word Varnaparichay is a Bengali word meaning “introduction to Varna or alphabets”. This is the book of basic language construct and fundamentals compiled by Pandit Iswarchandra Vidyasagar, one of the most prominent scholar and social reformer of Bengal. This is our tribute to honour the contribution made by this great personality through this dedicated book mall, in the 150th year of the revolutionary book.

About The Project

Varnaparichay is a Public Private Partnership Project between Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Bengal Shelter Housing Development Ltd. The Kolkata Municipal area has 186 markets, 19 directly under the corporation, the other 167 privately owned. Many of them are over a century old. College Street Market, built in 1917 is the third oldest Municipal Market in Kolkata, directly under the Corporation, now in a very bad shape. This is an urban redevelopment programme of the College Street Municipal Market envisaged by the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.