by Islam Sadequle
The last decade has witnessed a rush in the number of shopping malls in Dhaka city. Wherever you reside, chances are high that you have a shopping mall just a few blocks away. Most of the city dwellers are familiar with shopping in these malls and the markets having the accessibility of getting everything under a single roof. But even though at times we feel the urge to rush back to the old places and see what new things have arrived there. Today Trends will take you such a place in the old town area where you can experience the essence of exceptional shopping. Yes it’s all about the biggest and of course the oldest clothes market of the country, Islampur. And with Eid just a month away, cloth shopping is surely in the top of the list of activities for most people.
Narrow zigzag streets, buzzing crowd, old mossy buildings, vans and rickshaws loaded with various colourful clothes, that is Islampur is a nutshell. But this market is not a tale of the recent past. It started from British period. In Pakistan period this market expanded step by step. After independence of Bangladesh this cloth market gradually became the largest cloth market of the country.
Islampur bazaar is famous for wholesale clothes market. Most of the buyers of this clothing market are the retailers from different parts of the city as well as the country. It stands on the bank of Buriganga River in old Dhaka near Sadarghat. It is the area which is supposed to be abuzz with customers all the day long.
Be it wearable clothes or clothes for decorating your house, Islampur offers you maximum option in reasonable price. Jamdani, Rajshahi silk, hand paints saris, katan, batik saris are few of the many types of fabrics available here. Beside the local goods customers can also find various apparels from the neighbouring countries. Women’s tops, three pieces, shirt pieces, pant pieces, bed sheet, bed cover, lungi and every type of clothes can be found here. In addition to these various types of than kapor and gauge clothes is also available here. Apart from this everything needed for making dress including thread, needle, button and hanger can also be found in this wholesale market.
Islampur market is not only a center of attraction for local people, expatriate and travellers who are aware of its existence never miss the chance to visit the place. ‘I do not mind shopping here although the place can be claustrophobic at times. Besides, this is where my pocket permits me to shop at will’, said Nahidul Islam, a student of Dhaka University. Though this place will offer you clothes with a very considerable amount of pricing, the quality is not dire at all if you can choose properly.
There are thousands of whole sale shops here which is a shopping haven for ordinary people and cloth traders. Islampur itself is the combination of some nuclear markets like Jahangir tower, Latif Tower, Ahsanullah Super Market, Lion Tower, Kader Sharkar Tower, Doulot Complex, Amanullah Complex, Khaless Mansion, Khan Mansion, Hayat Dulon complex. Beside these, a lot of small markets also available in Islampur.
Most of the businessmen here have been continuing this business as a part of their family heritage for the years and sometimes for decades. Ahsan Ali Haider who is the owner of Haider Traders said that his forefathers had started this business during British period, now he is the fourth generation of Haider family still continuing this shop and hopes to carry on this business in the future also.
Islampur is not only a place for business and whole sale shopping. If you want to make your shopping experience a memorable one at Islampur, you can have a visit at the nearest Ahsan Manzil, one of the most meaningful architectural heritage of Bangladesh which is also known as the pink palace. Gol Talab (Round Pond), Choto Katra, Boro Katra, Ancient Mosques are also some historical places you can at least visit here.
After a long-drawn-out day of shopping, you are able to feast on some flavourful local street food sold at the tiny food stalls all around the market compound. For example, spicy treats like chotpoti, puri, jhal muri and haleem will tantalize your taste buds. While roaming around this place, the famous traditional Dhakaiya Shorbot can trim down your tiredness and the thirst in the summer days. You can also allow your taste buds to go through the traditional old Dhakaiya foods here at Nanna Restaurant, Hajir Biriany, Kashmir Biriany, Beauty lassi and faluda and many more. The mouth-watering food of Islampur will not only fill your stomach up but also create love for the food which will take you back again and again to this area.
Islampur Bazaar starts at 9:30am and closes by 8:00pm.This market is closed on Friday and all government holidays.
It’s true that here at Islampur you will not find the very soothing atmosphere like that in the shopping malls of the city. There is no place for parking your car also. But it is obvious that Islampur will provide you an incomparable feeling, special charm which you will not find at any other market in the country. So pay a visit to Islampur and make this year’s Eid shopping a memorable one.