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nikhilwannabee

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Posts: 191
Reply with quote  #1 
Well, I have been thinking for some time to visit Kalcutta and see the sites (and Sitars!) Are there recomendations about the best shops and most skilled instrument makers? many thanks for your advice... 8)
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trippy monkey

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Reply with quote  #2 
Rash Behari Avenue seems to be the place to visit for all your sitar needs.
Not exactly sure where it is but I'm due to visit Kolkatta in the next few weeks.

Nick
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pg382

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #3 
Rashbehari Avenue
Quote:
Originally Posted by "trippy
Rash Behari Avenue seems to be the place to visit for all your sitar needs.
Not exactly sure where it is but I'm due to visit Kolkatta in the next few weeks.

Nick
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cream_cheese

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Posts: 143
Reply with quote  #4 
The two shops owned by Hemen Sen are both on Rashbehari Avenue. One is right opposite Deshapriya Park, the address is 140 Rash Behari Avenue. Another land mark is a govt. school called Tirthapati Institution. This is where you will find the man himself. Had a great chat with him this time when I was back in Kolkata. There is another shop very close to this one called Jhankar.

The other Hemen shop is right beside Triangular park, about a 10 minute walk from this store towards Gariahat, on the same side of the road. I think his elder son takes care of this shop most of the times.

Do let me know how your trip goes.
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nikhilwannabee

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Reply with quote  #5 
Thanks, I'm just in the planning stages now, but when I make the trip I will let you know. It seems like Kalcutta is the pace to go for sitars1
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Keshavdas

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Reply with quote  #6 
My two cents . . . a visit to Calcutta is not complete without a visit to JK Sengupta.
His numbers are 2576-7259 Home and 933977-1010 Mobile. I don't have his address
but it's easy to get to. Just take the subway to Shobha Bazaar and it's a few blocks
away. Mr. Sengupta speaks excellent English and can direct you to the the shop.
His stuff is really great and very reasonably priced. Virtually all of Manilal Nag's
students buy their sitar at his shop.

Naskar and Sons can be visited at 19 Ganga Prasad Mukerji Road - in Bhowanipur
district. Worth checking out.

If you're looking to buy CDs - very few shop in India ever have much in the way
of classical. A great place to visit is Music World at 18 Park Street and also
Planet M at 22 Camac Street both in the "downtown area" not far from Sudder Street
which is the popular "Tourist Ghetto" for cheap hotels where all the firengees tend
to congregate.
Cheers,
Keshav

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Lars

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Reply with quote  #7 
Ahhhh, the tourist ghetto and the Blue Sky Cafe....Was just at Music World and not real impressed with the selection there. Got an old recording of Alauddin Khan and Imdad Khan there but really not much offered. Try Planet M first, I never made it to there..
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Keshavdas

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Posts: 351
Reply with quote  #8 
Quote:
Originally Posted by "Lars"
Ahhhh, the tourist ghetto and the Blue Sky Cafe....Was just at Music World and not real impressed with the selection there. Got an old recording of Alauddin Khan and Imdad Khan there but really not much offered. Try Planet M first, I never made it to there..
Hey Baba,
...... I never said it was an impressive place - but if you found any shop
in India that had a better classical collection - please share it here.
Purty much every place I've ever been in has 98% Bollywood and Bhangra stuff.
Last time I was in Delhi and Calcutta I visited with all the different
music distributors that supply the shops (buying CDs for my shop) and the
pitiful selection of ICM recordings available was enough to make a
strong man weep. We here in the States don't know how lucky we are to
be able to go to shops like Shrimati's and J&R Music with huge collections
under one roof unequaled by any one shop in India. BTW - Planet M is the
better shop.
Cheers,
K

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pg382

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #9 
A good place to look for classical CDs and cassettes is the store called Melody. They have two branches - one is right next to the Kalighat metro station, on Rashbehari Ave and the other one is at Gol Park, on Gariahat Road, opposite Ramakrishna Institute of Culture (they just held their annual HCM festival, a couple of weeks back). Melody also has a store for musical instruments, on Rashbehari Ave itself - to the east of the CD store.

Then there's the good old M. Biswas & Symphony - on Chowringhee Road, right next to the Metro Cinema (just outside the Esplanade metro station). The back of the store is a much more place to browse, than one would guess by looking at the front counter. The attendants typically pile a bunch of CDs in front of you, if you name an artist and if they happen to have anything of him/her. There are several Symphony clones which have cropped up now on Lenin Srani, in the immediate neighbourhood. With his digicam, I'm sure Nick would have a nice time browsing the area. [Good kebab and tikka roll stalls dot the area and there's a really BIG watering hole called Shaw's, right behind Symphony's - in case interest is sparked!]

I don't know how to customise Google Maps, otherwise I could have marked out all these locations.

footnote: Jhankar near Deshapriya Park used to organise their own music fest even a few years, acc. to a friend. Maybe, cream_cheese can provide more information? Acc. to my friend, Bahadur Khan used to be a big force behind the event (he used to live around there) and even AAK had performed from time to time.
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RichardH

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Posts: 113
Reply with quote  #10 
Just north of the Sudder St. tourist ghetto is an area of music shops, a whole street full... behind Lal Bazar Police station... I wouldn't recommend actually buying anything there, but it's not to be missed.

Videos which may be of interest, especially to those who have not yet been to India:

http://www.kaura.com/calcuttatabla.mov

http://www.kaura.com/delhimusicstores.mov

http://www.kaura.com/Musicinvaranasi.mov

http://www.kaura.com/beatlesashram.mov

http://www.kaura.com/rishikesh.mov

http://www.kaura.com/depressingindia.mov

Do these guys remind anyone else of an American version of the Conchords?
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Keshavdas

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Posts: 351
Reply with quote  #11 
Actually - on that street - is J. Mondal (and there are a host of copycat "Mondals") is an excellent shop for tablas, harmoniums, and all kinds of ICM related gear. When in Calcutta I alway end up buying a ton of stuff from them for my shop. They make really wonderful violins with sympathetic strings - for which they have a steady stream of discerning European customers. I highly recommend a visit to J. Mondal. They are very much straight-shooter guys with reasonable prices. The owner is a really genteel guy. One of my favorite relaxing "do nothing" activities is hanging out at J. Mondal drinking chai and watching the guys hand lay the shyahi on the tabla pudis.
........Also right next door (down an alley) is Sardar and Sons one of the really old music shops of Calcutta.They are to the left as you are heading back to the staircase that leads up to Monoj Kumar's warehouse/factory where Monoj's main office is. This is apart from Monoj's storefront place around the corner on the street where you find all the shops selling fancy tea leaves by the pound and the guys with the 60 year old Royal and Remington typewriters who will compose letters for illiterate street workers. Sardar's doesn't have a huge selection of first class stuff like they did 20 years ago - but if you browse carefully - there are treasures to be found.
Best,
Keshav

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then is done by evildoers through wickedness."


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pg382

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Posts: 95
Reply with quote  #12 
well, that area's Chitpur (i.e., the area which is north of Lalbazar) and that's always been dotted with musical instruments' stores.

and, if one is staying around the Lytton-Fairlawn area (aka Sudder Street), then Free School Street (aka Mirza Ghalib St.) is just a couple of minutes to the east and there are several stores there which stock 1000s of second hand LPs (including HCM).
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Keshavdas

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Posts: 351
Reply with quote  #13 
I was replying to the post just before mine which referred to Lal Bazaar behind the police station.
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element-82

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Posts: 317
Reply with quote  #14 
Nice videos Richard. Thanks for sharing them.

Pb
Quote:
Originally Posted by "RichardH"
Just north of the Sudder St. tourist ghetto is an area of music shops, a whole street full... behind Lal Bazar Police station... I wouldn't recommend actually buying anything there, but it's not to be missed.

Videos which may be of interest, especially to those who have not yet been to India:

http://www.kaura.com/calcuttatabla.mov

http://www.kaura.com/delhimusicstores.mov

http://www.kaura.com/Musicinvaranasi.mov

http://www.kaura.com/beatlesashram.mov

http://www.kaura.com/rishikesh.mov

http://www.kaura.com/depressingindia.mov

Do these guys remind anyone else of an American version of the Conchords?

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Surbahar Dude (formerly Sitar Dude)
http://sitarplayer.net
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