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Head Out To This 1970s Shop Run By Two Sisters For A One-Of-A-Kind Sari

    Gariahat, Kolkata

    Great For

    What Makes It Awesome

    Looking for a standout sari this new year which will also be light enough to wear through the sultry days ahead? Make your way to Preetam, a small store that has been around on Rashbehari Avenue for more than four decades. They have saris for every kind of budget. And you can get a sari and have it embroidered or blockprinted and dyed.

    You will fall in love Pritikona Guin and Diparina Kar, the two sisters who have been lovingly running this charming shop since the ’70s. The sisters are known for their line of hand-dyed batiks on silks, chiffons and cottons. You must pick one up – especially the ones with cracks in multicolour (INR 1,600) which are hard to find. The sisters use their own designs and still do the batik themselves, as far as possible. Their range of handblock printed sarees on mulmul is perfect for Kolkata's sultry weather.

    The florals are elegant and classic, but it’s the contemporary prints that really shine. You must pick up one of the handbatiks in the softest chiffons. This one in dusty pink is light and ethereal and more expensive than the other saris at INR 4,500. They stock a range of light embroidered saris with both traditional (these will remind you of Parsi-style floral work) and modern patterns. This very geometric design on a kota sari (INR 750), for instance, is derived from Dhakai sari designs. Also worth a dekko are their hand applique saris in bold colourblocked cottons, perfect for special evenings.

    Pro Tip

    Situated close to the Sony Centre on Rashbehari Avenue, you’ll be able to spot the shop easily because of its distinctive red and yellow signage in handcarved wood. Try to come with some time in hand, the two sisters have so many stories if you just listen. Ask them about the gorgeous framed painting on a wall, done by their father who was a photographer with Philips India and a painter from the Government College of Art. And the alpona that runs through one side of the shop, handpainted by them. Ask their shop assistant Nandita Rai to help you drape the sari and see how you look. She’s been with them for decades.

      Gariahat, Kolkata