Where is Sonagachi?

This is a travelogue I wrote many years ago. However, every day, over 300 visitors from India find this website when they search “Sonagachi” on Google. It’s not hard to imagine that many of them do not come for the interests in traveling. This makes me uncomfortable. I have been hesitating whether to delete this article, some day maybe.

Yes, Kolkata, the largest red light district in Asia. In 2004, an Oscar winner documentary <Born into Brothels> was filmed in the red light district which named “Sonagachi”, so I was interested to visit this area when I arrived Kolkata. However, it’s not easy for foreigners to find the place quickly. There is no “Sonagachi” the point on Google Map. To google the name, all the results are not quite clear.

  • Sonagachi is located in North Kolkata near the intersection of Chittaranjan Avenue and Shobhabazar with Beadon Street.
    — You will not find “Shobhabazar with Beadon Street”.
  • about one kilometer north of Kolkata’s Marble Palace area.
    — It’s true, but it does not mean you could find it.
  • from sova bazar metro station Sonagachi is 3 minutes walking distance.
    — Also true, but which direction?

The GPS coordinate on Wikipedia is not accurate as well. Actually, the red light district is not very large as you imagine. The central brothels area is smaller than any large casino in Las Vegas. Especially in daytime – maybe you are afraid to visit at night – most of the brothels seem no difference with other buildings. Walking on the street over 34 Celsius, guessing whether the lady walking around you is a prostitute. What an absurd adventure, I talked to myself.

It took me more than 2 hours seeking between Marble Palace and Sova Bazar, till I give up to find it via Google. I tried to take a tu-tu Taxi: “Sonagachi? Women?” Surprisely (but I like it), many Taxi refused to drive me there. Some of them just showed me the direction. Then I kept walking and asking, finally I found it.

The main streets of the red light district are Gdurgacharan Miira St and Abinash Kabiraj St. In each alley you can see many brothels and pimps and prostitutes, but they are not very far from the main streets.

Considering the street names always change in India. I think the correct GPS coordinates should be < N22.5929 E88.3618 >.


Sonagachi is dangerous, with its HIV rates and some blackmail issues in the deal. But it is not so dangerous if you just want to have a look. The district is close to city central. On Gdurgacharan Miira St there are food and grocery stores. Many local people live there as a normal India busy area. At the crossing of the two main streets, policemen sit aside the shrine, with or without uniform, but it seems they are just to prevent violence.

Following my instruction, two young girls in my hotel visited Sonagachi the next evening. Of course they gained a lot of weird eyesight. Anyway, as foreigners, they did not feel much insecure at least on main streets.



16 responses to “Where is Sonagachi?”

  1. rajash Avatar

    I want a girl for one night

    1. Sksaw Avatar

      One night ka pata nahi,par ek shot ka charge hi wahan Tay Kiya jata hoga
      ,Shayad mere hisab se,Maine iske regarding men jitne bhi YouTube par videos dekhen hai, usmen to sirf 200 rupaye, 250 rupaye Tak ki hi baat suni.
      Baaki wahin jakar pata chalega.

      1. Arjun Chakrabarti Avatar
        Arjun Chakrabarti

        No brother……..the rate of sonaga6i varies widely starts from 250 and goes upto 10k/12k…..it depends on how the building is and beauty of the girls…….the popular high rate buildings are Nilkamal, Premkamal, Sweety Angel,Dream House, Shanti palace (Marwari girls) etc…….if u go straight following the “abinash Kaviraj street ” after walking for 4 minutes we will start seeing brothels at both side of the street….some buildings like dream house ,sweety angel etc…they have written their names on the buildings broadly…..if u want to know everything about sonaga6i premium buildings then mail me at: [email protected]

    1. Sksaw Avatar


  2. Krishna k karmakar Avatar
    Krishna k karmakar

    I went to fucking….

    1. Sksaw Avatar

      Jao Bhai

  3. Mike Thornton Avatar
    Mike Thornton

    Why did those girls get weird looks if it is a safe place ? Is it safe for a white male foreigner to visit there ? I am just curious. Please clarify. I do not understand. Thanks.

    1. fivestone Avatar

      It’s safe, I believe. I don’t know what kind of weird looks you found in the picture. I think it’s no much difference while the local people observed by foreigners. Probably a little bit more intense in such environment. Anyway, they won’t smile to you and solicite for their business.

  4. Rajeev Avatar

    Your feedback and exact location is amazingly wonderful and exact…. But I would like to add that never never take more money n wallet or any other doc with you….. There are many many gals who will be innocent before you and give you very cheap offer of 250 -500 yes two fifty to five hundred Rs only…. Na after reaching at their place they will call their more friend in room and Search ur whole clothes n take away every thing cash n other consumables….n u would be nothing but a frustrated and loosee fellow…..
    I also advise if it happens with you… Be bold and strong and threat them to call or come with police again in shortwhile….

    1. Rajeev Avatar

      N police is really available at the corner of Street… Atleast once try to contact police n give ur complaint

  5. Rik Avatar

    Come to my home & give your number

  6. Sharafatali Avatar

    I I I’m coming

  7. Im Avatar

    I want to number

  8. Attar singh Avatar

    Life partner chahiye mil jayega kya yaha pe

  9. prashant kumar Avatar
    prashant kumar

    Kaun sa bus pakarna parega bhai

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