Agartala: Along with the winter winds in Tripura, there comes a bunch of traders from Bhutan to offer a warm winter deal. They set shop in Bhutani Market in Agartala, the state’s capital for four months and sell woollens.
The community has been doing this for over five decades now.
EastMojo spoke with Sonam Bhutia, the ‘Pradhan’ of Bhutani Market in Agartala, who said that they have been visiting Agartala for over five decades now during the winter season with woollen clothes.
“We come here from Bhutan every year for a period of four months and set up our shops here. My parents had started coming here 35 years back. Now, we took charge and it has been more than 25 years that I am visiting Agartala every year,” Bhutia said.
He added that they started business in Guwahati and Shillong but eventually shifted to Agartala. It was difficult in the starting years for all of us to continue the business here but slowly it became easy for us, said Bhutia.
Talking about the clothing they offer, Bhutia said that clothes for all age groups, starting from infants to elderly people, are made available at the market.
On how the market was named, he said since they are from Bhutan, people started calling them Bhutani and likewise, the market was named Bhutani Market.
A total of nine families set up about 18 shops in the Bhutani Market as they stay in Agartala for four months — October to January. The rates in the Bhutani Market are fixed. However, the price here is cheaper than the local market, informed Sonam Bhutia.
Pinki Pal, a customer said, the difference between the other markets and here is that in a single roof all the woollen clothes are available. “The children, ladies and gents items are available here at very reasonable prices. We are coming here for more than the last 15 years and I am getting the products here. The market has the capacity to attract a lot of customers,” Pal added.
The shopkeepers go back to Bhutan in the month of February. After a month’s rest, they once again start preparing clothes and designs for the next season.