Firstly, India has one of the rich and diverse set of textiles, jewellery and handicrafts. Above all, the history & culture of India has significantly contributed to the diversity in its handicrafts. Similar variety and range of products are hardly available elsewhere. In other words, the rich tapestry of India offers exquisite textiles, handicrafts & jewellery. Therefore, it is certainly not surprising that tourists to India are always on the look out to buy interesting souvenirs. For instance, tourists are typically interested in a Kashmiri carpets, pashmina shawls, bronze statues, Ayurvedic products and silk fabrics. Above all, they certainly don’t want to be quoted a ‘tourist’ rate. Therefore, ShopKhoj has put together a list of 20 best souvenirs from India and the best shops for these souvenirs in 7 Indian cities.
Best 20 Souvenirs From India and where to buy them.
Pashmina, is the most wonderful shawl you can buy in India. For instance, Pashmina is a special breed of Asian mountain goat that can be found in the high altitudes.AS a matter of fact, it produces the wool ‘Pashm’. Further, the wool is extremely soft and light. Pashmina shawls are available in a variety of colours and with delicate hand embroidery. However, one must make sure that cheap synthetic material is not passed off as pashmina. In other words, one should buy Pashmina from an authentic shop. Further, there are, a host of good shops that offer pure pashmina stoles and shawls. Take a look here,
Similar to pashmina shawls from Kashmir are the Kashmiri carpets. Firstly, Kashmiri carpets are handmade and hand-knotted in Kashmir. For example, carpet weaving is a small scale industry in Kashmir. Further, the carpets can be made in silk, wool or a combination of both. For instance ,the higher the knots/square inch in a carpet, the higher the price of the carpet. Further, silk carpets with higher knots are prized possessions and are typically passed down from one generation to another. In other words, they are heirloom products.
Jaipur : Rajasthan Small cottage industries, Channi carpets and textiles pvt. Ltd., Jaipur boutique carpet
The Mongol and Chinese techniques of glazing tiles is the origin of blue pottery. In other words, The Mughlas first introduced this craft in India. However, the Indigo dye that is used, lends itself to the name. For instance, this form of pottery is widely prevalent in Turkey today. As a matter of fact ,Persian motifs are used in making tiles, plates, cups as well as several other items in India.
Firstly, brass is an alloy that is widely used to make decorative articles especially in South India. Therefore, they are light weight as compared to bronze. For instance, artists use brass to make traditional lamps and articles for religious purposes. In other words, they are typically used for everyday items. Further, it will cost you Rs 400 for a small handicraft piece.
Firstly juttis and mojaris, are closed footwear made from camel leather. Further, they are widely used in the deserts of Rajasthan. Today, they are available in a variety of colours and designs. They are simple and uncomplicated footwear. In other words, young women pair juttis with jeans, salwars and other fashionable dresses. Hence, juttis and Mojaris are considered fashionable footwear today.
Sculptures are made of bronze. Assyria, the ancient Greek kingdom and India were the two countries where bronze was widely used to make sculptures. In addition, during the Chola period in India (9TH-13TH C), the statues and idols were made according to the shilpa shastras (codified standards for arts & crafts) in India. Above all, the making of bronze sculpture survives to this day in India in a place called Swamimalai. It is near Kumbakonam in the State of Tamil Nadu. Paintings and sculptures are popular in India. Therefore, several people from abroad are keen to have a sculpture of Gods & Goddesses such as Shiva, Parvathy, Lakshmi or the dancing Natraja.
Huge bronze statue (2’ in height)– Price Rs. 1.8 Lakhs
Dhurries are cotton floor coverings widely used in India. Above all, they are utilitarian. In addition, they assuredly add colour & aesthetics to the surroundings. For instance, Ikea and other well known home decor companies source dhurries from India. Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh Rajasthan & Karnataka in South India have large scale dhurrie making centers.
Similarly, the light weight, fluffy and incredibly soft cotton quilts from Jaipur are also known as razais or dohars. They are available in pastel colours in block prints. These are some of the best souvenirs from India.
Jaipur :- Ocean Collection, soma , Ratan Textiles, Saurashtra impex, M. K textiles
Kolkata: Rajasthan Govt. Handicraft Emporioum
Bangalore: Anokhi, Fabindia, Hometown, Goodearth
Chennai: Anokhi,Kilol and Rui
Price range –Rs. 2000/ Rs. 4000 for a pair.
9. Kutch Embroidery
Kutch embroidery presents a colourful & vibrant tapestry. The patchwork of several embroidered pieces makes for a beautiful wall hanging or a bed cover. Price range – Rs. 10000 for a 5’3′ well embroidered wall hanging
The Madhubani paintings are done in Mithila in Bihar. In other words, artists reproduce scenes from Indian mythology in a colourful manner in these paintings. Further, these paintings were originally done on the floor of the house and on mud walls. However ,today, it is done on canvas, cloth as well as on paper. Further, rice paste and natural dyes are used. For example, traditionally, it was done with fingers or twigs. Therefore, Madhubani paintings have a distinct style. Further, there is a lot of emphasis on the eyes & there is no empty space in the canvas. This piece of art is certainly worth a buy.
Colored stones are inlaid on a marble base to create amazing patterns & designs. For instance, The Taj Mahal is the most prominent example of this form of Indian handicraft. Besides, table tops, tiles and plates are some of the items on which Marble inlay work is done. The State of Rajasthan and Agra in Uttar Pradesh are the main centers for this kind of inlay work.
Miniature paintings are hand made paintings depicting scenes from the Mughal era, or of Indian royalty. For example, they are small in size. Therefore the name. For instance ,they are done on canvas or on paper. In fact, the miniature paintings take inspiration from the rock paintings from the Bhimbetka rock shelters and the Ajanta Caves. However, they were later influenced by Mughal miniatures.
Above all ,the palas(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pala_Empire) of Bengal were the pioneers in this art. In addition, currently, Rajashtan State is where the art is taught in places such as Kishangarh, Bundi, Jaipur, Marwar & Mewar.
Puppets are definitely one of the oldest form of entertainment. They are nearly 1000 years old. Puppets were used to narrate historical stories . Kath means wood and putli means doll. Kathputli means puppets in Hindi. Above all, folk tales and stories with puppets form the backdrop at village fairs and festivals in Rajasthan. The dolls are colourfully dressed in Rajasthani costumes. Price Range – Rs. 500 for a pair
Firstly, there is an astonishing variety of popular silver jewellery in India. In other words, Jaipur is certainly one of the best places for silver jewellery in India. For example ,nose rings, bangles, as well as chains and bracelets are among the popular silver items to shop in India.
Ayurveda has become increasingly popular in the world, similar to the popularity of Yoga. Both Ayurveda & Yoga are native to India. For instance ,the emphasis is on holistic and natural health & wellness in both Ayurveda and Yoga. However, Ayurvedic products do not contain chemicals. Above all ,they are made from natural herbs. Therefore, Ayurvedic skin products such as cleansers, moisturizers, skin softening creams, massage oils and hair vitalizers are very popular today. These are some of the best souvenirs from India
Firstly, it is said to be the second most expensive wood in the world, after African blackwood. For instance ,sandalwood paste is prepared by grinding the sandalwood on a wooden slab. Further, it is integral to Hindu rituals and ceremonies.
In addition, the paste is also distributed to devotees, who apply it to their foreheads or the neck area and chest. In addition, it is known for its cooling & calming influence on the worshipper. For instance, both sandalwood and the sandalwood oil extracted therefrom have a distinct fragrance. Figurines made of sandalwood are very expensive. Above all ,sandalwood figurines are absolutely beautiful.
India is the 2nd largest producer of tea in the world. As a matter of fact, Darjeeling & Assam teas are quite popular all over the world. Above all, it was the British East India Company who was instrumental in the the large scale cultivation of tea in the North East. Further, they procured land from the local tribes, who owned the land in Assam. The Assam Tea Company started commercial production around 1840.
Finally, there is a long list of spices that are native to India. Spices are undoubtedly an integral part of Indian cooking. India’s southwest coastal port known as Muziris, in Kerala, had established itself as a major spice trade centre from as early as 3000 BC. Kerala was the place traders and explorers wanted to reach, including Christopher Columbus, Vasco da Gama, and others. ” Muziris disappeared, presumably because of a cataclysmic event, in 1341. However, the spice route and the spice trade in India were well established by then.
In other words, the readymade masalas made with the spices are popular in India. Further, the Madras curry powder, the chikan tikka masala, the butterchiken masala and fish masalas certainly add a distinct flavor to food.