Shopping in Nepal

Nepal offers you wide variety of shopping opportunity which is mostly authentic items as being country rich in culture and traditional arts. Travelers can enjoy shopping mostly handmade items - wooden crafts, metal crafts, stone crafts, handmade paper items, jewelries made from precious stones, paintings, and cottage garment product around tourists market. In kathmandu valley Patan is popular for both metal and stone crafts and Bhaktapur for wooden and potteries. Besides in modern market travelers can also buy several imported items as well.  

Nepal's most popular and best known souvenir items are given bellow with short description:


  1. Stamps and Coins

Some most popular Nepalese stamps and coins can be purchased at most souvenir shops as well as at book stores of Patan, BhaktapurJhochhe, Thamel and Hanuman Dhoka areas of Kathmandu Durbar Square. Nepalese stamps date back to 1907 and there after up to now many interesting and colorful sets have been issued time to time in different occasions for example birds and wild animals, mountain, temple, flowers, historical monuments and respecting different subjective scholars are mentioned. Travelers can buy miscellaneous sets containing fifty or one hundred stamps per packet as well some of most famous Nepalese, Bangladesh, Mongolian, Vietnam, Tibetan, Chinese and Bhutanese stamps. Same as some various coins of historical interest are also available in the souvenir shops of tourist market for your valuable collation which are minted in different occasion time to time.

  1. Folk Music Records, Music CDs, Music VCDs, DVDs and Musical Instruments

As Nepal is being vast diversified country in the world it is also rich in different culture as well popular for its unique folk music. Travelers can enjoy traditional folk musical dance show at several authentic Nepalese restaurants in Kathmandu and in other major tourist places. Some of most popular folk records can purchase and collect as a souvenir from Nepal which is abundantly available at music shops. Travelers can get varieties of traditional instrumental music or folk song records some of them are ReshamFiriri, ChangbahaiChyanba, Om Mane Padme … Sarangi and flute tune most popular among the travelers.

One can also purchase traditional Musical Instruments like Maadal( drum), Bansuri ( flute) , Murchunga ( typical instrument played by mouth), Panchebaja ( fusion of five instruments) which are very popular.

  1. Jewelry - Ornaments and Precious Stones

Many indigenous Nepalese and Tibetan style jewelries can be found in Nepal’s tourist market frequently. Some best souvenirs to buy-bracelets, rings, earrings and bangles usually decorated different precious stones tourmaline, garnet, aquamarine, coral, turquoise and smoky quartz. Many of them common ornaments and available in market are used by locals as a religious purpose as well fashion among young hearts. Due to its unique style and very attractive models are most demandable and also main exports of the nation.

  1. Idols and Images

Buddhist and Hindu images of deities and Gods are one of the Nepal's most famous souvenir items which are antique and unique style traditional designed. They are available frequently in many tourist shops in Nepal and made of bronze metal, copper, silver wooden stone and animal bones. Some of the most popular images of monuments- Pashupatinath temple, Swayambhunath stupa, Bauddhanath stupa and Krishna temple are also available in both wooden and metal. Although most of the wooden, stone and metal images available in the shopping stall it is forbidden to take out of the country any artifact more than one hundred years old without specific written permission from the Archaeology Department.

  1. Bags and Purses

Although not the traditional Nepalese items, some of them are very popular fashionable handbags and purses are practical and attractive souvenirs. They are usually made of felt, velvet, wool, cotton or leather and often include beautiful embroidery work in their designs. Different types of unique style and very attractive models are most demandable and also main exports of the nation popular fashion among Nepalese youths. Hemp passport bags, backpacks, shoulder bags, laptop bags etc. are also available made by local artisans.

  1. Clothing and Nepalese Garment Products

Nepalese clothes, both traditional and modern, are common and easily available souvenirs. Beginning at the head, Nepalese caps or 'topis' are available in the lndrachowk and Asan areas of Kathmandu, as well as in the market areas of most of Nepal's towns and cities. One can either buy a black topi (popularly known as 'Bhadgaonletopi' as it was first made in Bhadgaon) or a colorful printed cap, known here as 'dhakatopi'.

Nepalese woolen jackets are also very popular, especially during the colder months, and can be purchased in most tourist shops at a reasonable price. There is a variety of different colors and designs and although size fittings are not given, most shopkeepers are hapy to let potential buyers try on a number of different jackets until they find a suitable one. As all jackets are made by hand, it is also possible to design one's own jacket at a tailoring shop.

Whereas jackets are suitable for both ladies and gentlemen, pashmina shawls are mainly a ladies' souvenir item. The name pashmina refers to the extremely soft and warm underhair of a variety of mountain goat found in the upper regions of Nepal.
Pashmina shawls come in different colors and designs, the natural color being a dark ash-gray. Scarves and mufflers of the same material are also available. For the warmer months, cotton garments such as the traditional daura (shirt) and suruwal (trousers) worn by the men, are available in most bazaar areas.
Shoes and slippers complete an outfit of the Nepalese clothes; velvet, flannel and cloth designs are commonly found, many of them also colorfully embroidered. Often, the soles are made of thick cord rather than the synthetic materials one usually sees. For ladies, cotton saris and other clothes are both cheap and attractive. Many souvenir shops, particularly in the shopping arcades of larger hotels, sell different varieties of silk shirts and T-shirts with the printed designs such as traditional dragons, temples and mountains.

  1. Rice Paper - Lokta Paper

Like carpets and thangkas, rice paper prints are another traditional art form that have survived the passing of centuries and again gained popularity, this time as souvenirs rather than religious manuscripts. Rice paper is made by hand from rice husks and is well suited for printing purpose due to its high absorbative properties. The actual prints, usually of deities or religious monuments, are made by wooden blocks rubbed with a thin layer of black ink. Nowadays colored prints are also made, though these are naturally more expensive. Rice paper prints can be purchased along with the wooden blocks if required, in the Basantpur area of Kathmandu, as well as at many souvenir shops in the Valley's three main cities.

  1. Dolls and Puppets

Dolls and puppets are some other souvenir items that accurately reflect Nepalese culture and lifestyles. Beautifully colored and available in many different sizes, Nepalese dolls show traditional costumes of different ethnic groups, often carrying, in miniature, the tools of their trade, for example, a plough or sickle. String puppets usually represent the masked dancers, as one sees in the festivals like IndraJatra or Gal Jatra. Although available in most souvenir shops, the best place to buy a doll or puppet is in Makhan Tote, the paved road leading from Hanuman Dhoka to Indrachowk.

  1. Batik and Oil Paintings

While on the subject of painting, miniature oil paintings and batik art have become very popular over the last few years. Batik paintings usually depict everyday village scenes such as a girl carrying a baby on her back, porters carrying their loads etc. Most souvenir shops have a number of different sizes and designs, mostly unframed; it is also possible to order one's own design if sufficient advance notice is given.

Oil paintings have a charm of their own and are especially successful in depicting landscapes and mountain sceneries. An interesting variation is found in oil paintings painted on the reverse side of the 'nanglos' - circular hand-woven trays used by Nepalese women to sort rice.

Yet another form of painting is found in greeting cards and consists of oil or water colors painted on leaves of pipal tree. The most common design shows Buddha in meditation; bird and flower designs are also available. Leaf greeting cards are attractively presented and usually contain a brief description of the making process.

  1. Paubha /ThangkaPaintings

Paubha is a traditional religious painting made by the Newar people of Nepal.Paubhas depict deities, mandalas or monuments, and are used to help the practitioner meditate. Most Paubhas show Buddhist subjects, but a few have Hindu themes. The Tibetan equivalent is known as Thangka.

Thanka paintings are very authentic traditional Buddhist cultural and religious artistic hand work of Nepal which reflects real Buddhism philosophy by its unique arts. There are many different variety and qualities of thangka paintings available in the Kathmandu Valley’s thank shops as well in Pokhara. Some expensive and master piece images painted with the color mixed of gold and silver as well long time hard work. Travelers can enjoy shopping this beautiful souvenir to find out some antique paintings at major thanka galleries of Patan, BhaktapurJhochhe, Thamel and Hanuman Dhoka areas of Kathmandu Durbar Square.

  1. Carpets:

After thangkas and paintings, carpets are probably Nepal's second most popular souvenir item. As making a good carpet requires a lot of work and materials, this can be better understood by taking a cursory glance at the making process. It is woven entirely by hand on huge handlooms. Chemical dyes are also used instead of vegetable dyes. In places such as Jawalakhel and Boudhanath it is possible to see the entire making process.

The smallest size of carpet available is sixteen inches square, a size usually used for chair coverings. The price depends on whether a chemical or vegetable dye is used in the making process. A chemical dye is cheaper but has brighter colors, making the carpet seem slightly less authentic even though the quality remains the same in every other way.
Carpet designs vary from fire-breathing dragons to Buddhist deities and geometric patterns. Apart from the above mentioned areas, one can also buy carpets in the lndrachowk and Durbar Marg areas of Kathmandu and at Mangal Bazaar in Patan. Carpet quality depends on knots per inch and the price is worked out per sqmetre. The size of a traditional Tibetan carpet is 1.8m by 90cm. The most popular size of carpet is three feet by six feet, although longer sizes are also available.

  1. Handicraft

The large variety of traditional and religious handicrafts items are found in Nepal’s tourist market abundantly. Some finniest quality religious images and idols are made of typical wood carving, metal and stone crafts are worth to buy as a unique souvenir of Nepal. Different variety of other traditional and religious items such as wooden, bronze prayer wheels, singing bowl, magic amulets, prayer boxes and ritual bells also can be bought at many shopping arcades of major sightseeing areas. In Kathmandu valley Patan city is popular for finest quality metal and stone crafts and Bhaktapur for wooden and potteries.

  1. Khukuri – The famous Gurkha Knife
    Khukuri is long curved knife which is made famous by Gurkha soldiers in past days and popular as unique souvenir of Nepal. It is also commonly used by the villagers as a purpose of cutting things in their daily lives. Travelers can buy this authentic craft in most of the souvenir shops of Kathmandu. The Khukuries are mostly sold in the tourist market some are crafted nice design which includes two miniature knives, one serving as a pen knife and the other as a flint for lightening fire.
  1. Glass ornaments

Pote( glass beads necklace) and Chura ( glass bangles) are very popular ornaments among Nepali. They are supposed to be worn by all married women. Pote beads are also used for embroidery. Coming in various colors and shades ,Pote and Churaare popular shopping items for tourists as well. You can buy Pote and Chura in Indrachowk areas in Kathmandu.

  1.  Tea

Ilam and hilly district of Eastern Nepal produces world famous tea. The tea is wrapped in small pouch and packets and are very suitable for providing as gifts. For a taste of fresh tea directly from tea gardens, however , a visit to the tea gardens in the Eastern part of the country is recommended.

  1. Rudraksha

Rudraksha are the dark berries of the evergreen Elaeocarpusganitrus tree. In Sanskrit Rudraksha consist of two words – Rudra – another name of Lord Shiva and Aksha – eye.

The Rudraksha rosary is often worn by many Hindus and used during meditation. It is believed that on holding or wearing rosary with faith and devotion, a person is able to experience the bliss of Rudra and absolve himself from the stains of earthly sins.

  1. Shaligram

Shaligram is fossil rock found on the bank of Kaligandaki of Central Nepal. As per Hindu mythology , these fossil rocks are believed to be the manifestatation of Lord Vishnu, the preserver of the world. It is believed that worshiping Shaligram, chanting mantra  and washing holy fossil will protect us from evil and bring material reward and spiritual prosperity.

  1. Incense

Insense that have different kinds of aroma and are packed in various boxes made of paper,  copper , brass and other metal.

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