Six best souvenirs from Nepal

Six best souvenirs from Nepal

When going back home, you need to take back souvenirs from Nepal that will do justice to this beautiful country and your beautiful experience.

Luckily, Nepal doesn’t just boast of stunning mountains, but also of equally stunning cultures and traditions. That’s why you will find a wide array of souvenirs to choose from.

Here, we have presented a list of six different souvenirs from Nepal that you can take back home to gift your friends and family. You can also take these for yourself as keepsakes of your wonderful time in Nepal.

Traditional Nepalese-made clothing

Traditional clothing is one of Nepal’s biggest exports. By taking back home some traditional Nepalese made clothing as souvenirs from Nepal, you will be indirectly making a positive impact in the country’s feeble economy. At first glance, it may not seem much. But, it still counts, right?

While silk and cashmere make finer items, yak and sheep wool create heavier, woollen clothing. If you are purchasing finer clothes, you should be able to distinguish between cashmere and silk. If you can’t, don’t worry, take a Nepalese friend with you.

The most popular and common items include a Dhaka hat, knitted woollen items, and beautiful sarees. You can also find uber-cool embroidered clothing and light cotton tees dyed with soft pastels that are reminiscent of the hippie era.

These traditional clothes are warm, durable, and sport very bright colours. However, like any other market, Nepalese market too is contaminated with products of all qualities. So, make sure that you take home a better-quality item even if it means paying extra bucks. After all, you don’t want your friends to complain about your souvenirs from Nepal for shrinking or fading away after just one wash!

Where to buy: Thamel and Indra Chowk near Kathmandu Durbar Square will offer you the greatest varieties.

Singing Bowls

These days, you can see every handicraft and souvenir shop in Kathmandu valley displaying singing bowls at the façade of their shops. These could be the nicest souvenirs from Nepal you can take home.

A wooden stick is used to massage the metal singing bowl’s rim to produce deep, low pitch sound. The sound is soothing to hear and will transport you into a trance-like state. Try it! There is a belief that the music from the singing bowl creates a vibration in the air which has healing qualities. Also, most shops have at least one big colossal singing bowl which you can ask the vendor to make sing next to you. Then, you will feel a strange vibration running through your body!

We don’t know how valid are the claims of the singing bowl’s healing properties, but the process and the sound produced itself is very calming and peaceful. Thus, it will leave you feeling light, rejuvenated, and who knows, even enlightened!

Inexpensive, therapeutic and recreational, singing bowls should definitely be on your list of souvenirs from Nepal to take home.

You can find two kinds of singing bowls. Handmade singing bowls usually feature plain brass colour and have a beaten quality about them. Also, these are getting rare and expensive. On the other hand, machine-made singing bowls feature elaborate carvings and are perfectly symmetrical.

Where to buy: You can buy them in any handicraft shop around durbar squares, other heritage sites, and Thamel. A small singing bowl will cost you around $5.

Thangkas

You will be amazed by the number of beautiful thangkas hung outside like any ordinary printed cards in small art galleries and shops while walking around the old alleys of the three royal cities. It seems like Nepalese people have an abundance of talent!

Thangkas are religious Buddhist paintings that depict the life and teachings of Gautam Buddha exquisitely. Thangkas of other Buddhist and Hindu deities are also equally alluring and readily available as well.

Usually painted on cotton or silk, thangkas come in all sizes. They range from small ones that can fit in your pocket to huge wall hangings. If you have a lot of money to spend, they even make thangkas with gold and silver mixed into silk. For rest of the peasants like us, be careful that you buy an actual painting and not a reprint!

We’re sure that your friends will be super happy to receive these souvenirs from Nepal and will hang them with great pride in their living room. You know what, you can even take one for yourself, so you don’t go green with envy when you see a thangka elevating their living room’s ambience by many folds.

Where to buy: You can buy them in any paintings shop around durbar squares, other heritage sites, and Thamel.  Especially, Patan Durbar Square offers a greater variety to choose from. Approximate price for a small thangka is around $15.

Dolls and puppets

Doll and puppet-making is still a relatively small and lesser-known industry in Nepal. When you are walking around the older streets of Kathmandu, you will surely see these colourful, eye-catching handicrafts. Some are made in puppet-style and hung on a thread, while others are fashioned in traditional attires and come inside a glass box.

As aesthetically pleasing as they are, these dolls and puppets carry a profound religious significance for the local people. If you pay enough attention, you will notice that these are the miniatures of masked godmen who perform sacred dances during festivals in the valley.

You can either buy a piece individually or in bulk. Well, if you are taking these as souvenirs from Nepal, definitely you’ll be buying quite a few.

Where to buy: You can buy them in any handicraft shop around durbar squares, other heritage sites, and Thamel. The approximate price for a single puppet doll can range from $3 to $5, depending upon the vendor and your bargaining capabilities.

 Khukuri

Khukuri is the long-curved blade traditionally used as the main weapon by the Gurkha soldiers. Today, Khukuri has become synonymous with Nepalese bravery and fierceness. Even more, it has evolved into one of the most famous symbols to represent the nation. That’s why Khukuris can be the perfect souvenirs from Nepal for your history-loving friends.

So, naturally, there are several exclusive Khukuri shops in and around the valley. It is still used throughout the country for general purposes but feature a much plainer design and built. You would want to take the more elaborate and finer Khukuris as gifts back home. They come with two small attachable blades. One is for sharpening the main blade, and another is for using as a penknife. Don’t forget to check the quality of blade before you buy it, but be careful!

Where to buy: You can find them anywhere in handicraft and souvenir shop around Kathmandu. However, if you want to buy in bulk, you can find shops in Paknajol, near King’s way.

Pashmina/Cashmere shawls

Cashmere is popularly called Pashmina in Nepal. There are varieties of cashmere available in Nepal, and the price differs accordingly. For instance, you can buy the expensive ones with silk woven into it for embroidery to cheap ones that are nylon woven into other materials. Either way, you can find a wide variety of pashmina shawls and sweaters in different colours and designs to choose from and take back as souvenirs from Nepal.

However, be wary of the cheap and fake Chinese pashmina widely available in the market. So, if you are planning to buy a good, original Pashmina, go to trusted, reliable shops only.

Where to buy: Thamel and Indra Chowk near Kathmandu Durbar Square will offer you the greatest varieties.

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