15 Best Things to Buy in Varanasi
Varanasi is an excellent place to buy both the local and the international products. This city is one of the oldest and most sacred place for Hindus and is known as Banaras also. Many things with a connection of Hinduism can be found in the markets of Varanasi.
A trip to Varanasi is incomplete without spending a day in the crowded local markets of the city. It is compulsory to bring a remembrance of this beautiful place before leaving it behind. Here are some things that you can buy from the markets of Varanasi.
1. The Holy Water of Ganga
The holy water of Ganga or Ganga Jal is the biggest export from the Varanasi and it is must to take this water along with you. As you move down to the Ghats of Ganga you’ll see bottles of plastic available in different sizes. You can carry water of Ganga in these bottles. Copper cans are also available which comes with a seal to prevent leakage. This water can be stored for long time and almost every person carry this water with him. This water is visually clean and the shopkeepers fill these bottles themselves by going in the middle of river.
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2. Banarasi Silk Saris
Varanasi is best known for its Banarasi sari. It’s a dream for an Indian woman to have a Banarasi sari in their closet, even if they don’t wear. There are shops of Banarasi sari everywhere in Banaras and they provide these saris in variety of shades and colors. If you are visiting Banaras then you have to buy a Banarasi sari for your mother, wife or sister. There are some popular areas in the city where you can buy the best of silk saris like peelikothi area of Varanasi and the whole sale shops in Thateri bazaar. Here you can find the best saris with best prices.
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3. Crystal and Stone Shivalinga
Varanasi is the land of lord Shiva and buying Shivalinga from here is like a ritual. In India, when someone comes to visit Varanasi he is asked by his family to bring Shivalinga from here. They are available in every size and in stone and crystal form. These Shivalingas are used for worship and kept in temples inside Indian households. Vishwanath gali in Varanasi is a place where you can find Shivalingas to buy which starts from a price of Rs. 100 and the rest depends upon the size of Shivalinga.
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4. Gulabi Minakari
Gulabi Minakari is an unknown art of Varanasi. Minakari on silver and golden metals especially on silver is done in Gujarat or Rajasthan but Gulabi Minakari is what found in Varanasi only. You can see the craftsman performing this art only in the bylanes near Gaighat. You can buy small souvenirs of elephants and bird decorated with Gulabi Minakari and use them as home decorator which will always remind you of the time spent in Varanasi.
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5. Glass Beads
There is world’s largest manufacturing unit in Varanasi of glass beads which make glass beads available in all colors. One can buy these glass beads from the local markets. The glass beads made from hand are truly awesome and a perfect example of made in India. Beautiful artificial jewelry made of glass beads are also available in the markets.
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6. Rudraksha Mala
Rudraksha is a polished seed of Rudraksha tree. It is an organic jewelry which is worn by Hindu devotees with lot of devotion. It is believed to be tear of Rudra and preceding form of lord Shiva. Rudraksha is a spiritual seed that have been worn by our saints from ancient times. The Rudraksha tree don’t spout anywhere in Varanasi but it is a perfect place to buy a Rudraksha mala. You can find any type of Rudraksha here even the rare ones. Also you can buy coins engraved with two famous temples of Varanasi on both sides. These can be bought as a remembrance of Varanasi.
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7. Wooden Toys
You can easily find lanes of colored wooden toys in the markets of Varanasi. Wood crafters can be seen working in Khojwa area of the city. They made wooden toys in the form of elephants and birds using bright colors. These toys looks so beautiful. You can also pick wooden creation of Shiva family among these toys. This box is manufactured in form of lord Shiva and when you open it the whole Shiva family is inside there. These toys are available in human and key chains form also.
Some of the great musicians of India such as Ravi Shankar or Girija Devi have come from Varanasi. Music is another identity of Varanasi and you can hear sweet sounds of music in the street here. There are plenty of shops of musical instrument in Varanasi. You cannot carry instruments Like Veena and Tabla with you but you can buy flutes from anywhere in Varanasi.
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This beautiful city along with silk is famous for sweets also. For the people having sweet mouth, Varanasi is not less than heaven. When it comes to sweets, Lal Peda is the specialty of this city. There are variety of sweets available in the markets which will definitely satisfy your taste buds. You can enjoy these sweets while exploring the streets. Shops also provide customers with the free samples to give an idea what they want. You can carry small boxes of sweets with you.
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10. Ramnami Cloth
While visiting the Ghats of Varanasi you will definitely see people or Sadhus wearing yellow, orange or white shirts or carrying a scarf with Ram Nam written on it. These are called Ramnami cloths. These clothes come with various patterns of Hindu mythology. You can buy one as a remembrance of Varanasi.
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11. Stone Carved Curios
The crafts collections of Varanasi help in flourishing the stone carving ritual of the region. The city is doing stone carvings from the time unmemorable. It is not well known that the stones for the pillars of Ashoka came from the chunar region of the city. You can buy different stone carvings of animals and birds available in all sizes. But more than Varanasi, these stone carvings are found in Sarnath.
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12. Indic Literature
This beautiful city is a home to different Indian publishers and particularly for the books related to Hinduism and ideology. Once you enter these ancient bookstores you’ll come with a bag full of books. This is a great place for the persons who like to read.
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13. Ganges Boat Ride
If you are in Varanasi then boat ride in the river Ganga is a must thing to do. One can’t simply forget to experience a boat ride in the holy water of Ganga. You’ll also see various ritual activities being performed in the water of Ganga. Each ghat has its own specialty and you’ll get a more beautiful view of this city while being in the water of Ganga on a boat. Don’t forget to buy a boat ride for you and your family while spending time.
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14. Hand Knotted Carpets
This city is famous in world for its work of art and when that art is hand created nothing could be better. You can buy beautiful hand knotted carpets from here which are available in different patterns, colors and sizes. Mirzapur is the place where you’ll find the best hand knotted carpets in the city. Theses carpets will work as a great home decorator.
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15. Bangles and other Accessories
If you’re girl and fond of accessories then do visit markets of Varanasi one in your life. Markets here are full with shops and stalls that provide beautiful and unique pieces of accessories such as earrings, bangles, necklaces and others. These are available here in reasonable rates. Do buy bangles and other accessories for your daughters, mother or sister from here.
So these were some things that you should totally buy if you’re visiting Varanasi. It’s a city that no one can forget after visiting. The more time you’ll spend here the more you’ll get to know about Varanasi and what will more better than taking a remembrance of this city while leaving it. Everything that you’ll buy from here will work a memory of this place.
So don’t forget to buy some of these things mentioned above before leaving this city behind. Chowk, gyanvapi, thateri bazaar, Vishwanathgali, golghar and lahurabir are some best shopping destination in the city.
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