When you consider Nepal you think that of the mountains, especially the Everest, don’t you? You think of these complex carved temples: some that withstood the huge Earthquake of 2015, some that were reduced to dust. You think of the Sherpa’s and you think of landscapes, like the ones in Nagarkot.
But once you consider Nepal does one think it to be a shopping destination? No right? But it is a shopping place
A Exquisite handicrafts of brilliant workmanship are sold within the markets. Many of these carry religious significance. Artistic works of stone, metal, silver and gold trinkets and incredible wood carvings are readily available.
Other kinds of remembrance include Nepali tea, the Gurkha knife or Khukuri, prayer wheels, stone carvings, singing bowls, thangkas and pauvas, pashmina, carpets, jewellery etc. Souvenir items are available in areas like Thamel, New Road, Basantapur, Asan, Patan, Bhaktapur and around many hotels. But remember anything older than 100 years old can't be taken out of the country.
Malls and shops sell branded items and accessories like cell phones, i-pads and laptops to electronic appliances, cameras, music systems, kitchenware, garments, jewellery, perfumes, watches, toys, fitness equipment and a multitude of household items.
Popular shopping places in Kathmandu Valley are Bhatbhateni chain of stores, Saleways chain of stores, city centre in Kamal Pokhari, Civil Mall in Sundhara, Kathmandu Mall in Sundhara, Labim Mall in Pulchowk, Salesberry in Satdobato. Shopping areas within the valley are near New Road, Putali Sadak, Kumaripati, Bhatbhateni, Lazimpat, Sundhara, Tripureshwor, Lagankhel and Jawalakhel. In Pokhara, the main shopping areas are Lakeside and Mahendrapul Bazaar.
Talking about these items we can see what Nepal has to give us:
This exquisite "Pashmina" has been supplied by the dexterity of Nepalese. In past "Pashmina" was found in unblended form but it had been advent with the mixture of silk, cotton etc. In the long run with the varied experience and Pashmina yarn and silk, yarn was combined. This result to produce better fibre-strength, durability, colour-pleasantness and well-finishing touch which becomes most prevalent all over the world and recognized as "Nepalese Pashmina".
Nepal is also known for the hand woven Pashminas. These Pashmina products have found to be the third-largest overseas export in the country with the readymade garment. The warmth, softness, durability, lightness, fineness are the beautiful by products of any Pashmina products. The warmth and softness are the basic qualities on which the pashmina is judged. The production process of pashmina product includes weaving, dyeing, processing, fringing, tassels, embroidery, beadwork, printing etc.
It is believed that they were traditionally made using seven precious metals like gold, silver and such though, in modern times, these are mostly mass-produced from the alloy of copper and tin (bronze)but still, the handmade singing bowl are often found which are said to be made from copper, tin, gold, silver as chief metals.
Today, the singing bowl isn’t just given the religious importance but is popularly used in sound healing mechanism, meditation and even as a musical instrument. The quality handmade singing bowl is meant to make a vibration which lasts longer and on synchronization with brain waves decreases the heartbeat and other vitals providing an individual a soothing feeling resulted by the healing of tissues and smooth functioning of the glands.
The Khukuri is that the national weapon and utility knife of the Nepalese people. It holds a singular place in Nepalese culture as quite just an exquisite example of local craftsmanship, or maybe a logo of national pride, valour in battle, and personal bravery and more. The Khukuri is more to us than simply a weapon: It serves an equal role in peacetime, because the traditional, all-purpose knife and dealing tool of the Nepalese people.
In Nepal, Khukuri are an indispensable feature in almost every household. In addition to its role together of the foremost renowned fighting knives within the world- the wickedly curved knife of the Ghurkhas of Nepal – it is most ordinarily employed as a multi-use utility tool, rather sort of a machete. In this familiar role, it's used for the peaceful daily tasks of chopping firewood, cutting meat and vegetables, skinning games, and opening cans.
Rice paper products
Like carpets and thangkas, paper prints are another traditional kind that has survived the passing of centuries and again gained popularity, this point as souvenirs instead of religious manuscripts. Rice paper is made by hand from rice husks and is well suited for printing purpose due to its high absorptive properties. The actual prints, usually of deities or religious monuments, are made by wooden blocks rubbed with a skinny layer of black ink.
Nowadays coloured prints are also made, though these are naturally more expensive. Rice paper prints are often purchased alongside the wooden blocks if required, within the Basantpur area of Kathmandu, also as at many souvenir shops within the Valley's three main cities.
Beads and jewellery
Beads in Nepal are usually semi-precious or non-precious. Some are exquisite pieces of art worth tons of cash supported that alone. But in terms of an actual "bead" or "stone's" value, they're usually very low in value. Silver and gold jewellers are completely separate.
Strolling round the temples and therefore the ancient palaces of Kathmandu valley, during dusk is one among my favourite habits. It’s not just that these places radiate a way of serenity but the neighbourhood crammed with the antique shop filled with Nepalese handicrafts and therefore the temples with fabulous wood carving make my time worthwhile.
Handicrafts in Nepal is believed to possess started since the Licchavi period (300-879 AD) though the official account of first handicraft isn't available. But the classical period of Nepal was ruled by Malla dynasty which helped extensively within the enrichment of quality, authenticity, and originality of the Nepalese handicrafts.
Thangka paintings depict the sacred images of the Buddhist Mahayana or Vajrayana religion. They are hung in many temples, monasteries, houses and nomad tents. In Tibet, on special holy days, vast appliqué thangkas are displayed in the open air on hillsides, to be viewed from miles around. Used for ritual evocation, meditation and devotions there is great merit to be obtained by donating a thangka to a monastery or by commissioning an artist to paint one. Using a thangka for the correct visualization of certain peaceful or wrathful deities can assist in protecting and purifying the body, speech, and mind.
Lastly, get ready to (bargain and) spend some cash on things that will remind you of your amazing time in Nepal. Also, October and November are the two best months to visit Nepal, and also months nearing festivals like Diwali and Christmas, so buy some affordable and super interesting gifts for your friends and families from these Nepali markets that they will cherish forever. Happy Kinamela!