Shopping is a little more than just hunting souvenirs in Varanasi. You get to take a part of their culture to your home. The entire city is riddled with alleys of shops and streets of shopping destinations. It can be something as simple as a statue of Hindu deity to the traditional Benaras silk, which is considered as a heirloom in India.
You can find numerous interesting items for sale in this city. This is the most beautiful part of visiting any historic destination. The souvenirs you could find in such places would reek of the culture and will have certain heritage value to it. If you were a collector, you would be going crazy in the shops of Varanasi.
Top Things to Buy in Varanasi
1. Benaras Silk
Varanasi was once called as Benaras and thus, the heritage silk of the land gets this name. Authentic silk sarees are best brought in Thatheri bazaar. It is recommended to visit the weavers’ shops instead of a trader’s shops to buy the textiles and Thatheri bazaar is the best option.
2. Ganges Water
The top souvenir that is mostly brought from Varanasi is a copper sealed vessel with Ganges water. It is kept along with statues of deities for rituals in many Hindu homes.
3. Gulabi Minakari
This is a traditional artwork of Varanasi. It is a metal craft item made with gold and silver. Traditionally, these items are pink or blue in color. Today, you can find many different colored articles in this genre. This is one of the costliest souvenirs to buy in the city. A necklace of Gulabi Minakarai work would be around 10 lakhs (10,000,000 INR). If you want a cheaper version, you could choose small boxes, showcase items or statues made with Gulabi Minakari work. The most opted one is a small elephant figurine made with this work.
4. Wooden Toys
Toys, puppets, key chains and other articles made with wood is quite famous here. Khojwa region is very famous for wooden articles.
5. Lal Pedha
This is a local delicacy, which is found in shops closer to SankatMochan Hanuman temple and near Gadauliya. Pedha is a common sweet of India. However, the Varanasi version is quite famous among foodies and dessert lovers.
Varanasi is the land of Lord Shiva. The God is said to have come down to Earth and stayed in Varanasi. The God is prayed to in the form of Linga. These Lingascan be found in various materials like stone, crystal, wood and others. Crystal Shivlinga is the most common souvenir. Many people consider this as their lucky charm.
7. Rudraksha Mala
This is a necklace made with the seeds from Rudraksha tree. This is considered as a form of Lord Shiva. Many saints and religious heads wear this necklace and use it for counting chants. The most valuable Rudraksha of all is the Panch-Mukhi, the one with five faces.
8. Glass Bead Articles
Varanasi is the top manufacturer of glass beads in India. You can find many jewelries and showcase items made with glass beads.
You can find almost all kinds of ritual items starting from incense sticks to books of chants. The best of all religious items is the brass statues. You can also find silver, copper or stone statues here of varying size and of different goddess.
Top Places To Buy Souvenirs In Varanasi
Old Varanasi Street Market – Best place for religious items, household articles and sweets.
Banaras Art Culture gallery and European art gallery – For paintings.
Bengali Tola region – Famous for musical instruments and music classes.
Thatheri bazaar – Silk articles.
Gyanvapi – Famous for textiles and glass items.
Golghar – Famous for handicraft items, garments and household articles.
Shops closer to Vishwanatha Gali – silk articles and jewels.
Godaulia – handlooms, jewelry and others.