shopping in nepal

Shopping in Nepal

 

Nepal is a shoppers paradise whether you are looking for a cheap souvenir or a real work of art. Although you can find almost anything in the tourist areas of kathmandu. There are specific specialties in different parts of he valley.

Thangkas

Thangkas are traditional Tibetan Buddhist paintings of religious and ceremonial subjects. The subject may be a mandala, the wheel of life, aspects of Buddha or various Bodhisattvas, fierce protector deities or historical figures. thangkas are usually colourful and packed with detail to every corner of the painting. although there are genuine antique thangkas to be found its highhly unlikely that anything offered to the average visitor will date from mcuh beyond last week. Judicius  use of a smoky fire can add the odd century in no time at all. thangkas do vary considerably in quality but buys one because you like it, not as a valuable investment.

Thangkas are available in many locations including the Tibetan shops around boudhnath. There are good Thanka shop in thamel in kathmandu and in Durbarsquare shop in the Bhaktapur. Traditionally Thankas are framed in silk brocade.

 

Jewellery

kathmandus many small jewellery manufactures turn out a wide variety of designs with an equally wide range of standards. you can buy jewellery ready--made, ask them to create a design  for  you or bring in something you would like copied. There are very good shops around the kahmandu, thamel and chetrapati. There are also shops  for nepali and indian, such as bracelets , earlings etc.

 

 

Metal work:-

Patan is the valley centre for bronze casing and the best variey of metal work is found in the shops around patan durbar square. ofen , beautifully made figures featuring the full ranges of Tantric Buddhist deities ban be bought. of course simpler work can found much more cheaply. the metal game boards and pieces for the traditionnal Nepali game Bagh chal make a good buy.

 

Tea

Tea is grown in the east of Nepal, close to the border with india near Darjelling where the fines indian tea is grown. Ilam and Mali valley are the best Nepali brands, but prices are also more. Darjeeling tea and Ilam tea have different quality. Now a days there is a fashion about a Green Tea as well as.

 

Block prints

Locally produced rice paper is used for the block prints of Nepali, Tibetan and chineae deities. They are sold as pictures or are used for calendars, cards , lanterns and others.

 

Pottery

Terracotta pottery is made in a number off sites but particularly in Thimi and Bhaktapur. The potters square , just south of Durbarsquare in Bhaktapur, is a wonderful sight. thousands of pots are neatly lined up across the square while in the shelters around the sides of he square, potters busily turn out more and more. In thimi, they specialize in making attractive little flowerpots, often in the shape of dragons, elephants or mythical beasts.

 

Tibetan carpets

carpet-weaving is major trade in nepal, brought rom tibet by the refugees who now carry on the craft with great success in their new homes. There are carpets weavers around kathmandu valley and also in pokhara. some of their output is now exported to tibet, where the chinease have unfortunately managed to totally stamp out the archaic craft. a genuine tibetan carpet puarchased in tibet is probably indeed make by genuine tibetans, but in nepal. The tamang people also make carpets. there are larger and smaller size of carpets available , but the traditional size for a tibetan carpet is 1.8 by 90 cm. the are sturdily woven with colourful designs featuring tibetan Buddhist symbols and dragons. these days i is more difficult to find the brilliant reds and blues produced by chemical dyes, mroe ofen carpet will be in the pale pastel shades which come from vegetable dyes. small square carpets are ofen used to make seat cushions.

 

clothing and embroidery

 

Embroidery has always been popular in Nepal and there are lots of litle tailor shops around kahmandu where the sewing machines rattle on until late at night adding colourful dragons and tibetan symbols to customers jackets and jeans . Mountaineers like to return from Nepal wih jackets carrying he message athat this was the country, place, viewpoint. You cann take your own clothes to be embroidered or by T-shirts and other items already embroidered. badges embroidered with suitable messages are anoher good buy-you can add a badge toi your backpack saying that you walked to the Everest base camp or compleed the Annapurna circuit. A nepali camp or topi is part of Nepali formal wear for a man and heya re traditionally made in bhaktpur. There are cap shop right beside the Bhairabhanth temple at Bhaktapur as well as group of cap specialists between Indra chowk and Asan tole in the old part of kathamndu.

 

Other Nepali crafts:

A khukuri, the traditional knie of he Gurkhas, Bhojpuri khukuri is very important in the Nepal. Bhaktpur is centre for woodcarving and you can find good objects in and around Tachupal Tole. Cassees and CDS of Nepali indian and general Himalayan music are a fine souvenir of a visit to Nepal. there are lots of music shops in kathmandu sellings local music as well as bottlegged western tapes.

 

Masks and puppets:

papier-Mache masks and colourul puppets are sold at shops in kathmandu, patan and Bhaktapur. Thimi is he centre fo rmanufacturing masks which are used in the traditional masked dances in september and it is intresting to seee them made there. Ganesh, bhairab and Kumari are the most popular subjects for the mask and they make good wall decorations. puppes make good buys as a gits for children and are make in Bhaktapur as well as oher centre. they are often multi armed deities clutching little wooden weapons in each hand .

Mustang trekking

 

 

Major Activities in Nepal

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