Nepal may be famous for its impressive mountain ranges and lush valleys, but there is one more thing that people love about the place: shopping. Yes, you can go shopping in Nepal and discover lots of great finds. Every town has its own interesting collection of products that are worth looking at.
If you love works of art, then you will find Nepal to be a shopper’s paradise. One of the most sought after items in Nepal are Thangka paintings. These are traditional paintings done on silk, although some versions are now done on cotton. The painting usually has an embroidered image of a Buddhist deity or a concentric figure called mandala, which holds a spiritual significance for Buddhists. The art originated from Tibet and was said to have reached Nepal after a Nepali princess married the son of a Tibetan ruler.
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The best place to buy thangkas is beside Durbar Square in Kathmandu Valley. You can also find them in Tibetan Thangka Treasure and Indigo Gallery shops.
Jewelry and precious gems should be in your list when you go shopping in Nepal. You can buy silver here for cheap prices, and you can even order custom made silver jewelry, which can be finished in 1 to 2 days, for a very low labor cost. Gems like garnet, aquamarine, ruby, turquoise, amber, and sapphire also abound in Nepal. These are in good quality and are not as expensive as in other countries. Some of these gems are from India. You can buy them in jewelry shops in Durbar Square and Durber Marg. Beware of people who offer their gems for reselling and entice you with the promise of good profits. It is best to buy from established jewelry shops.
The pashmina is always on the list of things to buy when shopping in Nepal. The pashmina, which is the Persian word for wool, is made from the Himalayan mountain goat’s inner fur or undercoat. The fabric is usually woven using traditional handlooms. Pashmina wool is made into beautiful shawls and scarves. Sometimes the wool is woven together with silk to make the resulting material more supple. Try to look for double layer pashminas because these have better quality.
Tibetan carpets are among the best finds in Nepal. These are knotted by hand using old techniques originating from Tibet. They are often crafted with important Buddhist symbols. The quality of the carpet is dictated by the kind of wool used. The best Tibetan carpets are those made from a combination of wool from the Himalayan sheep and long staple wool from New Zealand. Good quality carpets typically have 32 knots and 24 rows. These carpets are so gorgeous that you will be tempted to buy a lot.
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Unfortunately, the number of Tibetan carpets that a person can take out of Nepal is limited.
There are many other things you can buy when you go shopping in Nepal, such as spices, tea, pottery, garments, metal ware, and wood carving products, which display expert Newari craftsmanship. You can also buy the khukuri or the traditional curved knife used by the Gurkhas and the lokta or the traditional handmade paper used in Nepal.