Souvenirs to buy from Nepal
No matter wherever you go, every traveler takes a memento back home, that keeps him/her reminder of the places visited, an event attended. Souvenirs are the keepsake to cherish the travel memories for the rest of your life. Nepal has a lot to offer from its rich cultures, wooden architecture to beautiful mountains to lowland. Here are the lists of top souvenir one should not miss buying from Nepal.
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I. Cashmere (Pashmina )
Pashmina is one of the softest, delicate and finest natural fibers. It is made from the inner coats of the mountain goats called “Chyangra” which reside at the altitude of more than 3000 m. It is considered as the fiber of emperors and kings. There various kinds of pashmina products available in Nepali market, like shawls, stoles, blanket, scarves, sweaters, cardigans etc.
II. Dhaka products
Made from cotton fabric, Dhaka is made in Nepal and is known for its unique prints and patterns. It is made from the traditional loom. It reflects the Nepali craftsmanship to its finest. Dhaka Topi which has gained popularity in recent time is made of Dhaka fabric. In addition Dhaka dress, sarees are also available. In Nepali culture, Dhaka is used to make clothing worn by the groom on the wedding day.
Production of handicraft in Nepal has been on-going since ancient time. Handicraft in Nepal has a large market in national and international markets and offers an array of metal craft, glass products, crystal products, incense, stone craft, woodcraft, wall hanging etc. The arts and craft are the major exporting industries of Nepal providing revenue to the country. The handicrafts are put on display on roads in Patan, Bhaktapur, and Basantapur where you can pick as per your preference.
There are two types of masks available in Nepal; tribal mask relating to ethnic groups of Nepal and classical masks that include Hindu and Buddhist gods. The masks are used in rituals and processions as well as decorative pieces.
IV. Herbal products and tea
Nepali tea is made of Camellia sinensis and has authentic aroma and taste. The Nepali tea is unique in taste and flavor. It is a best-kept secret of Nepal. Different varieties of teas like oolong, black, green tea are available in handy and beautiful packages.
Nepal is also famous for organic honey after the documentary ‘Honey Hunter’ on national geographic Channel was on-aired. There are many organic kinds of honey available in cute packaging.
Additionally, Nepal offers an array of herbal soaps, essential oils, herbal incense, herbal pillows etc.
Yarsagumba (Ophiocordyceps Sinensis) is a popular medicinal plant available in the high altitude of Nepal above 3500m. It is used as an ailing product for vitality, strength, organ strengthening, headache, backache etc. it is known as Himalayan Herbal Viagra. Nepal exports a huge amount of Yarsagumba in the northern Chinese market.
IV. Thangka Painting
Thangka painting is a Tibetan Buddhist painting on cotton and silk of Buddhist deity and mandala. Thangka depicts of life of Buddha and other deities as interpreted by artists in their own ways. It is used for teaching, as a form of medium of prayer, meditation tool and as a centerpiece. It takes about few days to months to paint a single thangka. The earliest surviving thangka paintings from Nepal date to about the 14th century AD.
VI. Singing bowls
The singing bowl is a Tibetan tradition of meditation. It produces a sound which is relaxing and soothing for mind and soul. It evokes a deep sense of meditation and is therapeutic in nature. The bowl is an alloy of different metals and the quality of the bowl differs according to the quality of metals used. The prices range from 10 USD to 100 USD, depending on the size of the bowl and the quality of metal used to fabricate it.
VII. Khukuri (Nepali knives)
Khukuri is a Nepali knife that is used as weapon and tool. It serves as a weapon for Nepalese Army and Gurkha. It is a valuable asset of the countrymen. Khukuri is given as a token of love as a gift for some special occasions. It is a great centerpiece and conversation starter for everyone. The price of khukuri starts from 30-40 USD depending on the size of knives and quality of metal used to fabricate it.
It the national knife of Nepal. Khukuri symbolizes bravery and valor and represents an exquisite piece of Nepalese craftsmanship and is a unique memento to take back home from Nepal.
VIII. Jewelry and ornaments(Silver, Gold)
Silver jewelry crafting is a unique art of people of Newars and Sunuwars origin. The craftsmanship of Nepalese artists is delicate and detailed. The silver jewelry is available in 100% silver or sterling silver. These silver are reasonably affordable and a chic souvenir for all the jewelry lovers.
IX. Music- Buddhist chant, Nepali music
Nepali music is fairly popular among the tourist. When passing through any tourist area you can hear the famous Om Mani Padme Hum. Oṃ maṇi Padme hūṃ is the six-syllabled ‘Sanskrit mantra’ particularly associated with the bodhisattva of compassion. When traveling in Nepal most of the tourist get attached with song Resham Firiri- popular Nepali folk song.
Music is a form of souvenir you can take back home that will remind you of your amazing trip you had during your Nepal stay.
XI. Lokta paper
It is Nepali artisan handmade paper made from high elevation shrubs. Women are more involved in Lokta paper production as primary forest users. Women involved in cottage industries produce lokta paper as means of livelihood. Lokta paper is used in the governmental documentation but it has been popularly used as prayer flags, bookbinding, diary, notepad, calendars and wrapping paper.
Apart from above-listed Souvenirs from Nepal, you can buy Nepali T-shirt which depicts the picture of Nepal, Vintage Nepali Mug, Fridge magnets, key chains, Nepali flag, bone Buddhist prayer. Most of the above souvenirs producing industries are associated with women empowering projects and Small Cottage industries, hence be assured that the money you pour goes directly to the worker associated with the industry.
XII. Prayer Wheel
Tibetan prayer wheels (called Mani wheels by the Tibetans) are devices for spreading spiritual blessings and well being. Rolls of thin paper, imprinted with many, many copies of the mantra (prayer) Om Mani Padme Hum, printed in an ancient Indian script or in Tibetan script, are wound around an axle in a protective container and spun around and around. Tibetan Buddhists believe that saying this mantra, out loud or silently to oneself, invokes the powerful benevolent attention and blessings of Chenrezig, the embodiment of compassion.
Mani wheels are found all over trekking routes in Nepal, in areas influenced by Tibetan Buddhist culture. There are many types of Mani wheels, but small hand-held wheels, like the one shown here, are the most common by far. It’s the best keepsake to take back home for inner peace.
You can buy these Souvenirs in any of the tourist hub and UNESCO world heritage sites in Kathmandu.