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THE TOP 15 BEST SOUVENIRS TO BRING HOME FROM NEPAL

Do you want to buy gifts for family and friends or souvenirs for yourself and you are wondering what is best to buy in Nepal?

An embarrassing wealth of options is awaiting you! The streets of the main tourist centres are packed with stores selling all sorts of quality local handmade goods.

Nepal is a true paradise for souvenir shopping and we are sure you’ll have lots of fun choosing yours.

So here are the 15 best take-home gifts that you will find in this beautiful country.

 

1 – Thangka Paintings

Thangka are intricate Tibetan Buddhist paintings on silk or cotton, portraying deities or manadalas. They were originally a teaching tool for monastic students, or were conceived for personal meditation.

Thangka masters are an endless source of knowledge and will happily explain the meaning of the different paintings so don’t be shy, talk to them!

 

2 – Singing Bowls

Singing bowls are metal inverted bells played by rotating a wooden stick around their edge. They produce a vibration and a harmonious tone which is believed to have healing qualities.

They were used in traditional medicine and, whetheryou believe they work or not, they are fascinating artefacts to bring home with you.

 

3 – Cashmere or Pashmina

Soft and warm handmade blankets, stoles, scarves, shawls, cardigans and clothing…you just have to choose.

They are always fashionable and warm so you really can’t go wrong with it 🙂 .

 

4 – Nepali Paper

This traditional Nepali art creates thick paper out of rice husk, first turning it into pulp and then drying it out. The result is well-suited for printing and has a wonderful rough feel to it.

Traditionally used for religious and official prints, rice paper is now used to create wonderful lamp shades, small diaries, photo frames, notebooks, boxes and wrapping paper, and it’s available in many shops all over Nepal.

 

5 – Khukuri

The Khukuri is the traditional Nepali knife and has a characteristic inwardly-shaped blade. It is normally used as a tool and, in the past, as a weapon and it’s still provided to all the brave British Gurkha soldiers upon enrolment.

If you choose to buy it, don’t forget to pack it in your checked baggage 🙂 !

 

6 – Chiya

Nepalis just love drinking chiya (tea) and the history of tea cultivation in Nepal dates back to the 19th century.

There are many locally grown varieties available in the tea shops. Try to choose the loose ones: they are usually the ones locals buy too and for good reason, they’re the finest quality!

 

7 – Handmade Leather Products

Handmade leather bags, wallets and belts are a common sight in Kathmandu’s and Pokhara’s shops and are definitely a quality option if you are after a pretty but functional souvenir.

The renowned Nepali leather comes from the Himalayan region and all these products have some very characteristic, rustic and charming features.

 

8 – Tibetan Prayer flags

The colourful Tibetan prayer flags, inscribed with mantras and symbols, can be seen fluttering all around Nepal. Contrary to a common misconception, they don’t carry prayers to the gods but rather are used to protect and bless people, spread good will and compassion in the world, and bring fortune, happiness, wealth and health.

Why not hang them back home too? Their meaning is so beautiful…

 

9 – Yak and Felt Wool

Colourful and warm yak and felt wool shawls, gloves, hats, accessories, coasters, toys and rugs are inexpensive and available at a wide range of shops. They are so colourful and beautiful that it will be hard not to buy at least one 🙂 .

 

10 – Spirits

Khukri Rum and Old Durbar Whiskey are two iconic brands of rum in Nepal and if you are a spirits lover, they will definitely not let you down! Khukri Rum is also available in a khukuri-shaped glass bottle and as a spiced version, flavoured with cloves cardamom, cinnamon and other hand-picked spices from the Himalayas.

Another famous local sprit is Marpha apple brandy, produced in a small mountain village in the Lower Mustang district.

 

11 – Jewellery

Jewellery in Nepal is exotic, extravagant, bold, vibrant and colourful like nowhere else. Inexpensive or pricey, made of beads or gems, silver or gold, you can be sure it will make any woman happy. So take a deep breath, try not to be overwhelmed and…get shopping 🙂 .

 

12 – Tibetan Masks and Puppets

Carved wooden Tibetan masks and terracotta puppets have a religious origin and are truly exquisite pieces of Nepali craftsmanship. If you are up for cultural souvenirs, this isdefinitely one of the go-to options.

 

13 – Hemp Products

Hemp is native to Nepal and has been used for centuries to produce fabrics in rural mountain villages due to its strength and durability. Colourful hemp clothing and accessories are common in the shops and are definitely a good choice if you are after a long-lasting memory of Nepal 🙂 .

 

14 – Shaligrams

If you are a fossil enthusiast or simply want to take home a semi-precious stone, Shaligrams are for you!  These fossilised shells have a great significance in the Hindu religion as they are considered symbols of Lord Vishnu and are worshipped.  They are black in colour and are at least 66-400 million years old.

If you are trekking in the Kali Ghandaki River Gorge, you can hunt for them yourself, otherwise you can buy them from souvenirs shops in Kathmandu and Pokhara.

 

15 – Dhaka Products

Dhaka is the traditional Nepalese cotton fabric and is known for its unique prints and patterns. It is the fabric of which most of the colourful Nepali hats are made. There are a variety of Dhaka accessories available for tourists so if you choose one of them you will be taking home an authentic piece of Nepal.

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