Nepal is located in the centre of Himalaya in the southern part of the continent Asia. With time, it has gained popularity amongst the enthusiastic tourists as the best tourist spot because of the immense variety that Nepal offers. From the different cuisines to the different varieties of souvenirs, Nepal has a great variety. Also the culture and art exude variance in this country. In this article, we are going to talk about the different souvenirs that you should not be missing while you are making your trip to Nepal. This article endeavors to make you acquainted to the top ten souvenirs that should be collected as the best memories of your Nepal tour.
1. Thangka Paintings
Nepal not only sells Thangkas as the souvenirs but they also contain exquisite Thangka painting schools. Thus Thangkas and the concept of Thangka painting are taken very seriously in Nepal. Thangkas are usually clothes made of cotton, silk or even human skins on which paintings of Buddhist lives or the life of the great leaders are drawn. Thangkas are very important aspects of religious culture. They hold immense religious significance and are usually the part of religious festivals. In Nepal, these Thangkas often have silk embroideries or embroidery of some other exotic materials. The Thangkas in Nepal have some of the richest designs and the paintings.
However there are certain rules while buying Thangkas in a Nepal. First you have to set budget and then bargain accordingly. Also before buying a Thangka, you have to choose the subject of the painting elaborately. Nonetheless, the subject you have chosen might cost you more. So try to grab a good knowledge about the price, then set your price accordingly and then negotiate the price. Also take a close look at the Thangka to determine its quality. Looking closely at the lines will give you a clear knowledge about the quality of the Thangka. The finer the lines, the greater will be the quality of the Thangka.
2. Singing Bowls
The unique name of the souvenir might confuse you with the conjecture that it is an item associated with food, but however that is not the case. The singing bowls are basically musical instruments or more specifically bells that look like bowls. They are provided with a powerful stick that creates harmonious music when it strikes the bowl. The bowl shaped bell usually remains static on a platform rather than hanging. There are many handmade as well as machine made singing bowls. Also the quality of the bowls varies like it can be either made of metals or brass. There can be decorated singing bowls or plain and normal singing bowls. Thus the price of the material varies accordingly.
You have to be very careful while choosing the material of the bowl and it is always better to choose a high quality bowl even if they cost a bit higher than the normal bowls. Singing bowls in Nepal are usually cheaper in price than in other states. You have to very careful as often these bowls are made in Delhi and are sold at the markets of Nepal, trying to pass them as authentic Nepalese souvenirs. Therefore it is better to buy bit high quality materials from Bodh Stupa, where the cost might not be very cheap.
Nepal is also very well known for its high quality pashmina. Even though the country is the newest producer of cashmere, the quality is very good. There has been a great upsurge of the pashmina industry in Nepal and almost all items like shawls and other products are found here. Also they are handspun from the real fiber. The cost of these cashmere products might be high but nonetheless it is a very significant and beautiful souvenir to buy from Nepal. You can pick up a shawl or pashmina scarves. Try to buy the pashmina from the authentic trademark shops or retailers.
4. Rice Paper Items
In Nepal, a lot of items can be bought at a low price. These are mostly included in the exotic handicrafts of Nepal that are rare with mesmeric charm. Amongst the many famous handicrafts of Nepal, one such beautiful product is the handicraft made from paper. The paper in Nepal is known as rice paper even though they are made from the bark of a tree, found in the remote parts of the country. Many items are made from these bark papers including the official documents, journals, writing pads and others.
The paper is very smooth and soft. You will be getting paper made lamps and other paper handicrafts made from the exotic rice paper of Nepal. The cost of the souvenirs is quite average but the uniqueness is very charming. Indeed people will be immediately attracted to the product if you take them home. Being made from paper, they are also very easy to carry. But however, they are fragile and hence should be handled with care.
The authentic Nepalese daggers are known as ‘khukuris’. These daggers are totally the best emblems of Nepal. They also played a very significant part in the history and culture of Nepal. These daggers in Nepal are however quite different from the usual daggers found in the other parts of the country. It served and still now serves the purpose of the basic utility knife in Nepal. They have a shining strong blade with inward curve that serves the purpose of both a weapon and a utility knife. The hilts of these daggers are often decorated with authentic Nepalese designs. Two smaller blades are provided along with the khukuris that help in sharpening the knife.
The khukuris are usually small and light but some heavily designed daggers can be heavy also. But they occupy a very little space and hence are easy to carry. These Nepalese daggers are very often used in important ceremonies like weddings. These khukuris might cost you 50 USD to 100 USD.
6. Nepali Handicrafts
Except for the rice paper items, there are many other authentic Nepalese handicrafts that must be bought to adorn your household with. These Nepalese handicrafts include the pashmina products, the various jwelleries, the bamboo products, the carpets, leather goods, incenses, woodcrafts, alloy goods, ceramic, bone, crystal and various stone products. You will get a variety of show-pieces, bags, jwelleries, utility items and other such exotic products in an average price. Also the Nepalese handicrafts are often a burst of riotous colours that enhance the beauty of the whole item.
7. Statues and Masks
The statues and masks, found in Nepal as the souvenirs, are the most important epitomes of Nepalese culture. The statues are of various kinds, but mostly they are of Buddha and holy aspects associated with Buddhism. The statues are made from a number of materials like brass, bronze, clay and even other such products. They are a great showpiece to adorn your house with and even many people consider them to be the lucky charms.
The Nepalese masks, however, are very unique. There are many masks ranging from normal masks to the masks belonging to Shiva or Buddha or Indra and other such deities. They usually serve as wall hangings. These masks are usually made from cotton or clay or even papers. They play a very active part in Nepalese festivals. Also as the souvenirs, these Nepalese masks have very little matches.
8. Jwellery and Arts
The Nepalese jwelleries constitute the greatest of the Nepalese handicrafts. They are made from gold, silver and other metals. They have great varieties that make them very attractive. A lot of different aspects such as in the form of necklaces, handcuffs, bracelets and other such jwelleries are found in Nepal. These jwelleries also have stones studded in it so that it looks even more beautiful. The stones are of various colours and the junk jwelleries nonetheless easily attract the tourists of Nepal. However while buying the jwellery, try to check the authenticity of the product. Also, buy the jwellery from popular shops only having a fixed price.
9. Herbal Products and Tea
Nepal is very well known for the authentic varieties of herbal products that they manufacture. The tea in Nepal is also very good and flavoured. The tea manufacturing in Nepal is very important industry and it requires a lot of manual labours to produce the tea. Nonetheless, Nepal, because of its sheer hard work has succeeded in becoming one of the finest tea manufacturers. The tea produced in Nepal is of high quality and hence should be bought along. However, as in the case of jwelleries, Nepalese tea should also be taken from some renowned company or directly from the tea estates in Nepal.
Regarding the other herbal products, a very big industry is allotted in Nepal for the manufacture of the herbal products. These products mainly include ayurvedic medicines. But if you want to buy ayurvedic products, try to avoid the street side ayurvedic product. Rather buy it from some renowned medical company or directly from the industrial sites. Even Nepal is very renowned for the manufacture of herbal tulsi tea that is very unique and authentic. Try to collect some of these herbal teas also.
As a souvenir, Nepalese spices also hold immense significance. Nepalese food is known for their exotic tastes and for that the spices manufactured in Nepal are responsible. If you are intending to collect spices from Nepal, the best would be the various spices they use extensively in their cuisines. These include the gingers, coriander, cilantro-the leaves of the coriander, timmur- a very unique Himalayan pepper, chilies, turmeric and other such spices. Also you can get the mixture of these spices either in the raw form or in the powdered form. You can also consider buying this exclusive mixture of spices. However beware of the duplicate products and instead take local helps to find the accurate products.