Nepal has many fine handicrafts to offer to visitors: hand-knotted woollen carpets, jewellery, pashmina shawls, woollen knitwears, embroidery, thangka paintings, wood carvings, metal works, ceramics and pottery, rice paper and stationary. Shopping in Kathmandu can also offer you wide variety of imported merchandise in quality and price. The Super Market, New Road and numerous department stores offer fine collection of imported products. On the other hand, Thamel treks shops have the best bargain when it comes to outdoor clothing and gear.
Nepalese handicrafts and Jewelleries:
Necklaces, bracelets, rings, traditional ankle chains etc can be found almost anywhere in Kathmandu. Tibetan jewellery also proves popular among tourists and don't forget to visit the colourful glass bead market tucked away near Indra Chowk.
Kathmandu boasts one of the widest selection of loose gems in the entire region as well as rare breeds mined in the high mountains of Nepal. These gems are also sold at comparatively low prices which makes it a worth buying.
A popular inexpensive souvenir, Kathmandu's potters make both terra-cota and glazed earthenware in the form of household utensils, small souvenirs and decorative items. Bhaktapur's potters square also provides a scene of the experienced potters in action.
Since ancient times, traders have followed their noses to the spice markets of Asia. Kathmandu's markets, particularly, the spice market at Ason offer exotic ingredients mixed with the skills handed down from time immemorial.
The expertise of Newar craftsmen in this field can be seen in the intricately carved windows, doors, pillars and latticed art-works fitted in temples throughout the Kathmandu Valley. Ornate picture frames, doors, windows, furniture, jewellery boxes, etc are produced and sold in the workshops of Patan and Bhaktapur.
Pashmina, from the Persian word for wool, is popularly known in the west as CASHMERE, wool of Kashmir. The fine wool comes from the undercoat of the Himalayan mountain goat, which lives in the most remote regions of the Tibetan Plateau. Today most of the world's pashmina shawls are woven on handlooms in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley. Most are woven on a warp of spun silk for increased suppleness and strength. In recent years, the silk and Pashmina blend has become the darling of the western fashion world. Pashmina is the latest and fast growing Nepalese export sector.
Shawls, woollen sweater, jackets, trousers and caps are functional as well as interesting articles to take back home. The exceptional embroidery of the Kathmandu tailors is also something to be mentioned.
These are traditional paintings on cotton scrolls depicting deities and religious symbols from Buddhism. Many of the thankas are created by using ground stone pigment for the vivid colours.
The curved metal knife, synonymous with the valor of Gurkha soldiers is a traditional tool that has become a well-loved memento for many people visiting Nepal.
The beauty of the traditional copper, brass and bronze engraved items are hard to ignore. Oil Lamps, water jars, statues and others. Such items can be found in the Mahaboudha area in Lalitpur.
Nepal's eastern hilly districts, notably Ilam, produce a variety of excellent tea, most of which is exported. The teashops offer a wide selection of fine Nepalese tea in attractive packages, which make great gifts to take back home.
Carpets made in Nepal are hand knotted using the traditional techniques of Tibet. The best of them are woven from a mixture of highland Himalayan sheep wool and New Zealand long staple wool.
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