Shopping in Himachal Pradesh
Shopping is always great fun and if you are the type who loves to shop on holidays then
Himachal Pradesh is the perfect destination for you. The best thing about this state which
is also known as the tourist capital of India is that it has some special goodies for people
of all ages, sex, aesthetic preference and economic budget. There are a lot of things you
can buy from Himachal no matter which district or city you plan to visit.
Here is a snapshot of what to fill up your empty shopping bags
with.Himachal Pradesh is a paradise for shoppers. Be it the shawls in Manali
or the Rumaals of Chamba or the Joothis of Kinnaur; it’s impossible to
visit Himachal and still return with empty shopping bags. Art and craft
items, apparel, music, books, condiments, jams and pickles; there is no
dearth of tempting items in Himachal.
Apparel Shopping in Himachal Pradesh
Himachal Pradesh has a lot of variety to offer
to the discerning tourist in terms of clothes. From jackets and funky stoles in Shimla
Mall to traditional Kullu
costumes in the Kullu Valley and colorful long skirts in Chambal to
Tibetan costumes in Lahaul Spiti; you will have a lot to choose from. If you are fond of
modern dresses then the malls in Shimla
and Manali are perfect for you but if
traditional Kashmiri Stitch or Pashmina or Kullu Embroidery items are what you desire then
visit the tiny local shops dotting the bazaars of Himachal Pradesh.
Shawls of Himachal Pradesh
Shawls are something that you should definitely buy if
you visit Himachal Pradesh. When you think of the Northern climbes of India then Kashmiri
stitch shawls are the first thing that comes to your mind. The colors of such shawls are
usually white or cream based and the whole body is filled with intricate brightly colored
flowers. However if you look hard enough you can get brightly colored shawls too with
imagery of Himachali birds and fruits embroidered on it.
Completely different from Kashmiri shawls are the geometrically
patterned Kullu Shawls that are only found in the Kullu Valley in Himachal. The weaves are
gorgeous and the bases are colored according to the colors of elements like green (earth),
blue (water), yellow (earth), white (air) and red (fire). Most of the motifs have religious
connotations and these shawls can make an iconic fashion statement.
Carpets of Himachal Pradesh
Since the time a chunk of Kashmiri artists migrated to
Himachal seeking political stability the art of carpet making has prospered here. You will
get the lovely floral embroidered Kashmiri carpet, the geometrically patterned Kullu rug or
the miniature inspired Kangra carpets. The carpets are priced according to the artwork which
they possess and the base material. If you are fond of fine living then lamb wool carpets
would be an appropriate choice while carpets made from Yak wool will give a bohemian touch
to your home. Either ways it’s a cardinal sin to leave Himachal Pradesh
without buying one of the
exquisitely beautiful carpets found in the State.
Jewelry in Himachal Pradesh
Sikkamala, Chandrahar, Kangnu, Mendukmala,
Ghunghroomala, Bichwas, Guthi, Chalai and Nathni are all names of typical Himachal Pradesh
jewelry items. These are pieces that are typical of the tribes of Himachal and hence can be
classified as collector’s items.
Kullu and Chamba in Himachal Pradesh are hubs of chunky silver jewelry and
you must remember to pick up a few pieces from there. If you are interested in head
ornamentation then Boomani as well as Toora are great picks. On the other hand if you lust
after Tibetan jewelry then the tiny shops in Lahaul Spiti or the Gadam area of Kullu Valley will
present you with a treasure trove of amulets, wristlets, anklets, neckpieces and rings in
the tribal Tibetan style. Bead inspired jewelry and semi precious stone studded jewelry is
also very common in Himachal.
Artwork in Himachal Pradesh
The beautiful landscape of Himachal Pradesh inspires the birth of art in
this beautiful land and it can be safely said that Himachal is the land of artists. Be it miniature
painting or Thangka making or metal work or artistry in wood each region of Himachal has a distinct form of
art associated with it. If you are visiting Chamba then do collect rumaals of Chamba that
are woven over on both sides with mirror effect images. The head scarves of Chamba are
famous all over India for their striking beauty.
If you are visiting Kinnaur then
carry back the cute and colorful Kinnauri topis for everybody back home. The intricately
designed dry grass slippers or Kinnauri Joothis are also famous.
When in Kangra,
don’t leave without a couple of miniature paintings that are reminiscent of the dying
art of miniature on paper. Romantic mythological tales and stories of valiant wars are
etched on to these paintings which are colored only with organic paint.
Kullu and Manali all have the
tradition of woodwork using the extracts of mulberry, walnut, fig and glossy chestnut trees.
Buy everything from personally inscribed messages on wooden boxes to beer mugs to jewelry
cases to ladles to rosary beads in Himachal. Wooden toys and wooden bangles are
available in profusion inside the bazaars of Himachal. In the areas of Lahaul Spiti you will
bangles, slippers and woolen garments spun from Yak wool. These are collectible items that
are not found anywhere else in India.
Everywhere in Himachal Pradesh
you will find beautiful bamboo and dry grass baskets woven by the local weaver community.
Designs of local flowers and imagery are etched on egg and flower baskets of Himachal that
you can shop for.
Canned Food Products of Himachal Pradesh
Even if you are not a huge fashion fan or
are not interested in interior decoration, you are bound to be tempted by the marvelously
delicious canned food items found in Himachal. Possibly the best preserves, compotes, jams,
marmalades and jellies in the world are made in Himachal Pradesh as the ingredients are all
sourced from the nearby orchards. You will get amazingly unique flavours such as Gooseberry,
peaches and nectarine, apple and cinnamon and blackberry rum as well as everyday ones such
as strawberry, black currant and mandarin orange. Buy fruit preserve bottles which have
tantalizing bits of fruit floating around in them or the tangy local pickles made with
veggies such as Karonda and Lingad!
The other things you can pick up from Himachal Pradesh are Wall Hangings, Tibetan Thangkas, Books on Travel, Prayer Wheels as well as organically made creams
Best Places to Shop in Himachal Pradesh
Here is a guide on what and where to buy
Tibetan Handicraft Center
This is the best place in Dharamshala and Mcleod Ganj to
go to if you want to buy Tibetan carpets at a reasonable price. Tibetan refugees sit here
weaving exquisitely beautiful carpets and you will have a chance to see all the action first
hand. Tibetan dresses, jewellery and bags are also on offer here and every item is 100%
Jogibara Road in Mcleod Ganj
Potala Handicraft Shops
Antique, curious and handmade gifts are sold at Potala
Handicrafts Shops. If you are looking for souvenirs for friends and family then this is a
good place to target. Tibetan print shirts, shawls, stoles, bags and umpteen varieties of
prayer beads are also found here. Paper craft items of this shop are quite famous.Location:
Opposite State Bank of India in Mcleod Ganj
This is where the fashion conscious young girls of Upper Dharamshala
go to shop. If you want to own the latest dress or the most colorful sweater or the amazing
designer looking stoles that Himachali girls sport then a trip to Norling designs is a must.
Though the prices are on a little steeper side, the designs and material used is
Temple Road in Mcleod Ganj
Green Shop (as indicated by its name) is all about environmentally
friendly recycled goods. You will get recycled plastic gift items, paper products and eco
friendly bags. The shop is amazingly well decorated and has its own jam and pickles section
holding innovative items. Some must buys are the tangy Rhodendron Jam, Apple Pickle and the
Main Market Road in Dharamshala
If you are in Manali
then a shawl must be there on your agenda. Bhuttico is the best place
to target for its reasonable rates and amazing variety in shawls. A lambs’ wool shawl
will cost you around 300 INR while a Pashmina will cost you more than 3000 INR. Exquisitely
embroidered scarves and stoles are also found in Bhuttico.Location:
Market in Manali MallAlso Read: Tokens Collected from Bhuttico
If Tibetan artifacts interest you then a visit to Lama Underground
in Manali Mall
is a must. Tibetan wall hangings, Thangkas, Prayer Flags,
Buddhist Masks, statues and paintings of Buddha in different poses and all things Tibetan
are found here. The Lama Underground is shaped like a Gompa and entering it is a fun and
mystical experience. Woven rugs and Tibetan Prayer mats are also available here.
28/B, Lama Underground in Manali Mall
Book lovers in Manali will always recommend the
beautifully decorated Bookworm in Manali for its cozy ambiance and eclectic collection of
books and travel and adventure journals. You should sit outside on the balcony attached with
the bookshop and leaf through well thumbed novels sipping on cream coffee/green tea. There
are a selection of souvenirs like quirky magnets, reading lamps and book marks on offer
NAC Market in Manali
Kashmir Gift House
The famous Kullu Shawls with geometrical pattern embroidery are
best brought form the Kashmir Gift House. Paper Silk Saris which are a specialty of Kullu are also available
here in abundance. Tribal silver jewelry studded with colorful stones or in jeweled hues are
also available here. Another good buy here is the Kashmiri Stitch Salwar Kameezes. Items
available in Kashmir Gift House are quite pocket friendly.Location:
Rambagh Market in Kullu
The Pickle House
At the base of Hadimba Hill in Kullu lies a nondescript little
shop selling the most amazing pickles you have ever tasted. Pickles like Lingad Pickle
(Himalayan Asparagus) is available here as well as green apple jelly, apricot jam,
strawberry compost and pumpkin pickle. Make sure that you buy some exotic jars of pickles
and jams for your folks back home.
Base of Hadimba Hill in
Himalayan Herb Center
Kullu is famous for its unusual variety of Himalayan herbs and spices.
Saffron, Kesar, Cinnamon of excellent quality is found in quaint collectible jars in this
little shop. Shilajit
(a medicinal mineral) is only found in the Trans Himalayan region as
it oozes out of the red brown rocks. Buy this mineral potion for its potency and anti
ageing, stress reducing and libido enhancing properties.Location:
Market in Kullu
Famous Chamba Rumaals are available here at the paltry sum of 300
INR. The Rumaals are embroidered on both sides with no loose threads showing. Chunky silver
jewelry and batuas with mirror work are also available here. Apart from this green tea,
fragrances and condiments are also available in Himachal Emporium.Location:
Bazaar Road in Chamba
Most tourists know that Amichand Dheems in Chamba stocks some of the
most beautiful miniature paintings found in this area. The paintings are found on paper,
silk, jute and even metal. These make for beautiful showpieces and can be used as great
collectibles too. The price ranges of these paintings are from INR 200 to INR 2000. Painted
teapots, jugs and itr (natural fragrance extract) are also available here for very
Chaughan Market in Chamba
Shawls of Kullu and scarves, caps and stoles are very famous.
Woolen bands, woolen flower bedecked strings and woolen curtains are also available in Kullu
for very decent prices. Metal statues and artifacts are also found in Chamba. Handicraft
Center in Chamba stores all of the above mentioned items. Another item you shouldn’t
miss is the fiery Chamba Chukh (mashed chilly pickle) which is a specialty of Chamba
Inside Rang Mahal Market in Chamba
All the colors of beautiful Shimla seem to be compressed inside
this beautiful emporium which is famous for its eclectic collection of colorful wooden toys,
perfumes, antiques and exquisitely beautiful Kashmiri Stitch Items. This is a H.P government
operated enterprise so the items are authentic and reasonably priced. Paper cutting
products, frescoes and paintings by local artists are also found here.Location:
Shop number 3 in Shimla Mall
Dockers San Francisco
If you are somebody who is crazy about designer items then
Dockers San Francisco in Shimla Mall
is the place to visit. Branded jeans, cool
sunglasses, designer dresses, imported shoes and leather jackets can be found here in
abundance. This is where the fashion crazy youth of Shimla come for shopping.Location:
Shop number 19 in Shimla Mall
This is one shop which you cannot afford to miss especially if you are a
sweet lover. The natural abundance of fruits in Shimla has been converted into amazing
jams, jellies, preserves, compote, wine and squash and sold here. Apricot, strawberry,
mulberry, blackberry, apple, plum, black currant and all kinds of exotic flavors like
Rhodendron and Cinnamon flavored items are also found here.Location:
22, Shoghi in Shimla
Maria Brothers looks so charming and old fashioned that it could
easily have been lifted from the pages of one of Rudyard Kipling’s books. This is
possibly one of the most antique book stores in India. Rare books, out of print books,
collector’s editions and old signature inscribed author copies are found here. A must
visit place for you if you love books.Location:
78 A, the Mall in
If you want to experience the look and feel of Tibet in Shimla then visit the
Ram Bazaar. This is a collection of small pavement shops held and operated by Tibetan
refugees. The main items sold here are Tibetan long sleeved shirt, Buddha statues, colorful
scarves and headbands. Prices are dirt cheap here and you will get a chance to soak in the
Ram Bazaar near Mall in Shimla
Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan
If you are not too sure about your bargaining skills then
the Khadi Gram Udyog Bhavan in Kinnaur is your best choice for buying reasonably priced
authentic locally made products. Locally made grass slippers, bamboo mats, grass shoot wall
hangings and rugs available here will stun with their loveliness. Grapes of Kinnaur are very
famous and they are converted into delicious Grape Jelly and sweet wine by local women
working in the Khadi Gram Udyog Center
Main Market in Kalpa
Kinnaur Shawl Center
The Kinnaur Shawls are very famous for their light yet warm
texture and they are available in a bright fusion of colors. The embroidery in these shawls
are inspired by natural motifs like robins, cherry blossoms and flowers of Himachal and thus
makes for an exotic look. Find a good selection of shawls and stoles in Kinnaur Shawl
Near Bus Stand in Karcham
The Jam Factory
The Jam Factory has more than 50 different varieties of jams and
jellies on offer inside its cozy little rooms. All local fruits like cherries, Olga, apple,
Black current and strawberries are either converted into jams or compotes or jelly. Prices
for these cutely packaged bottles are very cheap and so you can stock up on them to carry
back as gifts for friends and family.
Zanshar Street in Reckong
Peo, Kinnaur Valley
There are umpteen shops in Sadar Bazaar selling metal souvenirs and
chunky Pahari Jewelry that is a specialty of Dalhousie. Other things to buy here are wooden
items like knives and spoons. Since Dalhousie is near Pathankot there is a Punjabi influence
in this place. You will get Phulkari work dupattas and stoles in this market. You will also
find a variety of jams, pickles, compotes and wine made with natural locally grown fruit in
Near Central Bus Stand in Dalhousie
Himachal Handloom Industry Outlet
This outlet showcases all forms of handicraft
practiced by locals staying in various areas of Himachal Pradesh. This is a one stop shop
for shopaholics who want to carry the arts of Himachal back home. Stock up on Chamba
Rumaals, Kinauri Topi and Joothi, Kullu Shawls, Manali Wooden Toys, Shimla Kashmir Stitch
items and Tibetan Curious of Lahaul-Spiti. Most items are reasonably priced and this is an
authentic no bargaining shop.
Thandi Sarak in Dalhousie
is one of the most beautiful states of India offering an abundance of natural beauty. The
apple cheeked people of Himachal spin wonderful shawls, exotic carpets and beautiful
handicrafts that are inspired by the motifs around them.
Each area in Himachal
has its specialty like Chamba has its knives and miniatures, Kinnaur has its Joothis and
Topis, Lahaul Spiti has its tribal Jewelry and Masks and Manali has its wooden artifacts and
As a tourist you will find each area in Himachal Pradesh has
something new and exotic to offer you in terms of shopping. Let's now talk about the street bazaars!
Street Markets in Himachal Pradesh
Street markets of Himachal Pradesh offer ample
opportunities for the tourists and the locals to look for all types of traditional items
such as clothes, food items, jewelries and other accessories so that they could take back
home some of the exclusive items of Himachal Pradesh. Let us see where you can shop till you drop!
Manu Market Manali
When you are looking for a busy street market in Himachal Pradesh
then there is no match for the Manu Market of Manali. It is an ideal street market to look
for traditional items of Himachal Pradesh. This small market is located near the Bus Stand
of Manali and one has to go through mazes of lanes and by-lanes to look for their favorite
stuffs. This market has numerous shops selling all types of Himachali Items and you will
also get Tibetan artifacts here. There is no such local item which you will not get here.
Apart from gift items, dress materials and varieties of items for home décor, you
could actually enjoy sumptuous traditional Chinese, Tibetan and local foods in different
eateries of Manu Market.
Kids would love to have doughnuts that are homemade and quite cheap. You
could also enjoy cheese croissants, momos, sausages, thupka, noodles and many more types of
food that are homemade and reasonably priced. Hours can be spent wandering into different
shops of Manu Market. Freshly prepared bakery items like cakes, breads, pastries, rolls etc.
can also be bought from the bakery shops of Manu Market.
The Mall ShimlaShimla Mall
Road market is considered as one of
the best street markets of Himachal Pradesh. There is nothing that you
will not get in the shops located here. While visitors are walking down
the Mall Road they get numerous shops and restaurants which are always
flocked with people including the local ones and the tourists. Handlooms
items, handicrafts, Tibetan Artifacts, Bakery items, fresh fruits and
fresh fruits items are the main attraction of various shops located on
the Mall Road of Shimla.
Kotwali Bazaar in McLeod Ganj
Another popular street market of Himachal Pradesh is
the Kotwaali Bazaar of McLeod Ganj. You will get mesmerized with the varieties of
collections these road side kiosks have in this market area. Numerous showpieces including
different types of statues of Buddha can be seen here. Sleeping Buddha, Health Buddha, and
Peace Buddha made with different types of metals along with semi-precious stones can be the
best buys for any tourist. Huge collection of singing bowls used for music, meditation or
relaxation is also available in this market. McLeod Ganj is also having numerous shops where
traditional clothes and other accessories can be bought.
This market has numerous eating outlets where
you can try out authentic Tibetan dishes. There are tea shops and cafes where you can relax
while sipping a cup of hot coffee or tea. Hand woven Tibetan Carpets depicting the
mythological stories are the most preferred items for the tourists visiting this market.
Woolen items like scarves, socks, gloves, sweaters, Kangra Caps, mufflers etc. are also very
popular items of this market.
Lower Bazaar Shimla
Lower Bazaar is a street market of Shimla located on the west
part of the Mall. The location of shop starts near the bus stand. These shops have huge
collection of handicraft items. Visitors could also enjoy varieties of traditional food
items of Tibet and China.
Gandhi Chowk in Dalhousie
Dalhousie is also nicknamed as
“Switzerland of India” and is a famous tourist attraction of Himachal
Pradesh. Anyone who is visiting Dalhousie would find the visit
incomplete without various street shops that are mainly clustered in the
Gandhi Chowk Area of Dalhousie. There is a Tibetan Market that is
mainly run by the Tibetan Refugees and buyers get ample stock of
handicrafts, bags, shoes, jewelries, dolls, carpets, rugs and many other
Tibetan artifacts here in this market.
Shops are there from where
buyers get beautiful Thangkas, statues and showpieces for home décor.
Beautifully carved wooden items are also there which are exclusive ones
and showcase marvelous craftsmanship of the local artists.
Lakkar Bazaar Shimla
Lakkar Bazaar, as the name indicates has wide array of choices
for wood items. Small jewelry boxes, lamp shades, pen stands, tables, cabinets, and many
other crafted wood items can be bought from the numerous shops of Lakkar Bazaar.
Having location very close to the famous place of Shimla, the Ridge,
this street market gets numerous tourists as the buyers of innovatively designed wood items.
Spicy Chole Bhature and mouth licking Aloo Tikki from the famous eatery of Lakkar Bazaar,
Sita Ram, are the added attractions for the visitors.
Shopping from the Street
Markets of Himachal Pradesh would definitely be an experience to share and rejoice!
Also Read: Markets in Shimla | Street Food of Shimla | Shopping in Shimla | Shopping in Kullu | Shopping in Manali | Shopping in Hamirpur | Shopping in Paonta Sahib