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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What are the popular things to buy in Kovalam?

Vaishali Singh DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

There are a number of shops around the beaches selling interesting souvenirs. Since Kovalam is thronged by a lot of international tourists, the shops are full of stuffs that come from all over India. Still there are a few particular things that you can buy from here.

  • Tibetan Handicrafts
    There is a nice little shop called the Little Tibet Arts, which sells a lot of Tibetan handicrafts like meditation bowls, miniature Buddhas, Tibetan styled pots and pans, carved wooden boxes, wall paintings and what not. You might even spot some pretty scarves or robes which would make very pretty gifts. The shop owner is a nice old man who is full of helpful advices and not pushy at all

  • Books
    What is the best way to relax on a beach? Reading of course! One can only admire the scenic beauty or sunbathe to a certain extent. After that what do you do? Simple. Get a book and read it. Try out Ancy’s bookstore on the Lighthouse beach. They keep a good stock with English, German, Swedish and French titles. They even give out books on rent or exchange!

  • Sarongs / Lungis
    These are usually sold by vendors, who move around the market area, trying to sell their wares. You will find a nice colourful variety which usually come cheap (provided you bargain right). Keep an eye out for quality. Usually the vendors are quite pushy. Ask for Babu, he is the best vendor amongst them all. If you need something specific, he is the man to go to.

  • Spices
    Saffron, cardamom, coriander, mace, nutmeg, star anise, vanilla pods, dry ginger, palm jaggery, fenugreek, mustard, cinnamon, turmeric, tamarind, aniseed, asafoetida, and more. A number of markets sell good quality Keralite spices, Joseph and Sons (Lighthouse Beach) being one of them. This shop smells heavenly and the owner is quite knowledgeable about spices. You will enjoy having a chat with him.

  • Local handlooms and Handicrafts
    Though you will find a lot of loose clothing, casual wear stuffs being sold in almost every third shop, you should concentrate more on the local handlooms and silk sarees or kurtas. You will also come across many traditional handicrafts such as lamps, pottery, candle stands, hookahs, woodcarvings etc. Teakwood or Rosewood statues are quite famous here.

  • Shells
    Don’t worry if beachcombing didn’t get you much result. You will get a lot of pretty ones being sold on the beaches itself or the shops surrounding it. There are also pretty shell jewellery available here. We recommend buying the shell combs, picture frames and mirrors.

Tip: On the Lighthouse beach, go behind the shops and restaurants into the narrow lanes which lead to the rice paddies. On the way you’ll find even more quaint little shops selling paintings and souvenirs, which might offer you a cheaper deal.

Like we said, the whole Lighthouse beach front is full of shops with colourful displays pertaining to the whole of India and not selectively the state of Kerala. You will get Bhutanese jewellery, Kashmiri shawls, Rajasthani puppets, Madhubani paintings from Bihar, and so much more. Go around browsing through the different shops and you will come across something pretty or unique. Just keep in mind that haggling is expected, and you will be ripped off if you agree to the first price the shopkeeper demands.

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