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iXiGOers Jul 10 2013

Which are the best souvenirs to buy from India?

Reema Bhalla Jul 10 2013
5 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

Here’s a list of some of the best souvenirs in India which you just can’t miss out on. Pick from a range of items that are a reflection of India’s rich cultural heritage and diversity.

Khurja Artifacts

Khurja is known for two things — its pottery and its khurchan. Situated only 100 km from Delhi, the small town of Khurja in U.P. supplies a large portion of the pottery used in the country. There are nearly 400 factories making ceramic items, including sanitary goods, fuses, cutouts, ashtrays, and footsteps. Despite being handmade and handpainted, the products are very reasonably priced.

Khurja Pottery (by Lokantha)

Crispy Banana Chips

A popular snack from the city of Kerala are fried banana chips, known locally as upperi. In Kerala, it is the nandhra vazha, a variety of banana, which is used to make the chips. The chips are always fried in coconut oil. Both ripe and unripe bananas are used. Sometimes they are coated with masala or jaggery to make spicy or sweet variants. They are the perfect souvenir snack!

Banana Chips (by Rennett Stowe)

Jodhpuri Mojari

Cobblers in and around the city of Jodhpur craft leather into light and intricately embroidered footwear, locally known as, “Pagrakshi”. They are cut using traditional patterns that make no distinction between the left and right foot, it may be easily distinguished by the exceptionally intricate and densely embroidered upper part. No set design is followed for the embroidered flowers and creepers; the women create each from imagination. The soles too, are highly decorative.

Mojari (by RubyGoes)

Meenakari Work

This kind of art work is characterized by pink brush strokes on white enamel. The motifs used are lotus blooms and buds. The art was learnt from Persian craftsmen. The craftsmen have now extended their repertoire from jewellery to silver trinket boxes, decorative elephants, birds and stationery. The markets in Jaipur house a lot of interesting things to buy.

Meenakari Work (by Fabienkhan)

Bankura Horse

When visiting Bengal look for Bankura horses – terracotta horses that are produced in the Panchmura Village in Bankura District of West Bengal. Originally used for village rituals, these now adorn drawing rooms across the world as symbols of Indian folk art, and display the skill and craftsmanship of Bengal. These are surely one of the best souvenirs in India.

Bankura Horses (by Amartyabag)

Dancing Dolls

Among all the interesting things that the city of Thanjavur offers, the dancing doll is the most unique and exquisite one. Also called “Thalaiyatti Bommai”, the dancing dolls are traditional handmade dolls that can be used as decorative or gift items. They are made out of sago (tapioca pearls), Plaster of Paris (POP), papier mache and wood pulp. The heads of these dolls shake and are detachable too. The lower part of the body is bigger than the heads, and it is a delight to watch them move rhythmically.

Dancing Dolls (by Nagarjun Kandukuru)

Kota Sarees

A specialty from the state of Rajasthan, these sarees are made in and around the city of Kota, and are also known as Kota Doria sarees. The fabric is made of cotton-silk threads that makes it transparent and glossy. The silk provides the required transparency while the cotton provides the necessary strength. These sarees are mostly worn during summer months.

Kota Saree (by Ashish Bhatnagar)

Prayer Wheel

When visiting Sikkim or Leh-Ladakh, look for the Buddhist prayer wheel. It is an exclusive Tibetan praying instrument that always bears the chant "Om Mani Padme hum". Usually made of a cylindrical body of repoussé metal, it is penetrated along its axis by a wooden or metal handle. The cylinder can turn around the handle with a slight rotation of the wrist due to the cord or ballasted chain that keeps it in movement. Inside this cylinder, written on paper or skin, are esoteric texts. They make for beautiful gifts or delightful keepsakes.

Prayer Wheel (by archer10)

Leather Lampshades

In Andhra Pradesh, the art of making lampshades has its origin in leather puppetry. This form of art popularly known as tholu bommalata in Telugu is one of the earliest performing arts. The figures are made of goat leather. Puppeteers have channelled this art into the making of small vases, partition screens, wall decoratives and lampshades. The colourful spectrum of lampshades depict episodes from folklore, Ramayana, Mahabharata and Krishna Leela.

Leather Lamps (by jackol)

Sandalwood Artefacts

Karnataka state
has a history of carving artefacts in sandalwood. The srigandha type of sandalwood is used for carving. The wood is cultured and used to make a plethora of products that range from idols of deities and finely-twisted chariots to decorative pieces such as paper cutters, walking sticks, name cases, trays, boxes, photo frames, fans, cigarette cases, holders and elephant figurines.

Sandalwood artifact (by PaulSteinJC)

Carved Horns

An interesting souvenir you can take back from The state of Kerala is a curio carved out of the horns of animals, usually buffaloes. The horns are softened by heating and oiling and then carved. It is usually craftsmen from Thiruvananthapuram that engage in this craft. A common product is a miniature replica of a snake boat. Utilitarian objects made in this way are vases, pen stands, small boxes,buttons, paper weights and lamps.

Carved horn (by p_a_h)

Naga Shawls

Next time you visit Nagaland, look out for Naga Shawls – they are the most prominent items of Naga dressing. Every major tribe of Nagaland state has its own unique shawl pattern. While the warrior shawl of Ao tribe is called the Tsungkotepsu and has figures of the tiger, elephant, mithun, human head, cock, dao and spear, the warrior shawl of the Santam tribe is called the Sangtam Rongsu.

Naga Shawl (by RubyGoes)

Mathura Pedas

The city of Mathura is as famous for its pedas, a thick, semi-soft sweetmeat made out of milk and flour, as for its connection to Lord Krishna. Actually, the word peda is also generically used to mean a blob of any doughy substance such as flour. The Mathura pedas are particularly famous for their purity and taste. Pure milk is boiled for long hours till the last drop of water evaporates. Then this khoya is used to make the peda.

Peda (by Pamri)

Mysore Silk Sarees

When visiting Mysore city, do not come back without buying the Mysore silk sarees. Mysore is known all over the world for its silks. Most sarees have gold zari on both edges of the saree and on the pallu. There are numerous showrooms in markets in Mysore that sell Mysore silks and it is the crepe silk sarees that are the most sought after.

Mysore Silk Saree (by Kiranravikumar)

Not only are these the best souvenirs in India but also a great way to connect with the local art and culture of the destination you are visiting and bringing a part of it back with you!

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The Holy Boddhi Leaf framed and available at the Taj Vivanta Landsend Mumbai and Kolkata
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You can check this out. Original designs of Fridge magnets. They also available on ArtsyIndia.com. Thank You!
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