India is one of the best Asian countries to go shopping. The fact that their prices are very low compared to those in the UK and the wide variety of products make it impossible to come home from this country without any souvenirs.
Some of the most famous products are silk, silver jewellery and Indian tea. Jewels and precious stones are other desirable items purchased by tourists on their trips to Jaipur, where gems, gold and diamonds and abundant in many of the markets.
If you are hoping to buy carpets, the best can be found in Kashmir, where it is possible to find authentic silk carpets, and also in Darjeeling and Bhadohi. Discover what to buy in India.
They are one of the star products of India, as the country is one of the worlds largest producers. Carpet making was introduced by the Persians in the sixteenth century, with materials such as sheep's wool and motifs, but in India, they soon began to manufacture with silk instead. Depending on the region you can find a variety of carpets in different colours and with an amazing array of intricate patterns. The best cities to buy genuine Indian carpets are Jaipur, Kashmir, Mirzapur, Amritsar and Bhadohi.
Clothing in India is very cheap. In almost all the markets of large cities such as the one in Sarojini, Old Delhi or Pahar Ganj, and in New Delhi, you can find clothes and accessories. From imitations of international designers to hand-made creations made out of the typical fabrics of the country. In some stores you can find tailors who make clothes to measure, ideal if you want to have your own sari. Fabrics such as cotton or silk in India are usually of good quality and quite cheap, which is why many brands have their factories there.
India has many markets where you can find genuine local handicrafts. Leather is the most sought-after material, which can be made into bags, belts and sandals. In Jaipur, for example, one of the markets where you can buy camel skin goods is the Bapu Bazaar. Two other cities where leather goods are also common are Delhi or Agra. Wood crafts are also extremely popular, with a variety of wooden figures and icons available to buy on market stalls throughout the country. Rosewood is very common and is best available in Kerala and Madras. Bronze, copper and pottery are also popular materials used in craft wares.
The production of oils in India dates back to the first civilizations of the Indus Valley. Some scents such as sandalwood or camphor have become hallmarks of the country. Over the years other scents have enjoyed a rising popularity such as jasmine, rose and amber. One of the best places to get hold of these delicious smelling oils is in Kannauj, in Uttar Pradesh; Old Delhi or in the bazaars of Rajasthan. Also in Mysore, where the vast majority of oils and natural incense are manufactured. Compare prices before you buy since some sellers aim to sell to tourists at a higher price than others.
Silver is very popular in India, and there are many stores where you can purchase it for cheaper prices than in Europe. The best known cities to buy it are Udaipur and Madurai. Gold is also very prevalent, although the price is somewhat higher. Jaipur is known as the city of the gems, in some of its markets as in the Johari Bazaar, you can find a great variety of them, in addition to precious stones such as rubies, emeralds or pearls. Also, the city of Hyderabad is known for its jewellery sellers.
This fabric, popular since the time of the Silk Road, is one of the most sought-after treasures of India. The best place to purchase silk is in Varanasi, where several factories are located. You can find a plethora of clothes, blankets and accessories made from this beautifully soft material, and in the factory outlets, there are millions of different varieties in a vast selection of colours. In India, you usually purchase silk by weight, but if you ask for a sari, you will usually receive around 6 metres of the fabric, which can then be adapted to fit you by one of the many tailors available on almost every street.