Published Date :05 Jan, 2016
Usually, travelers flocked to Kathmandu for its ancient and artistic shrines, temples, monasteries, and palaces in the foregrounds of the Himalaya. They came to appreciate Nepal’s fine arts and architecture in its beautiful and natural backdrops. The Hippies actually began it all in the 60s. Then there followed a period of nature and adventure tourism, bringing in Yuppie trekkers, rafters and mountaineers, and the later day hang-gliders, hot-air balloonists and other dare-devils.
These two distinct groups of tourists to Nepal helped identify the country as a culture-nature-adventure triad of destination. This definition and identification still hold true in the 1990s, and will continue well into the 21st century.
Shopping- a new tourism product in Nepal
This is an additional new school of tourism to Nepal – and with a vengeance! The avid shopaholics-Indians, Nepalese and westerners as well- find the entire gamut of genuine international brands and domestic products in Nepal surprisingly competitively-priced, both in the bazaars and supermarkets of Kathmandu, Pokhara and other commercial hubs of Nepal.
A Sanskrit tome, dating back to some 6,000 years, cites Nepal as a veritable source of such quality products as the tender-wool Pashmina Shawls, some 22 varieties of excellent leather goods, products, and other items. These quality items drew many discernible connoisseurs to Nepal.Now this very ancient market is resurrected in Nepal, with the advent of consumer tourism. And there are two markets thriving in Nepal now: genuine International brand names and original Nepalese products. Pick up your own choices, or choose your own picks-however it suits you!
Nepal Traditional Goods Galore
Nepal boasts of many genuine, original and unique products of its own. After all, the craftsmen of Nepal were well-respected at the royal courts of ancient China and in the Indian markets thousands of years ago. The same expertises are practiced in Nepal to this day. The lucrative draws of International tourism encourage the domestic market products.
Nepal is like well organized museum for crafts and handicrafts. Nepal is worldwide famous for its intricate workmanship. We have wide varieties of souvenirs which are eye catching, typical and oriental designed. The handicraft business in Nepal has been passed from generation to generation. The handicraft productions are rapidly increasing and the artisans have got an opportunity to be forefront and have wider reach. The allure of Nepali handicrafts is unique because every stage of production is still carried out by hands. The products range from pashmina to paper, wooden craft to metal works. From pulping papers to weaving carpets to chiseling stones, the tools of the trade and the traditions behind the processes continue to remain unchanged. The most important products of Nepalese handicrafts are Gold plated copper and bronze statues, silver and gold jewelries, precious and semi precious gems, silk and woolen carpets, pashmina shawls, paper maches, stone carvings, wood carvings, Gurkha knives, thankas, decorative items, stone beads, felt products, garment items, masks, puppets, and so on.
Most of the products are displayed on the site are directly procured from the local craftsmen and artist. The absence of middlemen will ensure a better compensation for the artisans and will ensure a better compensation for the artisans and will also guarantee that you get the product at a reasonable price.These include shawls, woolen sweaters, socks, mittens, jackets, trousers, and caps which are very functional and colorful souvenir items. Nepalese tailors are adept at creating garments out of hand-loomed cotton, silk, wool, and leather. Exceptional embroidery also goes into the works.
Kathmandu boasts one of the widest selections of loose gems in the entire region, often at comparatively low prices. Many stones including ruby, aquamarine, black and green tourmaline, quartz and “healing stones”, as well as rare breeds like hamburgrite, panburite, feldspar and epidate are mined in the high mountains of Nepal.
Apart from necklaces, bracelets, rings and the traditional silver beads made especially in Patan, old Tibetan jewelry also abounds in the markets of Kathmandu. A glass bead market tucked away near Indra chowk stocks colorful glass beads imported from all over the world.
Khukuri, the curved metal knife, is synonymous with the valor of Gorkha soldiers, though its origins lie in the more humble lives of Nepal’s hill farmers. Manufactured by local iron smiths with traditional implements, this impressive tool has become a well loved memento for many people visiting this part of the world.
Decorative house wares are still made of the traditional copper, brass and bronze and then elaborately engraved. Pieces like Karuwas (water jars), antis (liquor jars), bowls, and hanging oil lamps are very popular souvenirs – useful ones too!
Traditional Nepalese paper, popularly known as “rice paper”, is actually made of lokta bark found in remote areas of the country. Because of its strength, government offices use it for official documents. Many stores in Thamel in Kathmandu, Patan and Bhaktapur sell writing pads and bound journals, as well as calendars and lamp shades of lokta paper.
These traditional paintings (Thangka in Tibetan), depict deities and religious symbols from Buddhism. Painted on cotton scrolls, the best Paubhas are made using ground stone pigments to create their vivid colors. Powdered silver and gold are other key ingredients.
Extremely proficient in the delicate art of making both terra-cotta and glazed earthenware, Kathmandu’s potters make various articles from the black clay that abounds in the valley. Their products range from household utensils to inexpensive decorative souvenirs. Not a small part of the fun of buying pottery is watching the potters in action, a scene which can be witnessed in Bhaktapur’s potters’ square.
Since ancient times, traders have followed their noses to the spice markets of Asia.Kathmandu’s markets offer exotic ingredients to add flavor to your curries – nutmeg, ginger, saffron, mace, green anise, fenugreek, black pepper, coriander seeds. Painstakingly ground by hand and mixed with a skill handed down from time immemorial, the spice produced here promise new experiences for the taste – buds.
The casting of bronze, brass and copper statuary in Nepal dates back to the 13th century. Casters in Nepal use the ancient and labor intensive “lost wax method” in which ornate figures, modeled in bees- wax and used to create the earthenware molds, are melted away and “lost” prior to the actual casting.
Nepal’s eastern hilly districts, notably Ilam, produce a variety of excellent tea, most of which is exported. Kathmandu’s shops offer a wide selection of fine Nepalese tea in attractive packaging which makes it suitable as gifts.
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 doors and windows, picture frames, jewelry boxes and furniture are produced in the workshops of Patan and Bhaktapur for both domestic and export sale.
Carpets made in Nepal are hand- knotted using the traditional techniques of Tibet. The best of them are woven from a mixture of a highland Himalayan sheep’s wool and New Zealand long staple wool. Vegetable pigments, derived from natural components, are of course the most culturally authentic but most manufacturers prefer using imported chemical dyes which are fast, enduring and economical.
So, Kathmandu valley is the handicrafts gallery. Kathmandu’s streets offer a treasure of handicrafts. The entire walk in Basantapur is studded with gem palaces and handicrafts emporiums. From there to the north towards Thamel, you could see many different shops, arcades for Nepalese made garments, jackets, apparels and so an.Another “must” destination is the Durbar Marga. This place is popular for the elite gem and curio emporiums. Artistic leather goods, brass and copper craft, gold and silver ornaments, carpets and Chainpur brass exotica are some of the things found in this fashionable street in Kathmandu.