The huge Tibetan population that have made Ladakh its home provides not just a rich infusion to the local culture but also allows everyone a generous peek into their homes and traditions by selling handmade Tibetan artefacts and wares at the markets here. You will be spoilt for choice with intricately painted, eye-catching Thangka paintings that make for beautiful, sacred wall-pieces and meditational means; Buddha statues in different poses and sizes, each with its own significance; mountable Buddha masks; prayer wheels, beads, and flags for chanting or adorning your vehicle; brass and copper 'chang' pots with intricate carvings, traditionally used to serve tea or alcoholic beverages (your chance to be fancy at get-togethers?); carved wooden tables or 'choktse' that are painstakingly carved and painted in stunning colours or simply varnished; and bamboo work baskets and cradles of superior quality are some of the things to lookout for while shopping in Leh Ladakh.
The stunning Ladakhi jewellery makes a gorgeous addition to your or your better-half's collection. Sift through the vast collections of pure silver jewellery, making sure it is hallmarked for authenticity, and vibrant turquoise and coral pieces worn traditionally by Ladakhis and Tibetans. You'll find a wide variety of necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, and even key chains while shopping in Ladakh. We promise you will end up buying more than just one of each kind.
The real test of Pashmina is to pass it through a finger ring fluidly. The delicate, painfully beautiful, and very warm, Pashmina shawls made with fine Kashmiri wool can be found aplenty here. For normal woollens, look for socks, gloves, sweaters, caps and blankets woven with yak wool in the trademark local patterns. Additionally, while shopping in Ladakh you may lookout for the traditional warm robe 'goncha', made with wool or cotton, and the colourfully embroidered and embellished headgear 'perak', worn by the locals. If you have a weird sense of style or the ability to carry off everything with ease, you are sure to make a fashion statement with these local garments.
Ladakh is a one-stop shop for making your home an abode of resplendence! Don't miss out on crucial buys like Ladakhi carpets and rugs - naturally dyed and hand woven with wool in exotic patterns that include detailed dragons and floral representations. The sturdy, thick rugs make for great wall hangings and carpets. Kashmiri carpets, on the other hand, have more intricate designs woven with more exquisite wool and silk, which are available in various sizes and prices. Nothing adds a touch of regality and ethnicity to a room as, perhaps, a Kashmiri carpet with its amalgamation of vibrant colours and intricate patterns does.
As the name suggests, this is the chief street lined with shops and stalls frequented by tourists and locals and selling almost everything you may require. You can buy Tibetan souvenirs, handicrafts, antiques and woollens, and Ladakhi jewellery, at the numerous outposts here, and also pashmina shawls at competitive prices which require bargaining, nevertheless.
These two make a one-stop shop for buying Tibetan handicrafts and wares, authentic Ladakhi jewellery in silver and stone, and exquisite gift items. Perhaps, more expensive than the shops lining Main Bazaar road, but you are likely to find more variety here making it a must-visit for shopping in Ladakh.
Another gem to select from and purchase a wide a variety of Ladakhi jewellery, Tibetan wares and artefacts, antiques. The place specializes in Ladakhi and Tibetan jewellery, so make sure you visit it if you are a jewellery connoisseur.
If your desire and appetite for apricots have not been met at the Main Bazaar, head to this store that deals only in apricots and all its derivatives - dried, fresh, jam and oil. The nutritious oil and finger-licking jam are much sought after by tourists while shopping in Ladakh.