That’s why the concept of souvenirs in a way fits our country like a jigsaw puzzle. With so much to remember and so many different memories to make, the best possible way to cherish all your precious moments is by collecting the feel of a place in one single article which will serve as a representative from that place. Here is a list of different souvenirs to collect while in India-
1. Sand From Thar Desert
When a vast expanse of nothing but sand stretches along in front of you in the Great Indian Desert, all you can think about is abandonment, right? The only aspect of the desert that is around you is…sand, long miles of just sand. So, what else but sand can make up for a souvenir from the incredible Thar desert?
2. Local Handicraft From Jaipur
Jaipur, the pink city, welcomes everyone with a wide, colourful hug. It will leave you breathless with the variety of handicrafts that it has to offer. Intricate designs like those of paisleys can often be found on most of these handicrafts like jootis (traditional Indian slippers), puppets, carpets, etc. Nothing else screams ‘Indian’ more than authentic Indian designs on handicrafts. So, make sure that you take something back home from Jaipur the next time you visit this warm city!
3. Water and Pebbles from Gangotri-Gomukh
Gomukh, the snout of the Gangotri glacier, is one of the primary sources of the Ganges River. A trek up to Gomukh is a beautiful experience as you climb up the rocky mountain to find a glacier in the end, which hold the beginning of the holiest water of India- Ganga. A souvenir like this one is inexpensive but extremely valuable.
4. Candles From Nainital
The town of 9 lakes is also famous for its candles. The fragrant and homemade candles from Nainital are a huge part of its tourism industry and have remained a choice for souvenirs for a long time now. After all, a candle to remind you of the fragrance and the cool breeze of Nainital is a great souvenir to take back home.
5. Traditional Sarees from Varanasi, Assam, West Bengal and South India
The saree is perhaps the most popular piece of cloth to be synonymous with the country. The Great Indian Attire can actually be found in various varieties. Each part of the country has its own type of saree. The Banarasi saree is known for its gold and silver brocade, fine silk and opulent embroidery, the Mekhala from Assam is made from cotton, muga and pat, which are silk made from specific silkworms. Then there is the Kanjeevaram saree is referred to as South India’s answer to the Benarasi saree. Bengal offers the light-weight, low-cost Tant sarees, perfect for summers. These are just some of the many kinds that India has to offer.
6. Chikan From Lucknow
The land of Nawabs is known for two things- Tunday kebabs And Chikan needlecraft. Chikan handiwork has remained a major source of income and a matter of pride for Luckowites for a long time. Intricate designs made on cotton textiles makes for beautiful sarees, kurtas, etc. It is definitely one of the most unique souvenirs that one can buy.
7. Traditional Paintings
Our land of arts and culture has so much to show in the name of paintings. A wide array of regional painting styles make for great souvenirs. Madhubani paintings, for example are done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and are characterized by eye-catching geometrical patterns.
Tanjore paintings is a classical South Indian painting style and can be characterized by the use of rich, flat, vivid colours and simple iconic compositions. Then we have Warli painting which is a tribal art and are mostly monosyllabic. These are just some of the painting styles that can be found in India.
8. Terracotta Items From Bishnupur
Bishnupur is a place in the state of West Bengal which is famous for its terracotta temples. Terracotta, or baked earth is a very popular crafts material in this town. Figurines and sculptures made of terracotta with a lot of detail work done on them is what makes this souvenir very beautiful.
9. Psychedelic And Embroidered Apparels From Kasol
Kasol in Himachal Pradesh is a melting pot for a lot of young crowd and we all know why. The scenic beauty and the cool mountain breeze is something that is reminiscent of this beautiful valley. Being the most accessible place with the main market, Kasol is known for its beautifully embroidered t-shirts and apparels along with the many variants of psychedelic prints.
Clothes are the best souvenirs because you can use tham again and again and that’s why this one is one of the best things that you can buy from Kasol.
10. Buddhist Tokens From Dharamsala and Ladakh
India has been home to hundreds of Buddhists for many years. Dharamsala, being one of the main hubs of this faith is the best place to observe the Buddhist culture. However, if you are travelling there, you should definitely get your hands on the Buddhist meditation bowl which operates on the frequency of sound that you make to use it along with the prayer wheels which double as awesome souvenirs for you to take back. Ladakh also has a handsome Buddhist population and the multi-coloured prayer flags found there are just something that you know you need to take back home.
11. Spices And Ayurvedic oils From Kerala
God’s own country is the best place in India to unwind and relax and where else if not here that you can get the most amazing massages? Strongly rooted in Ayurveda, Kerala has a cure for all your problems. The oils that you get here are guaranteed to be miraculous. Another miraculous find in Kerala are the spices. A huge spice market in Kochi will transform your idea of what the various spices taste like. Fresh and in bulk, the aroma from the spices just hit your face. So make sure that you take back these essential souvenirs back with you.
Indian food has a vast variety of spices that are used The Indian subcontinent produces different spices due to various climatic conditions in different parts of the country. Cinamon, Fennel Seeds, Asafoetida, Pepper, cumin, bay leaf are some of the spices that you can buy from India.
12. Tea From Darjeeling/Assam
India is the largest consumer of tea in the world and the second largest exporter. Tea is a staple drink in the majority of the Indian households. Various spices and herbs with an array of health benefits are mixed with the tea leaves. The most common preparation of Indian Tea or chai is mixing it with milk and sugar. The best ones come from Darjeeling and Assam and if you are going to either or both of these places, make sure to visit the plantations and get back home with some freshly packaged tea leaves.
13. Camel Products From Bikaner
If you don’t visit Rajasthan on your India trip then it is easily considered to be a flop show. Camels have been synonymous with Rajasthan for a long time now and Bikaner is one of the most magnificent cities of this flourishing state. Camels, which are the source of livelihood for the people of Rajasthan, is best suited to be a souvenir for all the travellers.
14. Sandalwood Products From Mysore
The South Indian city of Mysore has been producing the sandalwood soap since 1916 and has had a long history of sandalwood products like sandalwood oil, cosmetics, etc. The sandalwood products made here are one of its kinds and the smell that it leaves behind is something which is very aromatic and pleasing. This needs to be on your Indian souvenirs’ list for sure!
15. Pashmina Shawls, Papier Mache, Saffron from Kashmir
Fondly called ‘Heaven on Earth’, Kashmir is one place where everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. Apart from the breathtaking landscapes and the snowfall, Kashmir is also known for it’s Pashmina shawls which are extremely exquisite and deserve no mention. It is said that a pure Pashmina can easily slide through a finger ring without any obstruction.
Apart from the Pashmina, saffron, the most expensive spice in the world is something which is indigenous to this place. The best of the best saffron in the world, can be found here and even if you don’t use it in your cooking much, you can keep it as a souvenir. Papier Mache is something which is made locally in Kashmir. Intricate designs on vases, lamps and all kinds of decorative items are done meticulously by hand. This is something which definitely deserves recognition.
16. Marble Products From Udaipur
The lake city of Udaipur is famous for its palaces too. Marble products are a speciality in Udaipur. Small figures, big sculptures, polished and made of marble are very popular among tourists. SO if you are around Udaipur the next time, make sure you carefully choose something made of marble and take it as a souvenir.
17. Itr (Attar) From Kanauj
Kanauj is a place near Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh and is known for its itr which is natural perfume oil derived from botanical sources. They are highly concentrated and are all-natural and that’s the reason why they are sold in small quantities. They also come in very exotic names like ‘jannat-ul-firdaus’ and are available in a variety of fragrances like rose, musk, jasmine, lotus, etc. This is a very unique souvenir for anyone to get.
18. Kullu Topi From Himachal Pradesh
The Kullu topi (cap) is a typical topi from the Kullu-Manali valley, worn by most of the men living the region. However it is a very warm and stylish topi to flaunt around after your trip is over. Besides, who else would get a topi from Kullu as a souvenir right? So that makes you unique!
19. Incense sticks
Incense is burned in India in the form of sticks or agarbathis. It is one of the integral parts of prayers in many Asian countries. It fills the air with a heavenly fragrance, removes odour and releases smoke that acts as a disinfectant. Incense also has a soothing effect that relaxes the mind.
India offers a huge collection of and unique designs of gold, silver, imitation, precious and semi-precious stone jewellery. Needless to say, the designs change from one part of the country to another.
The list is endless. India is Incredible. Who knows what you may find interesting.