Shopping in KulluKullu is one of the most famous hill stations of Himachal Pradesh. Known for its luscious apple orchards, plentiful sightseeing opportunities and sumptuous cuisine, Kullu is also famed for its shopping opportunities and exquisite local handicrafts. The artisans of Kullu are involved in making traditional decorative jewellery, masks, Kullu topis, statues, fine wood furniture, painting, shawls and many more objects of beauty and value. Kullu is known for its handicrafts and locally made jams and jellies.
The Kullu valley shows a lot of Tibetan influence as is evident from its handicrafts and food. The Tibetan monasteries dotting the place give Kullu a spiritual serenity and mystical charm. Kullu is also one of the few places in Himachal Pradesh where you can get easy access through auto rickshaws. So put on a pair of comfy shoes and carry a few empty shopping bags to these Kullu shopping destination.
Kinnauri And Kullu ShawlsThe Kinnauri shawls are completely different from the traditional flower inspired kashmiri designs. The Kullu and Kinnauri shawls have a strong central Asian inspiration as they have a lot of geometrical patterns inbuilt into them. The weaves are superb and the motifs in these shawls have religious connotations. White, green, yellow, blue and red are the main colours used in these shawls and they represent aether, fire, earth, air and water. You can get a lot of these shawls in the Kharra bazaar of the Kullu valley.
Nepalese Thangka in KulluThe thangka is again another unique creation which is difficult to find out of the Kullu valley. A Buddhist religious painting usually of a Tibetan deity or a spiritual concept is made in the shape of a picture panel. This is not a normal two dimensional oil painting but a 3d effect is created with help of a silken cover and clever mounting.
A thangka is a beautiful expensive piece of art and will last for decades. Make sure you get it from a genuine shop in Lakkar Bazzar; another famous shopping area in Kullu
Tibetan Silver Jewellery in KulluTibetan silver jewellery is heavy, gorgeous and intricately carved. And you will get traditional Tibetan jewellery only in authentic places like Gadan Thekchokling Gompa area where wrinkled old Tibetan vendors sit in tiny little shops. Traditional Tibetan jewellery is inspired by motifs which have traditional or religious meanings. There are amulets, bracelets, anklets and neckpieces with religious motifs which are supposed to ward off the evil eye. Semi precious stone jewellery is also available in the Tibetan market of Gadan Thekchokling. Carry back interesting pendants, earrings and finger rings from the gorgeous Kullu markets.
Kullu CapsIt’s a cardinal sin to visit the beautiful Kullu valley and not buy at least half a dozen Kullu caps. Found exclusively in the traditional Kullu shopping spots, the Kullu cap is made of unadulterated pashmina or Angora wool. The caps are vibrant and reflect the refined aesthetic sensibilities of the artisans working in the Kullu valley. There are different patterns of designs carved on different sides of the Kullu cap which is specially found in the shopping center of Kullu. This is a traditional handicraft and is exclusive to the traditions of Himachal.
Jams and Jellies in KulluThe Kullu valley is dotted with small shops which sell exotic flavours of jams and organic jellies. About 20% of the population in Kullu valley is engaged in cottage industries that churn out delicious food items like fruit compost, bread, jellies and jams. Jams are available in exotic flavours like blackberry, strawberry, cranberry, raspberry, apple and ginger-cinnamon. Jellies and organically produced homemade fruit compost is also available. Stock up on these delicious goodies to carry back to your family kitchen back home.
Yak Wool Products in KulluYak is an animal that is typically found in the snow capped peaks of Himalayas. Caps, shawls and garments made of Yak wool are available in the bazaars of Kullu valley and it is really difficult to get these items elsewhere. Colourful pullovers made of Yak wool found in Kullu valley will keep you warm and comfy.
If you really want to buy some woolen garments then go for those made of Yak wool since they are interesting and unique.
Handmade Soaps and Creams in KulluThere are many varieties of flora found in the pristine Himachal valleys and Kullu boasts of a strong local cosmetic industry. You will get handmade soaps in exotic fragrances like lavender, apple, tea rose, saffron, hycanith and orchids. The ingredients of these soaps are all locally sourced and they are 100% natural. You will also get saffron and almond enhanced creams, lotions and gels in the local market. However a smart local assisting you in your choice of organic skin care products will help you make the right choice.
Shopping Trip to Akhara Bazar in KulluAkhara Bazar is one of Himachal
Pradesh’s most famous bazaar. There are so many shops selling kullu
caps, woolen garments, pattoos, traditional Himalayan attire, head gear,
silver kamarbandhs and rugs. It will at least take you half a day to explore the
charms of Kullu Akhara bazaar. There are sellers who come from the
remote valleys of Himachal to sell their wares in Akhara bazaar.
If you go there in the off season you will be able to get great deals on rugs and woolen garments. Make sure that you bargain hard and take along a local guy with you for help!
Wooden Furniture in KulluIntricately carved furniture, prayer wheels and toys made of evergreen wood is found in Kullu Khangra or Tibetan market. For practical reasons it’s difficult to transport furniture back home. However you can buy the Tibetan prayer wheels for your home and also pick up some colourful toys and bangles from the markets of Kullu valley.
The markets of Kullu are so tempting that it’s natural to want to buy up whatever you can lay your hands on. However make an itemized budget that you can try sticking to.