Kathmandu’s Unique Treasures: What to Buy
Shopping is an experience cherished worldwide, from the mundane to the extravagant. Kathmandu, the vibrant capital of Nepal, stands as a haven for shoppers, offering a diverse range of products that can fill your shopping bags with authentic Nepali charm. While you’ll find the usual daily essentials and trendy clothing, Kathmandu is also home to some truly unique Nepali treasures that are a must-buy during your visit. In this article, we’ll take you through the top five items to look out for and where to find them, along with a glimpse of the city’s famous markets and malls.
Renowned as cashmere, Pashmina fabrics are the epitome of elegance. Derived from the fur of mountain goats, this lightweight and soft fabric often features intricate embroidery. Nepal is one of the few places where Pashmina was originally woven, making it more affordable here than in most other parts of the world. Whether it’s shawls, stoles, or scarves, Pashmina products make for perfect souvenirs or personal indulgences.
Where to buy: Explore the Thamel area of Kathmandu or check out shops on New Road for an authentic Pashmina experience. Be cautious of imitation products and opt for a 70/30 silk blend for durability.
Thangkas are exquisite paintings unique to Nepal, often depicting scenes from Buddhism and Hinduism. These vibrant artworks, created on cotton or silk fabrics, deserve a place on your walls as they capture the essence of Nepali culture and spirituality.
Where to buy: You’ll find a variety of Thangka paintings in shops around the Thamel area.
Price: Small Thangkas can be found for around NPR 1500.
3. Singing Bowls
Nepal offers a unique musical experience with its singing bowls and metallic instruments with healing properties. These bowls are played by rubbing a wooden stick along their edges to produce a soothing sound, believed to have therapeutic effects.
Where to buy: Look for singing bowls in shops located in Thamel and Durbar Square in Kathmandu.
Price: Small singing bowls are available for approximately NPR 300.
4. Eatables: Lapsi, Chhurpi, and Titaura
For the adventurous foodie, Nepal offers distinctive delicacies worth trying. Lapsi, a sour fruit indigenous to Nepal, is transformed into pickles, candies, and tarts, while titaura is a sweet, sour, or spicy treat derived from lapsi. Chhurpi, a traditional cheese made from cow or yak milk, is another unique find to tantalize your taste buds.
Where to buy: Purchase lapsi and titaura at the New Road market in Kathmandu and find chhurpi at BhatBhateni departmental stores.
Adding a touch of vintage Nepal to your collection, the Khukuri is a traditional Gorkha knife with twin blades. These knives, used by Nepali soldiers for centuries, are adorned with fascinating patterns on their covers.
Where to buy: Explore the Thamel area for shops displaying Khukuris.
Price: A small Khukuri can be found for around NPR 1000.
Kathmandu’s shopping landscape offers a blend of tradition and modernity. With these unique treasures in mind and the vibrant markets and malls of the city at your disposal, your shopping adventure in Kathmandu promises to be a memorable and enriching experience. So, embark on your shopping spree and bring home a piece of Nepal’s culture and heritage.