Incredible India! It is a myriad of cultural diversity and no trip here is complete without a shopping frenzy. Every traveler wants to take back some mementos from an International trip. A trip to India can be expensive but you can be smart about shopping.
Do you know there is a lot that you can buy in India for under $10? In this blog post, I’ll share with you various items which you can buy in India.
SPICES FROM KERALA
These spices are pricey but decide on what spice you prefer the most, and take that with you. Personally, I love black pepper, and I would choose it over anything else. But whatever you fancy, head to the local shops in Kumily to get a look at the aromatic spices.
If you are in Kochi, then there are also places near Fort Kochi where you can buy Hot Indian Spices – $10 USD is more than enough for buying a small amount of each kind of spice from – cinnamon, cardamom, star anise, cloves and black pepper. If spices aren’t your thing, then buy heaps of banana chips in Kerela (available in most of the local stores).
Warning: If you do not like coconut oil, then avoid it because all the chips get fried in coconut oil here.
These are probably the cheapest yet beautiful items you get in India. If you are in Gangtok, then head to MG Marg. Most of the stores here have the Sikkimese cups. It costs around 65- 70 INR which is a dollar or so. Some mugs are costlier as they have gold lines added to them. But the price should not vary from Rs. 120-150 INR.
There are also lids available with the cups which keep the tea or coffee warm. And if you are buying mug then buy some tea too. The famous Temi Tea of Darjeeling originated from Sikkim. The best store for buying it is the Golden Tips Tea Shop in Yangthang House, Kazi Road, Gangtok.
BLUE POTTERY OF RAJASTHAN
Blue Pottery is a Persian art of making vessels from quartz powder. Most of the figurines include jars and vases. And the figurines are semi-transparent. But the artwork on it hides its transparency. In Jaipur, there is a home of famous blue pottery artist Kripal Singh.
Singh’s shop is in Shiv Marg and his store’s name is Kripal Kumbh where you get all kinds of blue pottery structures at just Rs. 300 INR – 600 INR. That is what your budget is, right? $10 USD. Neerja in Jacob Road also specializes in Blue Pottery.
This is the traditional dress of Kutch. If you are near Kutch, then many families depend solely on embroidery for their livelihood. A colorful lehenga (skirt and blouse along with a dupatta) woven intricately with mirror work. $10 is a bit less to take something as pretty as a chania choli, but you can take a scarf (dupatta) as a memento.
India has an eclectic taste in spices, so after you buy your share of spices take some curry powder with you too. These powders are available in local Grocery stores. Everest and Badshah are the most trusted and authentic brands in India.
Their price ranges from Rs. 60- 70 INR depending on the weight of the packet. You can take the Garam Masala Powder, Meat Masala, Red Chilli Powder, Turmeric Powder, etc.
Once you reach South India, and you visit a local’s house you see the Kondapalli Toys. These are dolls made from wood, and their heads generally bob. Chennai, Hyderabad, and Bangalore have many stores which sell Kondapalli toys. Their cost varies from Rs. 199 – 1000 INR. Choose something cute and pretty in your budget, and bring it back home. Just don’t let the bobbing heads weird you out.
KATPUTLIS FROM RAJASTHAN
In Rajasthan “Katputli” is the Hindi word for puppet. If you visit Jodhpur, Udaipur or Jaipur, then visit the Puppet show in the area. From there you get an idea of where to buy the katputlis. Rupayan Sansthan in Jodhpur and Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur are organizations where the puppet shows take place.
Cost starts from 200 INR/puppet. Do not let anyone fool you by making you pay $15 USD – that is Rs. 1000 INR.
If you have a sweet tooth, then India has uncountable options for you. And what more? It is inexpensive. So, unless you do not have a problem in transit, you are all good to stuff your bags with sweets. There are various types of sweets, and all these are on full display in Chandni Chowk’s Ghantewala Halwai – from Laddo to Jalebi everything is available here.
You can buy 2-3 kilos of sweet in $10. So, that is a sweet deal, isn’t it? Believe me, it is that cheap, but different sweets have a different price per kilo. Check with the shop keeper before ordering the sweets.
Nowadays Ayurvedic items are not that hard to find. Any shopping Mall in India has a section for Patanjali – which is most probably the leading Ayurvedic Brand in India.
No matter your requirement, Patanjali has got you covered. But do not buy any products blindly. If you have a skin problem, then buy something that meets your need.
I use the Aloe Vera gel by this brand (first I was doubtful, but now? Glowing!) So I can give you a thumbs up if you want to buy anything beauty, related to it.
The prices are low compared to other Indian Beauty Products. In $10 USD, you can buy pretty much any product of Ayurvedic nature.
In India, you get Varieties of fabric, color, and design in the carpet range. Kashmir is the best place to get a carpet. But if you stick to the major tourist areas like the Delhi- Jaipur then I suggest you buy from Jaipur.
Skip the Emporiums, because they have fixed prices on everything, and no bargaining works here.
But let me warn you that carpet prices are high- the sellers start at quadruple digits. Choose something in your price range – let us say 3000 INR (bargaining brings it down to Rs. 800- 900 INR).
Do your research on fabric and price ranges on online stores as well, so you do not get ripped off.