A pictureque backdrop of snow peak mountains, the mesmerising Dal Lake and a bright display of stationary houseboats and shikaras – this is Srinagar for you. Along with being among India’s most stunning hill destinations, the beautiful town of Srinagar is also a shopper’s delight. It is home to numerous local markets bustling with indigenous shops selling authentic Kashmiri products. Choose the best place to stay in Srinagar and enjoy the perks of an ideal location so you can shop from markets all around town. Take your pick from exquisite woodwork, gracefully painted paper mache boxes, pashmina shawls, rugs and not to mention floral namdas (woolen carpets).
Here’s everything you need to know about shopping in Srinagar:
Pashmina – It’s impossible to come to Srinagar and not get your hand on authentic, high quality pashmina garments. Choose from shawls, jackets, sweaters and stoles in vibrant colours and designs.
Kashmiri Tea – No matter the season, Kashmiris love drinking tea. Kashmiri tea boasts a unique flavour that is distinct from any other in the world. It comes in varied flavours and fragrances – most popular ones being Kashmiri Kahwa, Salted Pink tea, Oolong Tea and Noon Chai.
Utensils – Srinagar is widely popular for copper utensils and home décor items. Don’t forget to get your hands on treasured antique copperware including trays, samovars, jugs, bowls, serving spoons and figurines.
Carpets – Among other woolen products, Srinagar is also famous for its locally styled carpets. Along with unmatched quality and durability, Kashmiri carpets are known for their distinct design, vibrant colours, varied pattern and attention to detail. They’re among the most widely shopped items in Srinagar, bought by domestic and international travellers alike.
Walnut Woodwork – Another very popular shopping item in Srinagar is woodwork that meticulously crafted in walnut. You’ll find the streets abuzz with vendors and craftsmen selling beautiful wooden boxes, fruit baskets, home décor items, jewellery/ trinket boxes and so much more. They’re make for great souvenirs and gifting items.
Paper Mache: Srinagar is known across India and around the globe for its creative paper mache products. The local craftsmen and artisans employ days of effort and heaps of creativity to make delicate artwork using paper pulp. The artwork is coated using lacquer to ensure durability and water resistance. You can choose from a myriad of interesting paper mache products including ornaments, paintings, coasters, candle stands, bowls, bangles, trays and vases.
Spices: Most local markets in Srinagar are lined with shops that sell aromatic and exotic spices that are unique to the valley. Here, you’ll find the most exquisite range of brown cardamom, nutmeg, saffron, star anise and of course the world famous Kashmiri red chili.
Apart from its lofty mountains, lush green valleys and serene lakes, Srinagar also offers the perfect chance for you to immerse in local culture and shop to your heart’s delight. If you’re staying at a hotel in Srinagar near Dal Lake, head to Lal Chowk, Badshah Chowk, Floating Market, Kashmiri Government Arts Emporium or Zaina Khandal Road to shop for the best of local produce. In every other market, you’re bound to find a part of Srinagar that you’d love to take home with you!