Travel and shopping: The most wanted souvenirs from India

The Most Wanted Souvenirs from India

Travel and shopping: the most wanted souvenirs from India. This week I am super happy. We will be traveling again! From India to Poland! As I am still here in India now, I want to tell you a bit more about this incredible country.

Let’s continue last week’s topic of Travel and Shopping: The Truth about Shopping in India. This time I want to share the list of the most wanted souvenirs from India. If you plan to visit one day, or maybe you plan to return, explore the list below. It includes both more and less known items. Happy shopping!

INDIA’S EXPORT

India is one of the world’s top exporters. As per 2019 data, it exports about 4450 different goods to 220 countries. Truly impressive!

So what is on the top export products list of India? Let’s keep aside petroleum oils, medication, rice, or cars, as you won’t buy them during holidays to take back home. 😉 Potential top souvenir items include diamonds, jewelry, cotton, women’s clothing, t-shirts, vests, steel products, and footwear.

I am not a shopaholic. I am helping the economy.

Are these what I would recommend you bring back from your travel to India? Discover the list below! The most wanted one.

THE MOST WANTED LIST

Souvenir (noun)

something that you keep to remind you of somewhere you have been on holiday or of a special event

Buy only because something excites you, not just for the simple act of shopping.

Karl Lagerfeld

Experience

India is an ideal place to bring back the most beautiful souvenir from the travel: experience. Forget for a moment all the shopping. Do we travel to shop or to experience the new lands, emotions, places, people? In India, both in the middle of nature or the city center: you can always find something new or unique. Capture it with your eyes.

Photography

India is also a photographers’ paradise. Once you capture new things with your eyes, you can also use your photo camera or phone. No matter if this is the Taj Mahal or a side road in the middle of nowhere, there will be plenty of opportunities for a beautiful click. So don’t forget your camera when packing for India, and keep a memory card empty!

Colors

Be it memories or actual things, bring from India some colors. The country is known for its diversity and colors. They are present everywhere: colorful houses, trucks, clothes, flowers, decorations, rangoli drawings, etc. After visiting India, many people feel that black and white aren’t their favorite colors anymore. Admire radiant streets and buy yourself something a bit more colorful than usual.

Color is a power which directly influences the soul.

Wassily Kandinsky

Let’s start some actual shopping! From my previous post, you might know that shops are available everywhere in India. Open 365 days a year. It is a very teasing place for all shopaholics!

Ayurvedic products

What did I buy in India during my first visit, back in February 2009? (and every next trip) Ayurvedic products! I love them. Ayurveda is present in the daily life of Indian people: its philosophy, natural medicine, food, care products, cosmetics, body treatments.

Ayurvedic products contain various indigenous herbs. It is best to opt for organic ayurvedic items. They are made from natural ingredients. Additionally, they are free from fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, etc.

Brands to consider:

Mango / Sheesham wood items

The Most Wanted Souvenirs from India Wooden Items

Traveling to India, I discovered many new types of wood and its products. As I am Polish, I am used to pinewood, beechwood, or oak wood, usually lighter shades. In India, it is the opposite: wood is darker. Among many: mango wood, Sheesham, rosewood, satinwood. Products’ variety is significant. It all depends on the personal need, budget, and size of your suitcase. 🙂 It is easy to fall in love with Indian wooden furniture, handcrafter door, or wardrobes. Instead, select something from home decor. Maybe a food tray, cutting board, or a serving bowl. And for children: wooden toys!

Shops to consider:

Spices

I love Indian spices! So much that I dedicated two of my blog posts to them. You can find them here: Spicy India – Free Guide to Spices and More Unique Spices from India. Explore these two articles to find out what are the most common and more unique spices. It can be a great souvenir from India. I always bring some to Poland. One suggestion: just remember not to keep red chili in your hand luggage. You might get into problems. Keeping it in the checked baggage is all ok!

Brands to consider:

Snacks

Life in India doesn’t exist without snacks! In the Hindi language, they are called namkeen. In India, they are served with tea and coffee. So many varieties, tastes, and ingredients. From very spicy to sweet and sour, from fried lentils to banana snacks. Haldiram’s is with no doubt the best brand to try. Explore different types before taking more back home with you. The great thing is that there are different sizes of packages. You can buy ‘tasting’ ones for 10 rupees ($0.14 or 0.11 Euro) and select your taste.

Brands to consider:

COPPER & MARBLE ITEMS

The Most Wanted Souvenirs from India Copper Items

Thinking about souvenirs from India, you might not pre-consider copper and marble items. They are excellent ‘take-aways’ from India! It appears that copper was known in the later Vedic age, c. 800 – c. 1500 BCE. Thanks to any health benefits, copper kitchen products have been popular in India. For example, jars, glasses, bowls, pans, utensils. Similarly, in India, you can find excellent marble products. Indian marble production is one of the top 4 in the world. The prices are very reasonable.

Shops to consider:

Yoga / meditation books & music

India is the land of yoga. That’s where it has started. Yoga in India is present everywhere, at homes, parks, pre-schools, resorts, yoga schools. If you can, try yoga or meditation in India. Or maybe buy some books or music related to them. The choice is excellent, all available in English. And if you do not manage to buy any during your stay (e.g., business visit), you can always buy some at the airport!

Shops to consider:

Ethnic wear

The colors of India are visible across the country, also in its fashion. Clothes are colorful and represent two main styles: ethnic (Indian wear) and western wear. During my first travel to India, back in 2009, I returned with a beautiful turquoise saree and a few kurtas. Buying a beautiful Indian outfit can be a great souvenir or a gift idea! If you do not feel comfortable wearing a saree, consider a kurta or an Anarkali dress. If you love shoes, buy a pair of ‘jutti’! Or return from India with a beautiful pashmina shawl!

Cinderella is a proof that a pair of shoes can change your life.

Shops to consider:

FABRICS

If you are undecided about buying any of the Indian dresses, you could buy some fabrics. A great idea to get something personalized and tailored once back home. India manufactures many types of textiles: cotton, silk, Kashmiri woolen fabric, Khadi fabric, muslin, linen, etc. Interestingly, you can buy the textiles in the same shops as ethnic wear, just on a different floor.

Shops to consider:

jewelry

The Most Wanted Souvenirs from India Mangalsutra Jewelry

Indian marriages are known for gifting a lot of gold to the bride. However, weddings are not the only occasion to buy jewelry. It is part of daily and special occasion outfits for many women. What is popular? Earrings (e.g., jhumka, typical Indian earrings style), bangles, payal (leg chain), rings, tikka, or bridal mangalsutra. Shops are many, and choices are excellent. The best thing is the quality of the jewelry compared to the price level. E.g., in Poland, the most common gold purity is 585 (14K), while in India, it is 916 (22K). It makes a big difference!

Shops to consider:

scents

For me, India is represented best in two things: colors and scents. It always makes me smile when I land in India. As I walk through the airbridge, then, suddenly, this unique smell comes. These are different fragrances, spices, incense sticks, a mix of many things. When you visit India, you will know what that unique scent is for you. You could consider buying some incense sticks, aromatic soaps, spices, fresh flower buds. Take a bit of India back home with you. Maybe it will make you miss it more, and you will return earlier than planned.

If you can’t stop thinking about it… buy it.


I hope you enjoyed this souvenirs’ list! Have you shopped something from it when you visited India? And if you haven’t been to India yet, what attracts you more to bring back home? Of course, feel free to add more ideas and suggestions to make the most wanted souvenirs from India list even more complete!

Moments that matter, no matter the souvenir.

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