While in Nepal: Souvenirs to Splurge on

Nepal enthralls you with high Himalayan peaks, natural attractions, ever-smiling dwellers, timeless culture and tradition, rich wildlife and thrilling adventure options. But Nepal’s attraction is not limited to these only. The country’s gifted artisans produces different high-end handcrafted souvenirs that travelers can take back to remember this enchanting country. Souvenirs are the keepsake to cherish travel memories for the rest of your life. Whether it is soft cashmere products, or artistic Thangka paintings, gold-plated sculptors, gold and silver utensils or handmade rugs, you can take these souvenirs to gift to your friends and families back home. These are some souvenirs that can be taken from Nepal.


 

CASHMERE

Cashmere, or pashmina, is a high value cashmere clothing produced Nepal. It is a silk-like fabric made from soft hair of mountain goats popularly known as cashmere goats. Price of cashmere products depends on the quality of fabric used and the design of the products. Cashmere fabric has been produced in Nepal for thousands of years. The fiber is also known as pashmina, derived from the Persian word Pashm. Woolen shawls have appeared in books found between the 3rd century BC and the 11th century AD. Cashmere collection is known to offer wide range of classic and contemporary clothing and accessories for everyone. Capra Hircus, also known as Chyangra in Nepal, is the major source of Cashmere. The soft hair comes from the underbelly of these mountain goats which resides in the Himalayan Belt and Inner Mongolian region above 12,000 ft. Farmed and combed annually, a single goat is known to give nearly 70 to 90 grams of hair in a year. The hair is then separated according to the thickness and thinness. Cashmere shawls are woven from the finer and shorter hair, whereas the longer hair is used to make Cashmere sweaters in order to provide more strength and to retain a good shape for a long period of time. Known for its smoothness, softness and warmth, cashmere has been considered one of the world’s most luxurious natural fabrics. It is considered to be eight times warmer than the normal wool and a hallmark of sheer elegance and style. Cashmere products have always remained the first choice for the quality conscious people and have been admired for centuries by the royal families.


Gold-plated Sculpture

Gold-plated sculptures are one of the most famous souvenirs to take back from Nepal. One can find variety of idols of different gods and goddesses and mythological characters, or even different temples made by skilled artisans. Most of these idols revolve around the Hindu and Buddhist religions, and the most popular are the ones of Buddha and Tara. These idols and other sculptures are used for religious purposes during puja, worshipping, or also for decorations. Some highly expensive sculptures are intricately designed and plated by gold and even adorned with rare and expensive jewels. Price of these products depends on the amount of time it takes to make the structure, and the component used. What makes these products special is that they are made by hand and requires great degree of dedication, hard work and attention of multiple people. The sculptures here also have Feng Shui properties attached to them. Most of them are believed to bring certain type of blessing when placed in certain place.


Gold and Silver Items

The gold and silver cutlery sets made in Nepal are of high quality. Since very long, the use of silver and gold dinner sets has been linked with affluent people, and it is said that the mighty Kings dined in silver and gold cutleries. The silver cutlery sets has also been linked with certain health benefits as they are bacteria free and non-toxic, retain freshness of food as well as boost immunity. Many jewelry shops in Nepal sell beautiful gold and silver dinner sets. They can be simple or intricately designed. These handcrafted cutleries are a very luxurious and worthy souvenir to take back home. Similarly, Nepal also has galore of beautifully designed handmade jewelries that can be custom-made as well. These jewelries are also made from gold, silver and diamonds, and adorned with various other beautiful stones.


Thangka

Thangka, also known as Pauwa, is Buddhist paintings on cotton or silk appliqué usually depicting a deity, scene, or a mandala. These paintings are usually hanged or are framed. Price of these paintings can vary from Rs 20,000 to millions of rupees, depending on the time consumed while painting them and the materials used. Thangkas are usually coated with a silk cover at the front but are still very delicate. Thangkas have been painted since the 12 century. Started initially in Tibet, Thangkas then evolved to be a major export product of Nepal. Thangkas are especially made for commercial purpose, but can also be found in monasteries in Nepal. The word ‘Thangka’ is believed to have derived from Tibetan word ‘thang yig’ which means written record. These paintings are said to be very visually and spiritually inspiring. Thangkas can be painted or made by silk. Thangkas are available in different categories. For example, tson-tang thangkas are of common type, while go-tang thangkas are made of one material sewn over others. Similarly, nag-tang means gold line on a back background, block prints thangkas are paper or cloth rendering by woodblock printing, and thsim-tang thangka means embroidery. Thangkas with gold background generally depict long-life deities and fully enlightened Buddhas. Likewise, red background thangkas refer to gold line on vermilion. Thangka artists describe their job as meditation as it needs full dedication to work, starting from the background sketches to the final touches. Thangkas are a popular souvenir for tourists who use this painting for meditation as well as decoration.

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