Roaming the local streets, eating street food, and shopping for local items is probably the best part of travelling anywhere. You get the true taste of your destination only in the raw form with the local culture and people of the place. Nepal is no different. We offer adventures of all kinds, more mountains than you could ever climb, temples of thousands, and just the richest, most diverse culture. But take it from us, there is nothing like visiting little shops and exploring the market for gifts and souvenirs to take back home.
So, here we have curated a tough list of 5 Nepali gift ideas. These are great for keepsakes as well as to gift to others. And you can find these in almost any tourist destination all over the country. Or it could be easier and more efficient to buy most of these products from Himalayan Merch.
- Singing Bowls:
Singing bowls are traditionally hand-made from seven metals: copper, tin, zinc, lead, iron, silver, and gold. A singing bowl comes with a wooden mallet which when rubbed or stroked against the bowl, produces a deep, rich vibrating sound. This soothing, harmonious sound lingers in the air long after you stop playing the bowl. The sound of singing bowls is believed to have many health benefits and is also used in meditation. In fact, singing bowl therapy is a 2500-year-old Tibetan technique practised to soothe the body, mind, and soul.
The sound and vibrations made by these bowls depend largely on the size of the bowl and the proportion of their ingredient metals. You can find full moon singing bowls and mantra patterned singing bowls, all handmade by talented artisans in Nepal. Singing bowls are becoming more popular each day. They are one of the most sought-out souvenirs for tourists from all over the world.
- Lokta Paper Products:
Lokta paper is also known as Nepali Kagaj (paper). It has been used in Nepal since the 12th century and was actually the only kind of paper produced and found in Nepal until the 20th century. Even now the tradition of using Nepali paper is kept alive. It is used for all kinds of land ownership papers (lal purja) and other legal documents. It is very popular in making crafts, decorative paper, making dairies, lamp-decors, greeting cards, and other accessories. Lokta paper is also great for bookbinding, origami, block-printing, and reusable gift wrap. It comes in various sizes, textures, colours, and patterns, making each paper unique and stunning.
Lokta papers offer all the goodness of normal, commercial papers and add more. They are sustainable, ethical, fully organic, eco-friendly, and a revenue stream for local artisans. Browse our catalogue for beautiful and durable Lokta papers in different designs, patterns, textures, and colours. You can choose different Lokta paper products like notebooks, lampshades, greeting cards, prayer flags, Lokta paper art, and photo album.
By supporting our Lokta papers, you are supporting the Nepali papermakers and promoting our rich culture.
- Hand-made jewellery:
Stone and bead jewellery is found at all tourist destinations. They are beautiful, colourful and mostly handmade. Earrings, bracelets, necklaces and rings made from these stones and beads are very popular among Nepali people and tourists alike. Rudraksha jewellery is mainly popular among Indian tourists. These are affordable and also the finest of local antics you can buy as gifts and souvenirs.
You have to watch out for Chinese imports of these items that are nearly worthless compared to authentic products.
- Nepali Art and handicrafts:
Nepali folk art is truly one of a kind and something that you should not miss to buy as a souvenir. These ancient arts include painting, sculpture, and architecture that recount the stories of our glorious past. Thangka paintings, Mithila art, and other handicrafts take a lot of time, effort, and resources for skilled artisans to make. When you buy these artworks, handicrafts, and sculptures, you are supporting these local and talented artisans who dedicate their lives to making art.
Such pieces of art are great for decoration. You can enrich your collection of antiques if you have one with Nepali art and handicrafts.
- Tibetan Prayer Flags:
Another very popular gift items that tourists buy from Nepal are the Tibetan prayer flag. Tibetan prayer flags are colourful rectangular cloths with various symbols and mantras traditionally handpainted or printed on them. You can easily find them strung about on strings on trails around stupas and even the Himalayas. The flags are inscribed with auspicious symbols, invocations, symbols, and mantras. With a slight wind, they flutter and transmit good luck and harmony in the atmosphere.
Today, people string them in outdoor areas or even inside their homes all over the world for good luck, good health, and harmony. They also double as very thoughtful gifts.
Other gift items that we could not fit in this list are:
Pashmina clothing: Pashmina (aka cashmere) products are the finest forms of craftsmanship that are made from the hair of Chyangra (a kind of mountain goat). Pashmina shawls are especially very famous among tourists and can be found in various qualities priced differently. These shawls are colourful, delicate, soft, and luxurious and make great gifts. To quality as Pashmina, the fabric must be made from yarn with a 97% purity. So watch out for mixes that incorporate synthetic materials.
Tea and coffee: If you’ve stayed in Nepal long enough, you are probably addicted to our ‘chiya’. The taste and smell of the organic and locally made tea products are evidently pleasing. Tea is produced in the Eastern region, where Ilam is especially popular to buy real and local tea products. We offer varieties of flavours with premium condiments and ingredients all made locally.
Organic coffee products can also be found on any tourist site at an affordable price and premium quality. With tea and coffee, you can take the taste of Nepal with you anywhere and they also make a thoughtful gift.
Thangkas: Thangkas are traditional Buddhist paintings made on silk or cotton applique usually depicting a deity or mandala art. They can be found in different sizes and hold cultural significance. They are some of the best things you can buy as a souvenir. You can find them in Thamel, Bouddha, Swayambhu and cities like Pokhara.
Khukuri: Khukuri is the national weapon of Nepal that the Gurkha soldiers used in battles hundreds of years ago. So, they hold a huge historical and cultural significance. Popular for their slashing sharp edges and high quality, they can be used to decorate houses and as gifts.
The best place to buy Khukuri is Bhaktapur. However, travelling with these items is not easy, so be aware of the allowed size limits while travelling.