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Shopping in Kashmir

Jammu and Kashmir being the state with array of ethnic arts and crafts has a lot to offer for shopping. State has three regions Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh which are distinctively different from each other. All these three regions have an assortment of fascinating products for shopping may it be handicrafts, souvenirs or gifts to take back home. All over world Kashmir is famous for its shatoosh and pashmina shawls, pherans, Kashmiri cewelwork(embroidery),  walnut wood work, hand woven carpets, Saffron, almonds and paper mache articles.

Famous Shopping Destinations in Jammu and Kashmir

All three regions of state Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh offer a unique shopping experience to tourists due to their distinctive features. Shopping is amongst the major activity for all tourists coming to valley and this experience remains etched in memory for quite long.

Srinagar – With varieties of fantastic products available from cheap to expensive to suite all budgets Srinagar becomes the best shopping destination in Jammu and Kashmir. It offers overwhelming varieties to tourists for shopping may it be pashmina shawls, shahtoosh shawls, Kashmere embroidered items, Carpets, paper machie items, Christmas tree decorations, carved walnut wood souvenirs, saffron, almonds or honey.

Lambert Lane and Boulevard are lined with souvenir shops selling above items. The Kashmir Arts Emporium that too sells all the items with fixed prices.

Badshah Chowk and Lal Chowk have many shops selling Walnut Wood Carved Articles, Paper Mache and Kashmiri Handicrafts.

Jammu - Hari Market, Vir Marg and  Raghunath Bazaar are the most famous market places in Jammu from where on can shop for Kashmiri handicrafts, traditional dongra jewellery and dry fruits. The Kashmir Government Arts Emporium in Jammu offers a full range of Kashmiri souvenirs.

  • Hari Market – Walnut Wood Furnitures, Shawls,  Rajmah (Kidney Beans).
  • Vir Marg – Dogra Jewelry, Kashmiri Handicrafts, Carpets and Walnuts
  • Raghunath Bazaar – Dry Fruits and Boutiques

Leh  and Ladakh - While in Leh and Ladakh tourists have plenty of shopping options as well. Look out for various junk jeweler and ornaments with the statue of Lord Buddha. Other famous handicrafts are Buddhist masks, prayer wheels and Thangka paintings. Locally made woolen items like socks, gloves, sweaters and caps are also quite famous among tourists who visit Ladakh. Tibetan tables, Buddhist cloth paintings and intricately designed turquoise jewelry can be found in some of the most famous stores in Ladakh.

Shops in Leh offer really coral and beautiful turquoise jewelery, copperware and silverware in Tibetan styles, religious artifacts like statues of figures from Buddhist mythology, prayer wheels,Tangkhas, woolen shawls and other items.

Tibetan Market and Moti Market, Leh : Woolen garments, Hand-woven rugs, Thankga Paintings and carpets.

Main Bazaar Road, Ladakh: Tibetan Silver Jewelery and Handicrafts.

Best Places for Shopping in Kashmir

Pashmina and Shahtoosh

Unique Shahtoosh and pashmina shawls from Kashmir are desired by one and all. Pashmina shawls are made from the hair of rarely found ibex and are surely one time purchase. Shahtoosh shawls often called as ring shawls as the fabric is so soft and fine that it can easily pass through finger ring. Belly hair of antelopes found in area of Ladakh are used to make Shahtoosh shawls.
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Carpets from Jammu and Kashmir are expensive as they are made of wool or silk and are hand knotted. These carpets are embellished with highly intricate patterns and Islamic overtones truly depicting Persian tradition. While buying carpets one must see knots at the back to ensure that carpet is knotted and not tufted. Namdas the chain stitched rugs are less expensive and very famous amongst tourists.
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Wooden Carvings

Walnut wood carving of Kashmir is famous all over world. In India Walnut tree grows only in Kashmir and the wood of this tree is very strong which makes it ideal for carving. The furniture and souvenirs made from this wood are of superior quality with intrinsic designs, immense craftsmanship involved but the prices are still affordable.
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Paper Mache Products

They are quite unique to Kashmir with different shapes, colorful designs and motifs on them. Shopping is incomplete in this state without buying souvenirs made of paper mache which can range from cheap and affordable to more expensive ones. Low grade paper mache is used to create a host of different products such as candle stand, pen stands, eggcups, cigarette boxes, jewelry boxes etc. High-grade paper mache is used to create bowls, vases, trays etc.
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Kashmiri Crewelwork Products

Crewelwork is a high quality of embroidery, is in great demand all over the world. Wool is almost invariably used in Crewel work and color ways are not as elaborate as in Chain stitch. They make excellent household furnishings being hand or machine washable.
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In Jammu and Kashmir Saffron is cultivates in Pampore and it is the only place in world besides Spain. Saffron flower blooms only for a brief month in the year and out of its six stamens one is crimson which is collected and dried and is referred as most expensive spice in the world. It is advisable to buy saffron from recommended shops or buy sealed jars with government stamp.
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Cities in Jammu & Kashmir