With such an outstanding culture, a visit to India is an unforgettable experience. There are numerous things to do, depending on what area you decide to visit. Apart from a very well planned itinerary around what places to see and what types of food to eat, you have to make a list of things you want to bring back home – you will have to ”collect” little pieces of India and take them back to your country.
We made a list of 10 unique souvenirs that you have to look for while you’re exploring India. Keep in mind that collecting special souvenirs from a country you visit is part of the traveling experience!
10 Madhubani Paintings
This is a very special art-form called Madhubani art and is specific to the Mithila region. Due to its incredible colors, made out of natural pigments and dyes, it makes an outstanding souvenir to bring back home with you. Moreover, there is something very particular about the shapes and attention to detail that cannot be seen anywhere but in India. This particular style of painting involves using different tools such as brushes and matchsticks but also fingers and nib-pens, so it stands out from the usual art form. It is very interesting so that is why it should be one of the things you consider bringing back home from India.
9 Indian Tea
It is common knowledge that Indian tea is one of the best in the entire world. Apart from having a tea-drinking experience while traveling there, you should bring some back home as a souvenir – to have as a memory or to offer to friends and family to try. It is much more of an authentic experience than giving them postcards or fridge magnets, right? If you come across a region that makes tea or a shop that sells authentic tea, buy a bag or two – they’re amazing souvenirs for sure! We recommend buying chai tea, the most famous one!
8 Spices and Ayurvedic Oils
A very complex aspect of India’s culture is its very aromatic cuisine due to the use of spices. Why not bring it home and try to reenact the Indian atmosphere right in your kitchen? We recommend buying a spice box that has various options such as red chili, peppercorns, cumin, ginger, cardamom or garam masala. Moreover, the ayurvedic oils are another specific thing for Indian culture that helps out your skin and hair that you should try while visiting India. They cannot be found that often anywhere else besides this country. They are very good for hydrating your hair and making it grow faster.
Indian jewelry is not like most of us normally see in stores. It has its own unique identity by having incredible shapes and details. You will notice that you will see different types of designs if you go to different areas in India – that is because they differ from one region to another. For instance, there are a lot of pieces that have precious and semi-precious crystals such as amethysts, emeralds or rubies, so you won’t find an issue finding something you really like. We recommend looking out for little gems that are one of a kind and bring them back home!
6 Blue Pottery
Original traditional pottery from Jaipur, India – blue pottery from there is another unique thing in India. The cobalt blue is one of a kind and an eye-catching piece you must buy if you are in Jaipur! You have to keep in mind that this art uses a special paste that is obtained from quartz stone powder, borax, gum and water, and although it seems like a very simple process, it has an incredible outcome. You can choose from different designs such as bird or animal motifs, flowers and other distinct art specific to the culture. Moreover, you cannot find it anywhere but in India, so it’s a one time opportunity.
Related: 10 Best Places To Visit In India
5 Decorative containers
These are very well-known in India for making great souvenirs for tourists and for being used by locals! Very detailed and fragile, they are called dibbis and they usually come in small sizes that are meant only for decor but you can also find them in bigger sizes, if you are looking for more of a practical souvenir, such as jewelry boxes or storage boxes. These are not cardboard but lovely works of art done in marble or other stone. You can usually find them at the markets so keep an eye out for them while you’re looking for precious souvenirs and make sure not to forget one for Aunt Ethel!
Apart from the spices that we recommend you to buy while travelling in India, another important side of Indian cuisine is the pickles. This important dish requires a lot of work and very carefully picked ingredients, so they are not to the pickles made from cucumbers that you probably know. They are called achar and they are usually made from fruits or vegetables that are normally preserved in brine or vinegar along with spices, but it is usually a very difficult recipe so this is why it is so hard to replicate this dish. Our advice is to definitely try it while you’re in India and bring some home for others to try. It’s a must!
3 Kurtas and Sarees
A very famous article of traditional Indian clothing that is nowadays popular around the world, kurtas and sarees. They are originally from India and buying them in this country is a one of a kind experience as it is the most authentic place to ever buy them. You can choose from various textures, designs, fabrics, and colors – the outfit for a female is called saree and the ones for men are called kurta. Remember sizing may be very different than what you are used to. Make sure you don’t leave India without this extraordinary souvenir because you will not get a chance to find them like this anywhere else!
2 Kashmiri Carpets
Indians are very particular about the design of their carpets. Not only because it requires hard work and attention to details, but also because it's part of their culture. There are a lot of available designs, such as floral styles or geometric ones that come in different materials and colors. You will find the designs incredible and you will most likely want to bring one with you back home! Our overall recommendation is to think of the size of your luggage before leaving for India because you will bring a lot of things back to your home country! Or, for a carpet, perhaps have it shipped.
1 Kolhapuri Chappals
Extremely unique Indian footwear, it is something you will have to buy while traveling to India, especially if you decide to buy a saree or a kurta because it completes the whole look! These hand-crafted leather footwear are originally from Kolhapur, hence the origin of the name of the shoes, but you can usually find them anywhere across India. The most interesting thing about these shoes is that it takes a lot of time to make them and it is a very meticulous process that takes three weeks. They are very famous in India and are worn on a day to day basis and for special occasions.