I started this post as several readers asked me what would be items that you can get from India which are not generally available or are unique and economical.
My Friend Smita suggested few that made sense to me , since her husband plays cricket , he always get this.
I remember seeing this cricket ball nicely framed and put in nice glass box in an office I visited sometime back. It looks very elegant , with nice leather sew and string. Cricket is religion of India and there can be nothing perfect representation.
Try to get the box put in nice transparent glass box .
She also mentioned panama hat for cricketers , I did not find anything special about these hats but I mentioned it
Copper Glasses and Jug
My whole family swear by it and health benefits of these copper glasses and jug. We use it quite often , It is actually quite fashionable, My wife earlier use to think they are cheap and old fashioned.
Apart from having health benefits, these copper vessels surely adds beauty to the place. The reason of getting these from India is because you get more variety, shapes, designs and most importantly, at affordable prices from local markets. You get the regular sized glasses just for Rs 150- 200 per piece from any utensil shop in India. They are also available online here These can be a nice and unique gift for your friends or colleagues here.
As per my experience with some of my friends (non-Indians) here, they don’t generally buy these kind of stuff for their daily use as they are not aware of the health benefits associated with copper. And also they can use it to serve the famous Moscow Mule.. 😛
Fancy Eyeglasses Holder
Well, most of us like to have a good collection of goggles or we have separate reading glasses. What if you can keep your daily wear sunglasses or spectacles on a cool and fancy holder? They also look good on your study table or side table.
I saw the one shown below at a friend’s place in India and instantly fell in love with it. These holders are available in various designs and materials ranging from all price ranges. A few designs which I personally liked (wooden) are easily available here and the price starts from somewhere around Rs. 200 and varies depending on the material and design.
These kind of show piece can definitely add more beauty and elegance to your home. My uncle and aunt, who bought their home 5 years back in Canada, specially bought these art pieces from “Mandvi ni Pol” (which is a famous market for copper and brass items in Ahmedabad). These pieces are available in various designs and sizes so the price range is very vast.
These can be a perfect gift for friends, relatives and colleagues as a gift for housewarming or any such occasion. We bought one such piece from India to gift to his manager and he absolutely loved it.
Although these can be bought online here, my suggestion would be to buy these from local markets as you get more variety and easily bargain
I am sure most of the ladies out there love to have a nice collection of hand bags and clutches. We usually buy leather or fabric purses from here for our daily use at work or while going out.
With these handmade/handicraft purses, hand bags, clutches and wallets you can bring a little more color and variety to your collection. These go perfectly with traditional wear or party wear and are an absolute charm to accessorize with.
They are a perfect gift for the women in your life and one can never go wrong with these. These are available in all sizes, shapes, colors, designs hence have a wide price range. You can also get it customized as per your color and designs preference. I know a designer back in India who creates really cool and funky designs.
You can also get them online here or visit the local markets to get more variety and bargaining power. (We love to bargain, don’t we??? 🙂 )
There are many markets in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Delhi (where I have personally been to) if you are looking for wide varieties of designs and prices. If you are really looking for some unique designs, then I won’t recommend a local market or shop as it will be very common since it’s cheaper and produced in bulk. In that case you should get in touch with a designer or a boutique since they don’t prepare every piece in bulk.
Kashmiri and Kutchi Shawls
Shawls and scarfs have been in style for so many years now. Shawls with handwork like kashmiri work or kutchi work or pashmeena shawls are some of the very common and pretty ones. A wide variety of options are available on indiamart, kashmirvilla and amazon. These are the websites where I have seen the quality is more guaranteed as compared to other websites. Indiamart also gives the details of stores and dealers all across India.
If you don’t want to use them just as a clothing accessory, they can also be framed and transformed into a wall hanging. I have seen these types of wall hangings at some of the Indian restaurants here and they do look nice.
If you want to be more creative with them, they can also be transformed into wrap around skirts 😛 (How cool is that!!!)
Good quality and vast variety of shawls and scarfs are available at the handloom and handicraft festivals/markets/ craft-bazaars which we usually have in Indian cities from time to time. I personally like to buy these from the handicraft people who generally create their own designs and come to sell them at these festivals.
The original pashmeena shawls usually are costly and the price varies as per the wool and silk content. Again, this serves as a perfect gift for the elderly or for our friends and colleagues.
Flavoured and Herbal Teas and other Herbs
I am sure most of us Indians loves tea and now many people around the world are moving towards herbal and flavoured tea for health benefits. We get a huge variety of flavours in India and its affordable to get them from India. Most of the flavours are available at good prices at Amazon, Healthkart and Nykaa.
If you have time during your trip, you should visit the local flea-markets as you get more variety and fresh flavours. There is one very famous flea-market in Goa, near Anjuna Beach, from where I bought a lot of different flavours few years back.
Incense Sticks and Perfumed oils
A nice and pleasent smell brings freshness to our homes. Most of us uses these sticks daily while worshipping. It is really affordable to bring wide variety of these sticks and oils from India.
You can also get aroma candles and diffuser oils from the Aromashop. The quality of items on this site is actually very good with a long lasting fragrance, as I have used them in the past.
Cotton Garments, Tapestries
India is a land of cotton and cotton clothes can be a perfect wear for all seasons. You can get them at Khadi markets, handicraft bazaars or online here at Amazon or Indiaarts. These tapestries comes in various colors and designs and goes perfect even when decorated as a wall piece. Mandala Art and Bohemian Art are a few of my favourite designs among these.
We all would agree that Indian jewellery is something which has such intricate and unique designs, which you won’t find anywhere in the world. Designer jewellery has been in fashion since a long time and the good thing about it is that the design never gets old and fashion repeats itself.
You can get customised jewellery with any kind of material ranging from gold, silver, diamonds, pearls, combination, etc. There are few very famous markets in India which specializes in these and provides a wide variety of designs and prices.
For imitation jewellery, you can visit the local markets at Mumbai, Jaipur, Kolkata or Ahmedabad where you will get huge variety. You will also be able to get your custom made jewellery from the local makers. For pearls, you can visit Hydrabad ‘The City of Pearls’.
Now a days most of us avoid using harsh chemicals for their skin and are moving towards hand made soaps with essential oils. These are largely manufactured in rural parts of India and exported in the major cities and many cosmetic companies are also including these in their merchandise. These soaps are specially designed for various skin types with all natural ingredients and are very effective. Plus they don’t have any side effects in the long run.
I know a few manufactures who employ rural women in creating these soaps. They are available mostly online and also at Khadi Markets. You can buy them from Amazon, Burst of Happyness, Indian Earthy Naturals.
Suits and Blazers for Men
Suits and Blazers are a must have for any Man’s collection. If you buy from here, it usually costs you much higher as compared to buy it or get it stitched from India. There are many markets/taylors in India where you can get custom made suits and blazers at all price ranges. I found this site Goodservice, which has a list of tailors for many locations and it also mentions the price.
Vaish is another such site where you can get your custom made suits, shirts, blazers, etc stitched at economical prices. Also there are places like Cannaught Place, Karol Baug, Tilak Nagar, Lajpat Nagar in Delhi, Ratan Pol, Relief Road in Ahmedabad where you can find many local taylors. This link here has the contact nos and details of many local taylors from Mumbai.
These fancy and designer footwear are a must to get since they don’t cost much and you can have as many as you like. They are available mostly in variety of designs and prices at local road side markets. Law Garden, SP Stadium- Nehrunagar in Ahmedabad, Borivali, Fashion Street, Dadar, Linkin Road, Colaba – Mumbai, Johri Bazaar – Jaipur, Flea Markets – Goa, Brigade Road- Banglore, New Market- Kolkata.
I would strongly recommend you to see the variety and price range here at Amazon and then visit the local market to get it at the bargained price. 😛 I do it all the time and I get good deals.
Manual Spice/ Chutney Grinders
These are made up of stone and come small handy sizes as well. They were traditionally used by our grandparents for making chutnies. They come in very handy to make small amount of pastes for our daily use and anything crushed by hand using these grinders, like garlic, ginger, chillies, etc gives more flavour than crushed in a mixer grinder. These are available at local utensils markets in all shapes and sizes.
Herbal and Ayurvedic Supplements
It is always better to get these herbal and ayurvedic items from India as you get superior quality and more variety. I have seen a lot of my relatives buying these from India and stocking them up here. These are available here at Amazon, Ayurvedacart, Ayurvedmart and here.
Apart from Himalaya and Aveda, Patanjali products are also becoming very famous now a days as they are very effective.
India being one of the leading contributors in the leather industry worldwide, it is highly advised to buy leather from India to have better prices and varieties. Even hand made leather items have been in fashion since a long time.
There are some huge markets in India where you get good quality and wide variety items. You can visit the Markets in Agra and Kanpur, Leather Market, Dharavi Market- Mumbai, Indian Leather, Apex Leather and Goods, Indian Leather Associations- Tamil Nadu, Volga, Bhayana Leather Crafts- Delhi. These are some of the big and famous markets in India. You also get amazing designs and good quality stuff at Jaisalmer,