Travels :: Nepal Travel
Shopping in Nepal
Nepal has many fine handicrafts to offer to visitors hand-knotted woollen
carpets, jewellery, pashmina shawls, woollen knitwears, embroidery, thangka
paintings, mithila painting, wood carvings, metalworks, ceramics and pottery,
rice paper and stationary.
Woodcraft is the speciality of the Newar artisans of the Kathmandu Valley.
Among the items that you may wish to purchase while in Kathmano its making,
and the details that have been worked into it.
However, windows and frames are not the only items on sale. Statues of
gods, erotic carvings, traditional fig ures, and carvings with modern
motifs are also available. The wooden images are made by using tools that
were used a thousand years ago.
The metal work is also exceptional. Statues of high quality are available
for prices ranging from a few thousand rupees to gold inlaid life-sized
works. The lost was method is used to create these works of art. The wax
figure is covered with clay and put in the sun to dry. Once ready, the wax
is melted out and molten metal poured into the clay hollow. When the metal
cools down and sets, the clay covering is destroyed and careful work with
hammer, chisel and sanding material follows. The metal statue is then painted
as per the specifications of reli gion or as per the request of the client.
Gurkha Khukuri is one of its kind of knives found only in Nepal. Price ranges
according to the hardness of the blade and the origin of its make. Nepal
are excellent and ornate knives for decor are also available.
Tibetan carpets are popular floor coverings in Europe and much af Nepal's
foreign exchange earnings have come from the sale of carpets in the past
two decades. The designs are traditional as well as modern. The modern designs
have been created by some of the best artists working today in Europe and
the products of the better manufacturers have graced many a Tibetan rug
collection. Today, special effort is being made to break into the American
and Japanese markets with special designs and quality rugs.
Gems and Jewellry:
Nepal has some of the best goldsmiths and silver smiths in the worid,
i.e. the Newar craftsmen, who have been delighting collectors and royal
patrons with their exquisite creations for more than 600 years. So if
you've ever wanted to own the finest jewellry, at a fractian of the cost
you'd pay at home, Nepal is the place.
Nepal's most distinctive gems are the exquisite tourmalines from the
eastern ranges, in pink, sunset rose, peach, golden, amber and green.
There are very rare lime-green tourmalines that are found novdhere else,
and some with more than one color in a single stone. The newly-discovered
lemon-yellow tourmalines are especially fine.
Thangkas and Paubhas:
For hundreds of years, scroll paintings have decorated the walls of monasteries,
temples, and homes in East Asia.
Especially, the Tibetan and Newar styles come from a time when these
cultures were at their peak. Most of the older surviving scroll paintings
are reminders of a period when the rulers and the public were concentrating
upon the arts as offerings to the deities.
The Mithila paintings, known as Madhubani paint ings in India and Janakpur
paintings in Nepal, are a common practice among the women of southern
Nepal. The wind, sun, and rain very easily discolor these wall paintings,
but they were not designed to withstand climate and time. The paintings,
in fact, are usually painted over with clay when the women house clean
for the next festival.
Many weavers in the Valley produce handwoven cot ton cloth of many colors
and patterns. Visitors will find beautifully designed clothing and fabrics
in Kathmandu's shops. The Magars of western Nepal also weave fabrics for
readymade gar ments. Tussar which is the best Nepalese silk is not shiny
but has a nat ural glow. It is made from an undomes ticated forest worm
found in the south ern jungle regions. The Newars of the Kathmandu Valley
and the Rai people of eastern Nepal have passed on the tradition of making
blockprinted paper and cloth to modern producers.
Traditional Nepalese paper, popularly known as "rice paper"
is actually made of lokta bark found in remote areas of the coun try.
Because of its strength, govern ment offices use it for official docu
ments. Many stores in Thamel and Patan sell writing pads and bound jour
nals, as well as calendars and lamp shades of lokta paper.
In the Terai region, bas kets used for household and decorative purposes
are made from grass. The baskets come in different shapes and sizes according
to their application.
Raw jute which is one of Nepal's largest exports is grown in the southern
Terai region and made into baskets and other materials.
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