India is such an eclectic mix of crafts, culture, cuisine and centuries old history. Not only is it fascinating to visit the country as a traveller or tourist but it really is one of the only countries that hosts its tourists and guests like God. Atithi Devo Bhava, a saying engrained in Indian philosophy means to welcome guests like we’d welcome the Gods. If you’re travelling to India on a holiday or even here for a quick business meeting, your trip won’t be complete if you didn’t collect some souvenirs from the country. Be it for your friends, family or just a little something for yourself, here are some of the best souvenirs from India we think you should definitely take away.
India is known for its handicrafts and handmade history in every part of the supply chain. From perfumes, papads, spices, spas and saris, metal, wooden artefacts to beauty products, we really have an ancient practice behind everything. India is a land bursting with so much art, it’s impossible to collect everything and curate a list that will do justice to the richness of the magnitude and scale of beauty available. However, here are some souvenirs every traveller should take back from India!
While we’d be happy to recommend stores for each of these products, we think the flavour of exploring the country would be to do it on your two feet. Some brands however have really pushed the grammar of the emerging Indian aesthetic in different ways and get a special mention here. From FabIndia, Chumbak (look out for products crafted by us), The Bombay Store (we supply here), even Kama Ayurveda, Nurture India, Amrapali Jewels, Nappa Dori for leather, Ajmal Perfumes and several other home grown designers such as Raw Mango, Anamika Khanna, Sabyasachi, Rohit Bal and more are brands that have really pioneered in making the Indian story alive and are available at all major Indian cities for you to check!
Indian spices are a feast for anyone who loves cooking. We have the most exotic spices ever and even the cutest boxes that come in it! If you love cooking or know someone who does, takeaway some of our cinnamons, herbs, lavenders or even our almonds and cashews.
We have more than 20 different craft forms in just wood from carving, to turning and lacquering to polishing, to vintage finish ones that makes India a big sourcing hub for the world. India is known to have sustainable and fast growing varieties of wood that are carved into the most beautiful pieces. From jewellery boxes, trays, coasters, candle stands or picture and mirror frames, this is surely a different world altogether.
The Taj Mahal
The monument might definitely be a something you’ve seen in every book, read in every blog and seen in every photo of the clichéd India… but it is worth all the mention and more. One of the world’s wonders, taking away a marble miniature or a memento is really a great way to recollect your memories of an India trip.
Traditional Indian jewellery
There’s no such thing as too much jewellery and with historical and cultural traditions spanning centuries, the variety of Indian jewellery is exquisite. From tribal, silver ones, to one of a kind jadau, kundan to the most precious pearls. There’s really something for everyone!
Handwoven saris are literally India’s pride and joy. With more than 100 different types of weaves and weaving traditions, there’s not other country in the world that can boast of such variety. The fabric is known as the only ever costume in history for being a stitch less attire that you can wear from brunch to the bar.
The principles of Ayurveda and ayurvedic living has wide spread across the seven seas and been practiced all over the world. It’s only legit if you take some of these magic potions back home. Be it a sandalwood-turmeric paste, neem leaves or the best in class rose water, natural aloe vera and magical herbs and their benefits.
Ittars are India’s pride. The tiny little bottles of essential oils were introduced in India by the Mughals, more particularly the Nizams of Hyderabad. Ittars are made using essential oils and other herbs that are later distilled. They’re largely used for health ailments and the most authentic way to store these are in a sandalwood box. Doesn’t that sound like something you must pick up!
India is the single largest exporter of all types of metal handicrafts from India. Moradabad, known as the metal city produces more metal than any other country in the world. Take back a beautiful brass sculpture or artefact or even a typical indian brass utensil.
India has really gorgeous variety of tea. From the best in class green tea, white tea to the world famous Darjeeling tea. If you’re a Chaivinist, grab a packet of artisanal tea and also grab some beautiful wooden boxes to store them in.
India’s embroidery traditions can’t be compiled in one paragraph for sure, but here are the most popular types of embroideries you can take back home. Chikankari, Mukaish, Phulkari and Zardosi- all of them available at most cottage emporiums across the country.
Real & Vegan Leather
Famous of vegan and real, luxurious leather is one of India’s lesser known crafts. We have a thriving, huge and beautiful leather industry. From the best of bags to the best of luggage, you can really find great quality and affordably priced leather good in India!