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Shopping in Darjeeling

Smugly curled up in the lap of the mighty Himalayas, Darjeeling is a beautiful Victorian town and a sought for holiday destination. As with any tourist destination, Darjeeling too has its share of shopping centers.

Shopping in Darjeeling is a delightful experience. It is an ideal place to souvenir shopping. You can buy anything ranging from the renowned Darjeeling tea to Tibetan Carpets to pashmina shawls from Darjeeling. Handicrafts sold in Darjeeling are quite distinct from those in other part of West Bengal. This is due to strong influence of the Tibetan and Nepalese craftsmanship and culture in the fabric of the history of Darjeeling. Curios, trinkets and artifacts typically in Himalayan and Tibetan craftsmanship are a specialty of Darjeeling.

Centrally located Chowrasta and the Mall are the main centers for shopping in Darjeeling. The stalls and the shops display a breathtaking array of modern and antique silver jewelry, stone studded jewelry, Tibetan artifacts, Himalayan brass statues, religious artifacts, wooden carvings, woolen fabrics, mesmerizing curios and carpets. They also have a good collection of clothes. Typical Tibetan or Himalayan handicrafts can also be bought from Darjeeling. The Tibetan Refugee Self Help center is involved in the manufacture and sales of interesting Tibetan handicrafts, artifacts and carpets. If interested, the tourists can also watch how these handicrafts are made. At Hayden Hall women's co-operative society, Tibetan carpets can be bought at cheapest prices. It is a Roman Catholic social service center and a share of the income generated is utilized to help local poor people.

Shopping in Darjeeling for handloom products has two great options. They are Manjusha Emporium of West Bengal and Gram Shilpa by Government of India. Manjusha Bengal Emporium has many Himalayan handicraft items, artifacts and curios on display. The handloom and silk products of West Bengal can also be bought from the emporium at reasonable prices. Khadi, handloom and silk clothes and other khadi products may also be bought from Gram Shilpa, an Indian Government venture by Khadi and Village Industries Commission. Patterned sweaters in wool can be bought at affordable prices at a market near Hill Cart Road. Bamboo umbrellas can be bought as souvenirs from Darjeeling.

Another thing to shop for in Darjeeling is the most famous produce of Darjeeling, the Darjeeling tea. The tea is priced entirely on to its quality and flavor, and hence may vary accordingly. The sample fro the tea to be bought may be tested by taking a fistful of tea, crushing it in a closed fist, smelling it over the closed fist and finally opening the fist and noting the aromas released. Mainly there are 4 different qualities of tea produced in Darjeeling, namely, Easter Flush, Spring Flush Summer Flush and Autumn Flush, depending on the season in which tea leaves are plucked.

The main centers for shopping in Darjeeling are Chowrasta, Ladenla Road, Chowk Bazaar, Nehru Road, Mahakal Market, Motor Stand, Supermarket, Hayden Hall and Tibetan Refugee Self Help Centre. Certain curios and Buddhist religious symbols are sold at certain monasteries as well.

Shopping in Darjeeling is fun. The curios and artifacts on display would capture tourists' imagination. They also make great gifts. Another great idea for a perfect gift is to present the loved ones with Darjeeling tea.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/12

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