What to bring as a gift from India

What to bring as a gift? This perennial problem is usually bothering tourists from the first days of travel. We want to give something unusual, but special for the country and not very expensive - because every one has a lot of friends.

On this page we will publish not standard traveler's ideas what to bring as a gift.

If you can replenish our ideas - indtravel.admatgmail.com (write us) 

Garments

Sari (also spelled as saree or shari) is a national ladies's garment in the Indian subcontinent that represented as a piece of a fabric in length from 4 to 7 meters, usually decorated with skillful ornaments and decorative patterns, sometimes it has a gold embroidery also. There is a gradation of prices for saris. Cotton costs from 170-500 rupees, synthetic from 80-650 rupees, silk from 400-5000 and above depending on quality and design of a sari. For today course of rupee to the dollar is 1 dollar - 46 rupees.
 
Instead of the sari it is possible to purchase a suit, i.e. salwar kameez (also spelled as shalwar kameez or shalwar qameez) that is a long shirt, some kind of pants and a scarf. It is a traditional dress of different design and the most popular ethnic garment worn by both women and men in South Asia. After a journey it can be used not only on thematic Indian meetings and evenings. There are three types of pants known generally as salwars (also salvars or shalvars; that are most widespread having loose and almost straight design), punjabi (in regard to pleated pants can be mentioned that legs are wide at the top and narrow at the bottom) and patiala (i.e. patiala salwars that are wide with pleats and require double the length of material to get stitched, type of ours skirt-trousers). The shirt or blouse itself is named kameez and from its a name salwar kameez is given to the garment. The scarf is called dupatta. Dupatta is a long scarf that is essential to many South Asian ladies's suits. It is traditionally worn across both shoulders. The other names for dupatta are chunri and chunni. Some "dupatta suits" include the salwar kameez, a trousers-suit and a kurta.
 
An excellent gift will be Cashmere Shawl (a scarf from a thin wool known as pashmina that refers to a type of fine cashmere wool and textiles made from it). Shawls from Kashmir are better to be taken those, which have been manufactured with using fluff that are taken from throat of an animal; it is softer and thinner. It can be defined by touch (pashmina from such fluff is very thin and very soft, it entirely does not have any "bristle ness"). And, certainly, price for such pashmina is much more. There is available pashmina not only of Kashmir origin. And real pashmina is valued, when it can be passed through in a ring as a hand knitted Orenburg shawl.
Shawls of different textures, for example, silk and woolen shawls from Kullu are fine souvenirs and gifts also. 
 
There are accessories and clothes, relating to a wedding ceremony. The Indian wedding ceremony is very colourful and unique. Especially can be noted a headdress of a bridegroom in form of a richly trimmed cap.
 
There are many silk dresses of the European fashion of different colourings and styles (it is available here at 5-7 dollars) - as it is generally known, ladies on territory of post-soviet space are not cherished by silks. 
 
European clothes and footwear (are better to be bought in Goa and not during a season); it would cost 10 times cheaper.

In general all popular brands of clothes are sewn in India and Bangladesh. For some reason, prices for it here much less than in Europe. There is a possibility to find the same things on markets Laxmi Bazar (Cloth Market, Chandni Chowk, New Delhi) and Sarojini Nagar Market of New Delhi (so-called сарплаз, i.e. overproduction). 
Also a great choice of clothes is at market Karol Bagh. The main market places of Karol Bagh are Ajmal Khan Road, Arya Samaj Road, Bank Street and Ghaffar Market. Ajmal Khan Road is popular for its inexpensive readymade, cotton yarn and embroidered garments.
 
High quality products (fabrics, clothes) can be purchased in such shops as "Fabindia", "Anokhi", "Handloom", prices there are higher, but these commodities of high quality aimed at a western buyer. There are all clothes in the Indian style. It is a retail network of shops; therefore they are in all large cities.

Indian fabrics and textiles

Indian fabrics such as silk, cotton and wool are valued all over the world. Rajasthan cotton, which can be recognized by characteristic drawing and bright colouring, is very popular. It is better to buy it in Jaipur or even Chennai (Madras). Fabrics from Madras sometimes "fade" after a washing, but it does not indicate their poor quality. In Madras choice of textiles is more and prices are less than in Jaipur. Through the country it is possible to find fabric "himru" that is manufactured from combined silk and cotton, often decorated with drawings and ornaments. In general "himru" is a special kind of weaving involving silk and cotton yarns. Kashmir is famous for wool of magnificent quality, from which shawls, clothes and carpets are made. 
 
Handmade silk carpets are fine gift, but they are expensive. Carpets can be purchased almost in whole Delhi; probably, the most beautified are on sale in a shop Lotus that is located in a district Safdarjung Enclave (Kamal Cinema Market). There they are done by hand, many goods are embroidered by golden filament and decorated by semiprecious gemstones.
 
On Yashwant Place Market (Chanakyapuri, Delhi in Sulekha Delhi that is in 5 minutes of driving from Sarojini Nagar Market) also can be bought good woolen carpets at a low rate. Yashwant Place is spacious shopping complex located in Chanakyapuri near by Ashoka Hotel. If someone wishes, it is possible also to order bedclothes that are sewn from natural silk fabric.

Also there is so-called Silver Street in Old Delhi. The main street of Old Delhi is the colourful shopping bazaar known asChandni Chowk (Silver St. or Silver Square). There are wide selection of finest bed linens, counterpanes and all kinds of wonderful home textiles. At width of blankets 220 blanket covers are wholly cut out and of wonderful colourings and tints. There are excellent curtains and window shades, which demonstrate that textiles in India are greatly very good indeed. All goods are having European colourings and design as well as the unique local traditions also.

Various assortments for sewing and embroidery

Sets for embroidery are very beautified and picturesque. There are all for trimming of sewing (wide choice of stones, beads, spangles, laces etc).

Sacral objects and accessories of different confessions

There are beneficial sacral objects of different confessions. It would be especially desirable to note oil-lamps, i.e. icon-lamps. Lighting of lamps that are filled up with high-quality oils, especially sesame oil and pure melted butter has strong favorable and neutralizing effect.
 
Water from the river Ganges (Ganga) is endowed with great value. According to steady beliefs this water possesses many wonderful qualities. It can be sprinkled on sick people and animals, used for consecration of an accommodation to sanctify it from any impureness and accepted gradually little by little inwards to receive a benediction and blessings. The Ganges is personified as Goddess-Mother.  
It is possible to add to water a bit haldi (that is in Hindi, haldar in Gujarati, halad in Marathi, haldi or besar in Nepali; a spice of orange colour, prepared from roots of turmeric that is also known as Curcuma longa), which possesses vast properties too. For centuries, turmeric, the yellow colored spice, popularly known as haldi, has remained as an important ingredient of the folk medical system in India and has been used to treat rashes, boils, ulcers and infections in general. As a popular spice, it continues to be used in a variety of Indian dishes.
 
In a branch of Indian astrology that is known as Nadi can be found a personal page of predictions, inscribed on palm leaves on ancient Tamil language more than 2000 years ago.

Ayurvedic and homoeopathic products and herbal remedies

Various Ayurvedic substances and components both of internal and external application can be useful as effective health supplements to balance the body and mind. We would like to remark preparations from leaves or roots of plant "Ashwagandha" (also Ashvagandha, i.e. Withania Somnifera), being an acknowledged tonic and possessing anti-stressful effect without having side effects. Also, at corresponding interest, there is available "Mumiyo", which on Hindi is named "Shilajit". It is available as capsules and as paste both.
 
There are Ayurvedic preparations as well as products of homoeopathy. There can be recommended "Himalaya Herbals" and homoeopathic "SBL". Oils can be bought on tap also. To check up oil on its quality, it can be recommended spreading it on an eyelid of eye. If it is chemistry, the eyelid undergoes to a starting reaction of pinching and burning. From natural oil there are no unpleasant sensations and feelings. 
 
Preparations of homoeopathic Tibetan medicine and concomitant products are fine herbal remedies also.

Indian sweets

Indian sweets are for sale in specialized shops, but it is necessary to look up that they have been prepared with use of pure melted butter (Pure Ghee, i.e. Shuddh Ghee).

Spices and masala (blends)

For those who like to cook, can be advised to get different kinds of spices and curry
It is accepted to bargain on a market, and then a commodity can be purchased at price that in 2-3 times less than it has been told in the beginning. In regard to seasonings and flavorings can be referred the same too.
Spices and different types of masala (various flavor-enhancing mixtures) are recommending to be bought in a packing of factory production with price and manufacture date specified on it. Masala is an aromatic and fragrant spice blend of traditional Indian cookery. "Everest" that is leading brand among blended spices in India, one of the recommended companies.

Tea and coffee

There is tea of the most various kinds and grades.
Tea can be advised to be purchased in common shops as, of course, in special extra packing it looks more beautiful, but such items of higher prices at the same time, and the quality does not seems that higher. India is one of the largest tea producer and exporter in the world. Therefore tea of the best quality mainly goes for the export and fragrant original tea can be rarely observed here.
Premium Darjeeling tea and Assam tea are treasured for the rich golden liquor and unique lush flavor. Darjeeling tea is widely and universally acknowledged to be the finest tea, because its flavor is so unique and inimitable. Assam tea is one of the most recognized teas in the world too. Assam tea brews up a deep-amber and burgundy-red cup with rich aroma and strong excellent taste. 
 
Chennai has a lot to offer to fans of coffee. Coffee from Chennai is been appreciated as the best (aroma even of a well packed coffee capable to be spreading on whole house).

Alcoholic beverages

The Feni (also Fenny) is a very popular refreshing and exhilarating beverage of Goa and the Goan Fenny is generally considered superior. Intoxicating locally brewed Feni is a clear and potent drink. There are two kinds of Feni; one that is made from palm sap drawn from shoots of coconut trees and the other, which is made from the fruit of the cashew tree.

Souvenirs and handmade wares of the folk trade

There are figurines made of sandalwood from Karnataka, rosewood (i.e. Shisham) from Kerala and Madras, Indian nut from Kashmir. In Kerala can be purchased a Monkey made of a coconut.
 
Various figurines of the Indian deities made of different materials and seashells of diverse sizes also are fine souvenirs.
 
In souvenir outlets of Khajuraho can be got bronze statuettes that are gift copies of the Kama Sutra.
 
There are wares of the folk trade (wooden handmade articles, ornaments of beads and decorative stones).
 
Handicrafts would become an excellent gift.
 
There are theatrical masks of heroes of the Indian epos. They are light, durable and very colourful. 
 
There are also different kinds of elephants, for example, made of a stone, and the bigger has inwardly one more and inside of it another one is still located.
 
Some auspicious things bringing good luck and success can be got too. Such objects are considered as the favorable. It can be offered, for example, on wedding ceremonies or different anniversaries. It does not concern to ritual and religious objects. Probably, there are also any other similar things too. Something like the Feng Shui. The word Feng Shui is not used here. In the Indian tradition it is called Vastu Shastra, the Vedic science for happiness, wealth, health, and prosperity.
 
Peacock Feather Fan can be bought for $5-10 from boys in a street.
But there is a recommendation in regard to the fan from feathers of a peacock that even during a season it can be purchased for $1. The main thing is to bargain. Dealers often tell a price that in 10 times exceeding real.
 
There are sandy pictures. These kinds of sand paintings are done with use of small gemstones.
 
Bangles (metallic, glass and wooden, both for adults and for children) would be suitable gifts.

Perfumery

Sets of perfumery oils related to the 12 zodiacal signs are on sale in different packing that very beautifully looks.
 
Perfume at a price slightly cheaper than in a Duty free can be bought in shopping malls of all known companies.

Jeweller decorations and products made of precious and semiprecious gemstones and metals

Jeweller ornaments with jewels and semiprecious stones are better to be bought in Jaipur. There is largest in India center specializing on inlay of precious and semiprecious gemstones and finest jewelry that this city and the artisans of Jaipur have been offering. Wares are very colorful and unique, but some of them unfortunately have quickly breaking fasteners. The art, traditions and culture of Jaipur is so interesting that at times it also adds a mystical touch to the city and its people.
 
In regard to jewels made of gold can be mentioned that in Indian gold there are some admixtures of other metals and quality differs from that silver products have got. 
Gold in India is used of 24 carats and it is of brightly yellow colour.
585 parts per thousand -14 carat (or karat)
750 parts -18 carat 
990 parts- 24carat
It can be recommend purchasing it in certificated shops. There one can find products of the western quality and taste. 
 
Tableware silver, decorations and gold are better to be taken from specialized shops; otherwise there is a risk that at a market someone will be able to palm you off not original silver wares.

Wares are in style of Bidri

Wares in style of Bidri are represented in a form when on a specially blackened metallic background patterns and drawings are inlaid by thinnest silver wire. Bidri is an art form that has been in existence in India for many centuries. Bidri ware is a traditional handicraft that flourished at Bidar, in Karnataka. Products can be most various - from bangles and pendants to decorative plates and vessels. Depicted plots and patterns there are also on all tastes - from Arabic character to mythological scenes. It looks very elegantly and costs inexpensively, as the material in itself is cheap - copper and a silver wire.

Products made of natural wood

There are very beautified handcrafted goods such as little tables, tables, cases, box sets, cupboards, screens, ottomans etc made of natural wood that can enrich a decor and furnishings. Mainly such items are manufactured of wood known as Shisham. But in the European climate they for some reason sometimes cracks although Shisham wood is known for its beauty, rich chestnut color and strength. Shisham (Dalbergia sissoo) is an erect deciduous tree, native to India, Pakistan and Nepal. It is also called Sissoo, Sisu, Sheesham and Indian Rosewood. After Teak it is the most important cultivated timber in India. India has wood with wondrous natural beauty and artisans that produce beautiful wood creations of all kinds that reflect Indian culture and thought. Saharanpur is the most productive center for woodcarving. It is known for its Shisham and Teak products and for its wood seasonings. Its wood preparation processes makes the wood resistant to cracking and splitting

Leather products and various bags

Leather belts-bags.
 
There are bags of economic type for a house keeping made of a material with Indian motifs and mirrors, leather bags and skin in general. It can be got in Delhi (there is an almost Russian market Yashwant Place, located in Chanakyapuri near by Ashoka Hotel and Russian embassy).
On markets that are orientated on tourists, prices always are more expensive than in common bazaars. For example,Connaught Place (officially Rajeev Chowk) and in the same area Palika Bazaar have wide selection of goods; there are mainly all for tourists - souvenirs, skin, bags, jackets, decorations etc. Connaught Place is one of the largest commercial areas located in the heart of New Delhi. Palika Bazaar is an underground, air-conditioned market located below the inner circle of Connaught Place. It hosts several hundred shops selling a diverse range of items; however, the market is dominated by electronic items and clothing. Palika Bazaar attracts many foreign tourists. And at the same time it is known as a place with a low level of prices. Bargain as much as you can and get the lowest prices.

Cosmetics and hair conditioning agents

A remarkable trademark Ayur - creams, Biotic, Lotus offering shampoos etc, can represent cosmetology.
 
Local Henna (Mehndi) having premium quality is specially selected from the best Henna plants grown in India. Henna or Hina (Lawsonia inermis) is a flowering plant, the sole species in the genus Lawsonia in the family Lythraceae. It is a complete hair nourishing treatment. It adds an attractive tinge and shine to your hair. Pure Henna powder and the Henna paste are used for natural hair colouring to get the perfect shade, and in India also in holy traditions like marriages and festivals to decorate hands and feet. Mehndi is the traditional art of henna painting in India and the Middle East. It can be written also as mehandi, mehendi, mendhi, henna, al-henna and other spellings. 

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