When it comes to shopping Assam may not be the first name to cross your mind. However, while traveling in Assam it is important to take away some souvenirs or memorabilia from here. Even if you are not someone who loves shopping or is looking forward to it, there is still a certain level of thrill when it comes to such stuff. Especially because not only do the local artisan’s livelihood depend on them but also that they are so special in their own way, not factory produced, ensuring that these souvenirs and tokens of travel are super special and cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world.
While shopping in Assam remember such unique pieces of art and craftworks or clothing items as well. It is also kind of exciting to research about the kind of things any place has to offer prior to going there in order to look forward to their vacation anywhere. Other than sightseeing and indulging in other fun tourist activities in Assam shopping there adds a special hint of fun in the holidays.
If you are wondering where and what to buy then let us help you out. Let’s start off by talking about what would be the best buy for your holiday in Assam to take back to your home or gift it to your close and loved ones:
List of 12 Shopping Markets in Assam
Assamese tea is probably what has put this state on the map. While visiting one of the many rolling green tea plantation-covered landscapes, make sure to get yourself a package of pure, organic, homegrown tea leaves. In fact, one of the most important aspects is that Assam is one of those rare places where tea leaves are grown and harvested on the plains rather than hills. Not just the plantations, tea leaves are widely present in any of the local marketplaces. Did you know that Assam is the largest tea-producing state in India? So buying tea leaves should be a must!
Although the tea leaves popularity overshadows any other aspect of Assam, Assamese silk is another one of the most beloved productions in this wonderful hill state. Assam may not be your first preference to get your silk products, but this underrated state produces one of the finest qualities of silk in the market. The 3 main types of silk found here are Eri Silk, Muga, and pat. Muga silk has to be one of the most used silk types for producing local apparel for the people residing there.
If you visit Assam and leave without buying a huge selection of handicrafts items, then your complete Assam experience remains incomplete. After all the handicrafts and handloom industry is what sets this humble and quaint state apart from the rest. Guwahati in Assam is the hub for all the northeastern states of India meaning they have the capacity to produce some of the most vivid handmade crafts items. You will find several bamboo and wood artifacts that are handmade by different tribes residing in the place. Other handicrafts items that may interest you are – bamboo cane products, jewelry, traditional paintings, toys, terracotta items and so much more.
Jaapi and Wooden Rhino Statues
Jaapi is a traditional funnel-shaped hat that is produced mainly in Assam. This hat is symbolic of traditional Assamese culture and is worn with every performance of Bihu dance along with transitional clothing. It is symbolic of respecting other people’s rituals and even sometimes putting it in your house as a decorative item. Small wooden rhino statues are found everywhere in souvenirs shops in Assam because as you may already know that Kaziranga National Park is the only place where you can find this mammal, making it extra special.
Also known as Mukhas, traditional masks created in Assam are famous all over the world for its unique bold and bright combination of colors, unique and diverse patterns, and massive shapes and sizes. These masks form the base of Assamese culture and traditions and can be seen in many traditional dance performances. They are even worn in theatrical performances to make the scene more dramatic. Traditionally made Assamese masks can be made with a variety of materials including bamboo, cane, wood, plinth, and metal.
If you are looking for places to buy these souvenirs and gifts then here are some pointers to help you out:
If you are confused about where to shop in Guwahati then you must start your shopping adventure by going to the Maati Centre. The shop should definitely be visited because it is run by a local couple who only keep stuff for sale that is produced by NGOs. The main focus of the shop is to create awareness regarding the handicrafts culture of the northeast and generate revenue for the less fortunate.
The name spells it out well. Silkalay is one of the most celebrated shops responsible for the display of pristine quality silk. The shop has achieved legendary status among various silk shops in Guwahati. It sells a variety of different types of silk-like Muga, Tussar, mulberry silk, and many more types. A traditional Assamese sarong-like piece of clothing can also be found here.
Pragjyoti Assam Emporium
Maintained and run by the government of Assam, this emporium is one of the largest and popular handicrafts markets in Guwahati. It is also an unmissable part of touring Assam. It displays some amazing handmade regional arts and crafts of traditional patterns and designs. They do a great job of displaying the amazing culture and traditions followed by the people of Assam.
Do you like to go above and beyond with your shopping expedition? Then pan bazaar is just the thing for you! Located in very close proximity to fancy and Paltan Bazaar, this awesome shopping alleyway is located in Guwahati. It kind of reminds you of Chandni Chowk in old Delhi but it has its own charm. The alleyways are lined with small booksellers and street vendors selling all sorts of books imaginable. You can even find a massive range of silk clothing; you can even go and try out local delicious cuisines in the restaurants and eating joints present in the Market.
Thinking about visiting Kamakhya temple? Make sure not to miss out on buying souvenirs and gifts for people you love back home or yourself even. It sits very comfortably and close to the Kamakhya railway station. The market is especially celebrated for featuring Bengal-based products. These include Bengali delicacies, spices, decor items, artifacts, Bengali style clothing and so much more. Make sure to buy sweets, fish, and other decor stuff.
If you have yet to find a place like Delhi Haat in Delhi then your search stops here. NEDFI Haat is a government set up and maintained establishment kind of like Delhi Haat which features handicrafts and handmade specialty items of this wondrous hill state. This is also a way of promoting local artisans and manufacturers to feature their products and earn a living by keeping their art alive in this manner. You can imagine this place to give you a virtual sneak peek into Assamese culture.
Also lovingly nicknamed the Chandni Chowk of Assam, a fancy bazaar is an iconic tourist attraction. This flea market which is situated in Guwahati is home to countless tiny tea shops, setups and various other types of makeshift shops to display a variety of items. You can buy a lot of stuff here like Handmade artifacts, designer clothes, jewelry, home decor, Gamcha (Assamese shawl) accessories, furniture, silk Sarees, sweets, dry snacks, and bamboo pickles. The best part? All the items up for sale are available at throwaway rates so you can buy a horde of items at bargained prices.