Manali is a scenic, cultural and heritage capital of north India. Its proximity to some big cities and states like Delhi, Punjab, and Haryana has also made it one of the most loved hill stations in the entire north Indian part of the subcontinent. Going there is truly one of the most refreshing experiences which makes many tourists come back and re-experience it. It is a place for everyone, from adrenaline junkies to devotees and peace lovers, Manali welcomes everyone with open arms and warm smiles.
Once in Manali you may know where to go, some must-visit sightseeing options and where to eat. However, getting souvenirs and gifts from Manali for your loved ones back home is equally important as well. But what is Manali famous for and where can you buy them? Here is everything you need to know about shopping in Manali, let’s start off with what to buy:
What to Buy in Manali
Tibetan and Himalayan Handicraft Items
Kullu Manali in general is home to interesting and culturally rich handicraft items that represent the age-old arts and crafts that has dominated Manali and almost all of Himachal Pradesh. Even before you enter Manali you will be treated to some small shops selling interesting handicrafts items made out of wood, brass or other materials that are commonly found in Manali. These items include small decorative pieces, jewellery boxes, and toys. You can even find local handmade jewellery that is extra special because they cannot be replicated.
These have to be one of the best gifts to give someone or to yourself. Kinnauri and Kullu shawls represent bright colors, beautiful patterns, and a fine blend that ensures that not only these look good on your but also keeps you warm during the biting winters. The texture of these shawls is very soft and warm, lightweight to carry and every tourist visiting Manali should definitely buy these works of art even if it is for the sake of memories. It won’t be difficult at all to find these shawls because there are many local shops and tourist marketplaces selling a variety of these.
Manali has a good number of Buddhist populations. Along with temples, there are many monasteries in Manali and other neighboring places that represent these small communities of people. Thangkas are Tibetan Buddhist paintings which are created on silk or cotton pieces of fabric representing a mandala, Buddhist deity or a regular scene. Mostly Thangkas are kept unframed and rolled up away from sight due to their extreme religious value. These are very delicate pieces of art history which are very well preserved since most of these Thangkas are intended for personal meditation or instructions for monastic regulations for the young lamas-to-be.
Manali has a well-stocked collection of woolen apparels for tourists and the locals as well. Being a hill station, there is no dearth of woolen clothing in the markets of Manali like woolen mufflers, sweaters, jumpers, jackets, ear muffs, woolen socks, gloves, thermal layers, and warm inners. Even if you are unable to predict the intensity of cool temperature there then you won’t have to worry as there are plenty of woolen items on sale to keep you safe from the biting cold. Especially if you go shopping in Manali during the winter season, you will be able to shop for many different woolen winter wear products.
Although prayer wheels are a popular face of Ladakh and not Manali but over time it has made its way to the Kully Valley and has become one of the best items for buying as a souvenir for yourself or as a gift for someone else mainly because they are available in different sizes. Prayer wheels are easily present in many marketplaces from where you can buy them at a reasonable rate. The metal prayer wheel has to be the most popular one while the rotating one is also sold in large numbers as it is said to invite good fortune in life.
Where to Shop in Manali
If you are looking for artsy stuff and traditional paintings or products then the Himachali emporium is just the place for you. You will be able to find all types of paintings and other handicrafts stuff in this emporium which is dedicated to showcase the culture and rich heritage of Himachali. From warm pashminas to decorative items for home and a range of handmade items as well. All the prices at the emporium are fixed so you will get a very reasonable deal on different products.
Old Manali Market
Did you know that old Manali is actually older and the real Manali? This means that the market setups here are older and offer more things to sell to the tourists. The old charm and beauty of the marketplace are further accentuated by the interesting and unique pieces of handicrafts like handmade accessories, jewellery pieces, woolen clothes, and other such interesting pieces. The market remains somewhat full but the constant rumble of traffic and people makes this a must-visit place to shop in Manali.
Manu market is located in the mall road marketplace which is one of the most popular places to shop. In this busiest part of the market which remains brimming with tourists throughout the year, there are many colorful and interesting unique things you can buy that will definitely grab your attention. Some of the most interesting products that you can buy here are books, clothes, food items, home appliances, and more. This market remains surrounded by thick green forest cover and picturesque scenes which adds a lot of life to a regular marketplace. A great place for photography lovers and even a better place for shopaholics.
The next time you are traveling to Manali makes sure to shop for a lot of stuff that would emulate the vibe of Manali the best.