Shopping is an integral/exciting part of a holiday. Each holiday destination has its own set of unique souvenirs that make excellent gifts for loved ones or great showpieces in your living room. Loading up on regional merchandise at discounted rates could prove beneficial for regular visitors. Kerala has an interesting choice of items right from native clothing and handcrafted artefacts to rich spices and refreshing tea/coffee to satisfy shopping enthusiasts.
Couples opting to visit Kerala on Kerala Honeymoon Packages offered by tour operators and casual visitors on a short trips can get all the necessary information on tourist spots, shopping zones, restaurants from their tour planners so that they make the most of their time here. Tourists looking to spend more time this natural haven can check out the different shopping hubs at leisure and take time to pick and choose the items they wish to take back home.
Local markets, handicraft emporiums run by the State as well as private firms, shops run by self-help groups and several sprawling malls vie with each other for your attention. Each popular tourist spot has its own shopping hub that showcases goods from across the state plus native specialties. While cards are accepted in several establishments in major cities, do make sure to carry sufficient cash so that you don’t miss out on any interesting curios in off-beat locations.
Here is some of the popular local merchandise that you must check out when holidaying in Kerala.
- Kerla Tea / Coffee
- Spices and Cashew Nuts
- Nenthra-kaya Chips /Jackfruit Delights
- Coir Products
- Wooden/Metal Handicrafts
- Kathakali Masks
- Aranmula Mirror
- Traditional Clothing
- Aroma / Healing Oils
Kerla Tea / Coffee
Blanketed by sprawling plantations of tea and coffee, the hill stations of Kerala produce some of best varieties of coffee and tea that are quite popular both within and outside the country. Many popular beverage companies own plantations in this region, still others source their raw products from small farms here. You can experience the taste of perfect coffee/tea on tours of the estates here and even buy the products right at these plantations. Coffee and Tea are available at the different shopping centers as well.
Spices and Cashew Nuts
India reportedly is the largest producer of cardamom in the world and Kerala accounts for major share of the produce. What better place to shop for choicest spices in this country? Green/black pepper, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, turmeric, star anise – options are aplenty. Load up on your favorite spices or pick a ready made pack comprising an assortment of spices to sample fresh spices from this region. You’re likely to crave for more!
Quality cashew nuts are also available in Kerala, so remember to stock up your pantry at affordable prices!
Nenthra-kaya Chips /Jackfruit Delights
Foodies must pick up a few packs of chips made from the native variety of plantain, the Nenthrakay. Jackfruit preparations – both sweet and savory also make a great buy. Ascertain the quality of the products in case you plan to make bulk purchase.
Kerala Coir Products
Kerala is also the land of coconuts, with the tall lean trees gently swaying in the breeze adding to natural charm of the place. The flourishing coir industry here is the livelihood of several locals. Coir products ranging from tiny coasters, rugs and foot mats to impressive carpets and other decorative artefacts are created and marketed by several small cottage industry units and self-help groups.
This land of artisans is well-known for its craftsmanship. Handcrafted items made from wood/metal make delightful mementoes, especially replicas of the different types of local boats that ply the backwaters of Kerala. Exquisite houseboats, ChundanVellam, Urus and several other models are bound to prove great gifts or additions to your very own collection.
Handmade products from cane, palm fronds, metal, ivory, cowrie and other types of shells too are available.
Notable among the wooden artefacts is the traditional Nettur Casket (vintage makeup kit / jewel box). This beautifully carved piece is embellished with brass accessories and lined with felt/velvet definitely looks royal!
Gold and silver jewelry in stunning traditional patterns are bound to appeal to shoppers looking for antique-styled ornaments. Fashion jewelry crafted out of shells too are quite beautiful and more apt for casual wear.
The stunning colorful kathakali mask from Kerala is a signature souvenir that most likely will become the prime focus of attention in any home. Choose an aptly-sized piece that fits your decor and more importantly easy to carry back home!
The Aranmulakannadi is an artistically crafted hand mirror where the reflective surface is made from a metal-alloy, which is polished to reflect the image. Composition of the alloy remains a family-secret of the clan, which for generations, has been crafting these artefacts in Aranmula town. This piece is symbolic of the region’s culture and is also considered a good luck charm.
Traditional Brass Lamp (Nilavilakku)
Yet another traditional artefact which is an integral part of Kerala households, the Nilavilakku is a brass/bronze lamp lit using cotton wick and oil. Available in different sizes, larger models of this souvenir, though an excellent fit in your pooja/living room, can prove heavy to lug back home!
The elaborately crafted decorative piece that adorns the forehead of elephants during special occasions and processions makes an impressive addition to your home. Mounted on the wall, the piece not only adds a flash of color to the place but also enhances the grandeur of the setting.
Handwoven sarees and dhotis embellished with simple/grand gold colored zari borders are for those who are enthusiastic about using traditional clothes during special occasions, or visiting local temples here.
Aroma / Healing Oils
Kerala is also an ideal place to shop for aroma oils and Ayurvedic preparations as Ayurveda is widely practiced in this region. Concoctions for simple relaxation as well as special formulations to address specific health conditions can be purchased from the authentic outlets in the state.
As you can see, you are bound to be spoilt for choices when it comes to souvenir shopping in Kerala. If you’ve planned a honeymoon in Kerala, make sure to check out the different best Kerala tour Packages and opt for one that gives you the best of facilities and access to the popular shopping zones in Kerala so that you can surprise your loved one with special gifts whenever you fancy!