Nepal has become a popular tourist destination, mostly due to the diverse adventurous activities like Trekking, Peak Climbing, and Expedition it offers. At the same time, it is not just the natural beauties that the place offers.
Since Nepal is a country with diverse culture, there are different types of language, food, customs, and arts and crafts you can find. If you are interested to buy souvenirs and gifts to take back home after your visit from Nepal.
The diverse cultural art forms give you an option to buy many different types of handicrafts to select from all around the nation.
Best Handicrafts Products Made in Nepal
Here are various Nepal made handcraft you would love to buy as gifts and souvenirs.
The name “Pashmina” itself translates to “soft gold” in Persian. It is considered to be one of the softest, highly-delicate, and fluffy fiber. They are warm, light in weight, and look beautiful. The wools are collected from the upper Himalayan mountain goats called ‘Chyangra’, during the molting season when they shed their long winter coats. Nepal is very well known for its high-quality pashmina.
Also Read: How to Identify Pure Pashmina Shawls?
Pashminas are very warm and comes in various colors, designs, and shapes like shawls, sweaters, and scarves. Thus, they are loved by women across the world. Which, as a result, would make it one of the best Nepal-made products you can take back home as a gift for your friends and family.
Traditionally a lethal weapon, Khukuris are one of the most unique and efficient daggers in the world. It is the national weapon of Nepal and it holds a unique as well as a significant place in Nepalese culture. It represents Nepali traditions, history, and to some extent, spiritual beliefs. Gurkha fighters have a fearsome reputation, and the kukri is the main reason. Moreover, no Gurkha army goes into battle without a Kukhri even today.
The blade is made from high-grade steel, the handle of hardwood, metal or animal horn, the sheath of wood and animal hides. To make a high-quality kukri takes at least one week and highly skilled blacksmiths are involved. Khukuri knives are exquisite pieces of Nepali craftsmanship.
So, they make an excellent souvenir, particularly for collectors. The best part is that the dagger can be found in various designs and in every shape and size. The shining strong blade has an inward curve that can serve the purpose of both a weapon and a utility knife.
Handwoven Nepali Dhaka
A proud national symbol, Dhaka is a handloom fabric that is both unique and highly popular amongst the people of Nepal. Mostly seen in Nepali national caps, Dhaka can be used in almost any cloth. Moreover, this cultural fabric has also found its way into modern designs among a variety of dresses lately.
It is a traditional and intricate handwoven material that is valued for its artful handwork and natural fibers. You can find beautiful shawls, Nepali caps, waist-coats, and other clothes that are made from Dhaka, in Nepal.
This traditional pattern weaving is done on wood and bamboo treadle looms by Limbu and Rai women of the eastern hill area (Tehrathum) of Nepal. Each woven item is unique because of the changing of the shed. The weaver decides, without chart or counting threads, which section of the warp she is going to lay the colors which form the pattern.
Handmade Nepali Statues
Nepal is a country with mixed religion and cultures, where people are mostly Hindus and Buddhists. The people are highly religious and spiritual in the country. As a result, you can find a temple or a stupa in a distance of each 5-10 kilometers almost anywhere.
Thus, tourists usually love to take small sculptures or an idol of a deity to take a piece of this spiritual memory from Nepal. These statues are mostly of a Hindu or Buddhist god that has different designs and shapes. They are made from various kinds of materials like brass, bronze, clay, etc. These statues can be used as a payer idol or as a great unique showpiece that you can buy for yourself or gift someone.
Nepali Clay Products
Molded clay goods are baked and sometimes glazed to make them shine. Also known as terracottas, the excavations of these clay products in Nepal have been found dating back to more than two thousand years ago and thus are an ancient art-form in Nepal.
This is evident as such terracotta figurines can be seen on buildings and monuments all around the traditional places inside the capital valley of Nepal. These clay products have unique Nepali designs and come in many forms such as water pot, flower pots, lamps, chimes and many other imaginable.
Nepali Wooden Handicrafts
The high quality of the Kathmandu Valley’s wood carving craftsmanship is reflected in many pieces, including windows, doors, chests, and figures of gods. Since the middle ages, wood carving has been a major part of Nepalese craft, as evident from artistic wood-work in old temples, palaces and houses in and around Kathmandu valley. This art-form saw a resurgence in the 1960s, as woodcarving were bought by tourists visiting Nepal.
Most of the wood carving work is done in the three cities of the Kathmandu Valley, where production is widely spread across individuals and households. You can find many different handicraft items made out of wood all around the city such as wooden frames, mirror frames, small boxes, animals, miniature temples, buttons, wall hangings.
If food is the way to a man’s heart, jewelry could be the way to women’s heart. In every community of the world, jewelry is considered the identity of the community and culture, it is no different in Nepal. The Nepalese jewelry constitutes the greatest of the Nepalese handicrafts. You can find different types of jewelry in various shapes and designs such as necklaces, earrings, bangles, rings, and bracelets.
They are found in gold, silver, bronze, and other metals. These pieces of jewelry also have stones studded in it that are of various colors and types. Anyone would love to have a unique piece of ornament to add to their attire. Thus, you can never make anyone unhappy buying a Jewelry. In Nepal, you can either buy something readymade or custom made, or you can even opt to buy individual beads to create your own jewelry.
Masks are mysterious and they look awesome. So are the Nepalese masks that we are very unique. They are found mostly around the shops of Kathmandu that are of Hindu and Buddhist gods or mythical and legendary creatures. Moreover, some masks are used during cultural dance and festivals.
The masks are mostly made of wood, clay and that have colorful designs and carvings along with some made from cotton, paper, brass, bronze, clay and other traditional materials. The Nepali masks would make an excellent showpiece to hand on the walls and have them as gifts.
Tibetan Buddhist Prayer Flags
You are bound to see colorful flags fluttering around holy shrines and high lands when you visit Nepal. These red, blue, yellow, white and green Buddhist prayer flags represent elements like air, fire, water, and Earth. These flags contain sacred mantras and pictures believed to generate spiritual vibrations that are released when blown by the wind. It is said to be a good omen to receive Tibetian Prayer flags as a gift.
Also Read: How to Hang Prayer Flags?
In fact, it is said that getting the prayer flags as a gift from someone and not buying them is how you should acquire a prayer flag. You can hang them in your garden, balcony for spiritual reasons or remind you of your trip. These prayer flags are easily available at tourist souvenir shops around Kathmandu.
Handmade Nepali (Lokta) Paper Products
Lokta Paper is unique in many ways. The products made from the handmade Nepali paper have different varieties like paper lam sets, notebooks, photo album, envelopes cards, greeting cards, gift wrappers, gift box, shopping bags, and Nepali sheet papers (basically, anything that can be made through the paper). These products made out of Lokta papers have a different texture which gives it a unique design and look. The papers made from Lokta are non-perishable in the water, free from germs and highly resistant to insects like silverfish, paper crawlers, etc.
Lokta paper is also excellent for wrapping precious stones as its soft fibers do not scratch the stones. The Nepali-paper is botanically known as Daphne Bhoula or Daphne Papyracea, that is an indigenous plant of Nepal. These papers are easy to dye in water with colors and are ideal in production without using any machines in the entire process. The scraps of these papers are highly potential for easy recycling. These handmade Nepali (Lokta Papers) are beautiful, unique, very expensive and easily available in most handicraft outlets.
Tibetan Singing Bowls
A musical cum ethnic and spiritual instrument, Singing Bowl serves its name. It is a unique piece of bell-like instrument that produces a ‘hum’ type o sound. It emits continuous harmonic sound and vibration from the rim when struck by a padded mallet in circles. The vibration produced by the bowl is said to have perfect healing qualities, and ideal while meditating. The price of the material varies accordingly as there can be decorated ones or plain and normal ones.
Found both handmade as well as machine-made, the metal bowl has its roots of origin from the Tibetan culture. These bowls come in various sizes and antique singing bowls are often hand-hammered and crafted by at least three skilled artisans. Singing bowls can make up for interesting souvenirs, with a multitude of uses when you get back home as it can be used as an instrument, a showpiece or maybe even a bowl itself.
It is said Tibetan thangkas (Thangka paintings) helps to develop a clear visualization of a particular deity, strengthening their concentration, and forging a link between themselves and the deity. Traditionally, thangka paintings were not only valued for their aesthetic beauty, but primarily for their use as aids in meditational practices.
Historically, they were also used as teaching tools to convey the lives of various masters. Thankas mainly depict Buddhist deities, Buddhist legends, or Mandalas. Unlike most arts like oil paintings or acrylics, Thanka painting consists of picture panels that are painted or embroidered over.
They have textiles mounted over them and they are covered with silk. The traditional art is painted on cotton or silk canvas, and an emblem of the rich culture of the country. These religious scroll paintings can take six to eighteen months to make, depending on the size and details added.
Thanka paintings are perfect for hanging on your wall, as they are beautiful, mysterious, and looking at one would naturally take you to a slight(if not more) spiritual experience.
In Conclusion, being a country with a rich diversity in culture, it has shown its mark even in the area of art and crafts. Thus, although being a small nation, Nepal surprisingly has a lot of variety of handicrafts to offer.