5000 years of continuous history, a heterogeneous mix of cultures, religions and ethnicity make India a vast storehouse of traditions. And for the handicraft shopper, the land of unending delights.
The best part, is of course, shopping for them. Visit places and see people that you never knew existed. Learn about the way they live, interact with them, bargain with them and sometimes, even make lifelong friends with them.
What you carry back will not just be the item you bought, but an experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
Banarsi Sarees from Varanasi
Location: Varanasi is one of the most important art and craft places in India and also probably the oldest and most exciting city in the whole world. Rich in design, intricate in form and pattern, a Banarasi Sari is a must have.
Some of these take about a year to weave. Each carpet is a labor of love. You will also get to visit Kashmir, which as any Indian will tell you, is the most beautiful place on earth.
Madhubani Paintings of Bihar
Traditionally, these paintings adorn the outside walls of the house. And, it is an unbelievable experience to walk through a village – each house here is a work of art. The same villagers recreate the same enchantment on paper so that you can take a Madhubani painting home.
Applique from Orissa
Rich in art and craft, Orissa is very famous for its Applique work. Tiny mirrors make every piece look more beautiful and unique.
Carved wood from Saharanpur
You cannot think of art and craft tourism without thinking of Saharanpur, home to the world’s best wood carvers. This sleepy town in Uttar Pradesh is a must-visit for a craft shopper.
The ideal beach destination, Goa is known for its art and craft. You can spend the day getting a tan, and the evening buying the most exquisite craft made from sea shells.
Coconut Art from South India
Famous in South India, Coconut is used to make food, rope, wooden furniture and of-course the most amazing craft. Don’t forget to check out things made out of coir that have given rise to art and craft tourism in the southern states.
Metalwork from Kerala
Kerala is not just God’s Own Country’, it is also a highlight of the art and craft work done in India. One can find the most amazing metal handicrafts here.
Shawls of Kullu
One of the most quaint among the art and craft places, Kullu is the mountain town of India. Check out the beautiful and extremely warm shawls that are weaved by the locals in Kullu.
Textiles of Gujarat
Art and craft tourism finds a natural home in the state of Gujarat. Be ready to be dazzled by the variety and richness of its textile traditions.