A wide range of organic spices, most grown locally.
The owner is friendly and knowledgeable about the spices he sells.
A wonderful aroma!
What to buy: Cardamom..The Queen of Spices!
Saffron...grown in N India, but cheaper than bought in UK...The Real Thing too..not marigold heads as sometimes sold as saffron!
Cinnamon bark...for cooking in stews/curries etc..Cinnamon sticks are for baking!
Teas are also sold
What to pay: Cheaper and fresher/better quality than usually purchased in supermarkets etc in UK
There are quite a number of similar establishments in Kumily, but this was the only one that I went into
Although I was only intending to buy postcards, I soon succumbed to the salesmans patter and the array of goods on sale.
The dimly lit shop was full of local and Kashmiri goods ( the majority of souvenir / craft shops in Kumily are run by Kashmiri refugees).
Pashminas, Silk scarves and paintings, jewellery, ornaments and trinkets were crammed into all available shelf space.
I was particularly attracted to the pashminas, and had soon found THE ONE, that I couldn't live without!!, however, when he then produced some unusual 2 tone silk scarves, I was torn ! He was asking £28 and £22 for each - Hmmmm time for some serious haggling!
I then spent a delightful hour or longer, in the process of getting him down to a more realistic price. During this time, over tea and cakes, I learnt much about Kashmir and life there.
I still thought I could get a better price from him, so decided I'd go back to my hotel, then return later.
I did so, although the shopkeeper had doubted I'd return (he said most tourists didn't come back into Kumily after dark)
After further haggling, I bought both items for the total of £17!
I'd enjoyed this shopping experience, a pleasant way to spend my afternoon, and learn a bit about the local culture.
What to buy: Pashminas
paper mache christmas decorations
oh, and postcards!
What to pay: Whatever the asking price...Haggle!
Depending on the number of tourists visiting at a time, may affect how much of a bargain you get. The salesmen are usually working for the shop owners and are therefore under pressure to get a sale. However, I was not unduly pressurised to buy, as I have been in some places elsewhere.
This is a smallish shop away from the bulk of the handicrafts stores. The proprietor is a collector himself (coins) and runs the shop as a sideline, so he isn’t interested in making deals, and didn’t seem particularly concerned in whether I bought anything. That said, he has some very interesting things for sale – not cheap, but unusual in one way or another. Some of his coin collection is for sale too.
Interesting shop, interesting man, worth stopping in.