Indo Tibetan Shopping at M.G.Road.: Woolens & Jackets at Bargain Counter.
n case you are inadequately dressed or need that woolens for sudden temperature change, you may try this shop " Indo Tibetan ". Located on M.G.Road the main mall is a bargain counter throughout the year. They keep woolens from local to branded ones and Jackets made in China to North Face of Korea.
In my view, at any point of the year their prices are about 10% cheap in winter and about upto 40% in Summer. The owner of the shop is Mr.Rahul Sharma a busnessman from Rajasthan, settled in Gangtok about 100 years back.
In and around Lal Bazar.: Small Souvenier Shop around Lal Bazar!
The city of Gangtok has numerous curio or souvenier shops. They are spread all over Gangtok. We explored as we had to buy many souvenier and gifts for our friends. We found M.G.Shops are very very expensive and dont' encourage bargain at all. On the other hand, we found the road near Lal Bazar has many shops, where prices are cheaper by 30-40% than that of M.G.Road shops. Many Chinese items are also found which shall make everyone back home happy. Price is cheap and may be even cheaper if you can bargain!
Happy Shopping in Gangtok.
Kandoika on M.G.road.: Curio Shop in Gangtok.
This shop is very famous for Tibetan curios and Sikkimese curios. But I found the prices are very expensive. The shopkeeper is also not ready for bargain. Since, he has probably largest collection and located on main M.G.Road, he has good business. You may try for yourself and also do some bargaining, he may concede to the request.
We bought some curios and Chinese fans for our friends.
What to buy: Curios of Tibetan and Sikkimese origin. May be some Chinese stuff also.
What to pay: Please bargain before you settle for what he asks for.
Strawberry!: Wonderful Shopping Experience at Small Shop:
One of our friends ( co-passengers to North Sikkim) informed about this shop at the end of M.G.Road, Strawberry. They had bought beautiful fur jackets highly suitable for high altitude cold and wind, at a very reasonable price. So we also thought to buy a few for us for future use. Since we get only mild cold in Kolkata even during peak winter but thought it may be useful for our next trip to high altitude. But we ended up buying a black Chinese dress for Munu and a beautiful jacket for our friend's son.
Later in the evening we also bought very beautiful jackets made by North Face of Korea. It was expensive but of very good quality, the dealer gave us huge discount as end of season sale. Wow! I have not used it as were were coming down but perhaps I shall use it on 16th April as I am going to Gangtok again on official visit. I may get chance to visit Nathu La pass, I may use it there!
What to buy: Many thing right from winter boots, lady's items as well as clothes.
What to pay: They are expensive except for winter jackets as they are givin end of season discount.
Wine Shops in Sikkim.: Thriving Wine Industry of Sikkim.
One of the major revenue for the State of Sikkim is their ever growing wine industry. The state liquor taxes are very low and they give subsidy to the local manufacturer. Similarly the package drinking water produced by the multinational companies do not get sold here as the taxes are very high for them. Instead, the local wine and water industry gets subsidy in taxes. This is one good way to attract investment in this hill state and provide job for locals.
The locally produced wine/ hard liquor is of excellent quality compared to the MNCs. Their prices are also very cheap but the locally produced liquor is not sold outside the state as the dont' get subsidy in those states. There they treated at par with other manufacturer.
We too bought some souvineir packs for friends. You have to obtain a Liquor permit to take out the state produced liquor outside Sikkim for your personal consumption. You may get the permit free by giving your name and address at the Excise office, M.G.Road, Gangtok. It is on the main road. In case you face difficulty, just ask the local shop to get it for you. At a time you can take out 6 large bottles out of the state.
You also get the well known brands and Scotch as well at comparatively cheaper rate than Delhi, Calcutta oe Bombay as the excise duty is low here. A bottle of good Scotch like Black Dog or Passport is avilable for Rs.1000- 1200/- per bottle, where as the same brand is available in large city for Rs.1300-1500/-
What to buy: Wine and Liquor of your choice.
What to pay: Very reasonable price.
Sikkim Handloom & Handicraft Emporium: Don't Forget to buy a Bokhu or Carpet
Visiting Sikkim and not visiting State Handloom & Handicraft Emporium? Well also had a look at this place twice and bought something. Rakhi bought two Bokhus ( a local dress worn by local women) and Munu bought a Red Panda soft toy.
This place is also training centre for the needy women, who wants to learn handicraft and sell their merchandise.
The shop sells Carpets, Leather Goods, Tibetan, Lepcha, Bhutia & Nepalese dress, wooden wall hangings, Masks etc ( see picture). The staff behaviour is extremely polite and they try to sell with a smile. Prices are very reasonable in comparison to the M.G.Road shops. A must visit place for all tourists.
The main emporium of Directorate of Handloom & Handicrafts is located at a convenient place at 'Zero' Point in the capital city. Most of the handloom and handicraft items produced in the state are beautifully showcased here. These are, thanka paintings, carpets, handlooms, wooden carved and painted items, wooden masks, cane and bamboo works, traditional hats and caps, multi-craft items, embroidered products.
What to pay: Prices are very reasonable.