Khukuri " National Knife " is also called a Gurkha Knife, Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is used by almost every Nepalese. Every Nepali has at least one khukuri (Gurkha knife) in their house. They use khukuri (Gurkha knife) for different purposes like; kitchenware, cutting wood, decorations and safety purpose. Khukuri (Gurkha knife) has awesome cutting power. This knife (khukuri) is very popular in Nepal as well as other country through out the world. But the above definition gives only a glimpse of the Khukuri (Gurkha knife). Khukuri (Gurkha knife) means a lot more than the above definition. Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is not just a knife. It has a strong relationship with the Gurkha Soldiers and Nepalese History. Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is not just a knife of Nepal but is also symbol of the Gurkha soldier, with the help of which Gurkha soldiers paved a way to their fame and courage today they have.
The excellent cutting power of Khukuri (Gurkha knife) was first experienced by the British in India who had to face it in the battles since 1814 while combating the Gorkha army in western Nepal. From that very moment Khukuri (Gurkha knife) established its fame and became legend. So the Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is also known by the name of Gurkha knife. In the Gurkha soldier's grip, this small piece of curved steel “Gurkha Knife” becomes an incredibly menacing weapon with which he has demonstrated rare feats of bravery while facing the enemy in many a battlefield. This excellent piece of “Gurkha Knife” also Nepalese knife has fought many battles in the Nepalese History and has shown very good reputation. Because of that the Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is Nepal’s national knife. The blade of Gurkha soldiers “Gurkha Knife” has its own fame and popularity. All the Nepalese people are so proud of this “Gurkha Knife” that this gurkha knife, Khukuri (Gurkha knife) is liked by all the Nepalese people.
What to pay: Bargain a lot before you buy. Price ranges from Rs.200 to Rs. 8000 or from USD 4 for a tiny size to USD200.
You find hand embroidered T shirs or other garments very attractive buy in Kathmandu. This is worth buying and the process takes about half a hour to about an hour by an expert using a Stencil. They are mostly Moslem artisans from State of Bihar, India. You just select the design and they will make it a ziff. You can watch them making it very fast. We bought three T. Shirts.
What to pay: They will ask for sky but will settle for much less. The T shirt I am wearing was quoted for Rs.450/- or 11 USD but I paid only Rs.100/- or USD 1.25.
What to buy:
I bought brassware, carpet and woodcarvings which were heavy to carry around. Then, I found that these paper made Nepali masks are unique, striking and wonderful souvenirs to buy back home. Prices vary with size and quality of details.
So buy Nepali masks.
The Nepalese Madal is a unique Drum you can buy for your friends or yourself. It is unique in nature and sounds sweet. Try to hear some Nepalese folk song and you will find extensive use of Maadal! Also featuring Spanish or Hawaian Guiter, you can also buy for yourself as they are very cheap compared to west about 1/10 th of the price and sounds well!
Please go in for bargain in Thamel area as the shopkeepers of Thamel area do not like Nepalese people as their customer as they feel Nepalese people would pay only genuine price, where as an westerner will pay them ten times more since he does not know the real price! Bravo!
What to pay: Madal would be available for Rs 300 -400 and Guiter for Rs.1500- 5000! A bargain indeed.
Mithila Art or Madhubani art is also one of the better buys. Mithila is now located in the State of Bihar, India and is very famous for its typical style of Art and Painting. If you buy something from them it will be helping a poor artisan as well as good buy for your house. You can buy a decoration piece, a mirror, a painting, or so on. Look at the photographs in detail for selection of article.
A word of caution: Please bargain for the correct price. Start with 30% price of what they quote you will settle at some point. Please remember these shops are not owned by the artisans but the businessman who is there to make profit. They buy the articles from the poor artisans and then make the killing. So remember whatever you do to help only a fraction of the amount will go to the artisans.
Once in Nepal, you will always find that Nepalese women are very beautiful and wear colourful dress and simple jewellery. Almost 90% women wear Potha or Pothi ( See picture women wearing Tiluri of different colours). This is popular among married women, who wear it as a symbol of their marriage and long life for husband.
These are made of simple plastic beads and sometimes it is locked with Tilhari or Tiluri, a drum type ornament made of either brass or those who can afford make it with gold.
You may try it , may be for party wear or just as souvenier. You may also try it when you have the opportunity to wear Asian dress. It goes well with Sari or any Asian dress!
What to pay: This is very cheap comes for Rs.50 to Rs.1000/- ( USD 1 to USD 20) depending on the quality.
Kathmandu is a great place to shop for clothes. A large variety of clothes can be bought. The alleys around Indra Chowk, between Thamel and Durbar square, have dozens of fabric shops and tailors.
When buying clothes, anything from T-shirts to trousers, do fit them before buying. I found that the sizes are not what we are use to and does not say much about the real size of the piece of clothing. If you buy a shirt marked L, another L shirt in the same shop might not fit.
What to pay: Haggle
What to buy:
Another nice souvenir to bring from Kathmandu is a singing bowl. The official use is for meditation. If you rub a wooden stick around the edge the bowl produces a singing sound.
You can get them in different sizes and qualities.
This shop is owned by Mr. Chandra Jewan Shahi and the shop is styled and decorated by an elderly English Lady Mrs. Angela Durose from Northern England, who has made this her home for the last three years. The shop sells maps, curios, flags, posters, stickers etc. Mrs. Durose has been nurturing this pace like her own son. Though there are not much buyers these days but I found the prices are very reasonable almost half the price from Thamel shops. The posters I bought here for only Rs.125/-NPR are priced at Rs280/- NPR in Thamel area. Mrs. Durose also assist Mr.Chandra to run the shop.
I strongly recommend this shop for real value for money.
What to buy: Curios, Posters, Flags, Key Rings, Maps etc.
What to pay: Reasonable.
Though the city of Kathmandu has shopping malls everywhere but the oldest and the best shopping area remains in New Road. It is very popular with Nepali and Indian people. You get right from expensive cameras, watches, clothes, jewellery to tailors to stitch your suit in 24-48 hrs! Just try or have stroll in the evening when you have nothing to do.
What to buy:
Nepal is known for its pashminas - they are much cheaper than anywhere else in the world.
There are many different kinds of pashminas - ranging from poor to high quality. Water pashminas are not high quality but are lighter and cheaper. Another type of pashmina is a mix of silk and pashmina (70/30).
What to pay: The high quality - double layer pashminas are about $40-50 USD - depending on the number of pashminas you purchase and your negotiating skills - note that 100% high quality pashminas can easily run over $200 outside of Nepal.
A smallish shop specializing in teas and coffee and packaged spices in Thamel/Chhetrapati - a bit away from the crowds in the central area. A very good selection of teas and coffees. I still recommend the one down in Basantapur, Nepal Tea House, but if you do not have the time, the prices and quality at Buddha Tea Shop are also ok, even if geared mostly toward tourists.
What to buy: I found the selection and quality of green teas to be good, in particular.
What to pay: From 300 rupees to 9.000 per kilo, depending on type and quality. The latter price for Nepalese white tea.
As a 5 starred hotel, Yak and Yeti has a corridor full of jewelers. Some of them were Muslim and they understood that we were from Turkey (it was a religious holiday season). They offered us special prices but even a special price was over my budget here. They had so many amazing gemstones that I’ve never seen before. There is no harm in looking, but beware of the jewelers. They are good at catching people.
What to buy: They have an amazing collection of precious stones.
What to pay: Too much
I put this tip under "art"... It may you like chrystals (mainly quartz) from a geological point of view or a by far more esoteric one; who cares, this shop had a good selection of fine chrystals. I thought they were nice, anyway, but i will leave to an expert to judge...
What to buy: Small and large chrystals, some set in jewellry metal. some real big and colored ones, too, blueish, pink and smoke quartz.
What to pay: Variable depending on size, quality and your ability to negotiate...
I go here to shop shawls and woolen sweaters, scarves, mufflers etc. for fiends and myself. I was never dissatisfied after coming out of this shop.
What to buy: Good quality pashmina shawls, pure or mixed with silk.
Woolen sweaters and other garments made of fine wool.
What to pay: 100% Pashmina shawl full size 2500-3200 NPR
70/30 pashmina/silk 1800-2800
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