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The Blog

( Catch latest news & hacks related to travel ).

Shopping in Sikkim

Shopping in Sikkim

28 February 2024

Shopping in Sikkim: 12 Best Things to Buy in Sikkim

 

Sikkim is known for its breathtaking natural beauty and rich culture, making it a fantastic travel destination. What makes it more attractive are its vibrant local markets, which offer a shopping experience unlike any other. Here, you can find everything from high-end designer wear and exquisite handloom fabrics to traditional attire, all available at a wide range of price points. Moreover, affordable handicrafts, jewelry, spices, and more fill the stalls, offering something for every taste and budget.

 

Famous Gangtok shopping market boasts colourful traditional clothing and stunning jewelry, perfect to take a piece of Sikkim's culture home. As India's only organic state, Sikkim's organic spices are a highlight and a must-buy. The state's diverse culture is also reflected in its handicrafts, which are an essential addition to any street shopping in Gangtok or other parts of Sikkim.

 

Want to learn more on what to buy in Sikkim and the best places to find these items? Read the blog to ensure you don't miss out on the best of what shopping in Sikkim has to offer.



CONTENTS:

 

Shopping in Sikkim │Things to buy in Sikkim

1. Traditional Sikkimese Dresses

2. Authentic Sikkimese Tea

3. Tibetan Prayer Flags

4. Sikkimese Pickles and Spices

5. Traditional Crockery

6. Silver and Pearl Jewelry

7. Vibrant Thangkas

8. Tibetan Carpets

9. Colourful Masks

10. Choktse—Artistic Wooden Tables

11. Hand-Woven Sikkim Jackets

12. Authentic Bamboo Shoots

Shopping in Sikkim │Where to Shop in Sikkim

MG Marg — Famous Gangtok Shopping Market

Lachen Market — Soul of Sikkim Cuisine

Ravangla Market — Shop Amid Nature

Laal Bazaar — Soul of Sikkim Cuisine

Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom

The Government Institute of Cottage Industry

Book Your Sikkim Tour Package!



Shopping in Sikkim │Things to buy in Sikkim

 

Whether you’re looking for cheap cloth shopping in Gangtok or want to look out for famous things to buy in Sikkim as souvenirs, there’s a variety of items to suit every budget.

 

Sikkim boasts a rich culture and traditions influenced by the diverse indigenous tribes residing here. Its strong culture is depicted in its colourful attire. If you want to bring back home a piece of its indigenous culture, traditional dresses are one of the top things to buy in Sikkim. 

 

While 'Bakhu' is a beautiful Sikkimese dress for women, men wear a similar version known as 'Kho'. These are not just pieces of fabric but stories and traditions woven in threads, reflecting Sikkim's rich cultural heritage. Head over to MG Marg in Gangtok, where numerous shops offer these dresses along with stunning accessories.

 

 

Don't limit yourself to just Darjeeling Tea; Sikkim has its own gorgeous tea gardens, with Temi Tea Garden being a top attraction. Renowned for producing some of India's finest tea, Temi Tea Garden is one of the best places to visit in Sikkim.

 

You can explore the garden and buy the very popular organic Temi Tea. Its rich aroma and flavour make it an ideal treat for yourself or a thoughtful gift for loved ones. While you can find it in local stores across Sikkim, for an authentic experience, hop to the tea gardens and purchase it fresh from the source.

 

 

No trip to Sikkim is complete without bringing back Tibetan prayer flags. These colourful flags are not just decorative items but carry spiritual significance, promoting peace, compassion, strength, and wisdom. 

 

You can find them almost everywhere in Sikkim, but for the best variety, explore the markets in Gangtok and Pelling. You can also buy Buddha figurines to keep at your home or gift your friends.

 

 

If you're a food enthusiast, don’t forget to buy pickles and spices—a must-buy in Sikkim. Crafted from local ingredients and traditional recipes, these culinary treasures offer the taste of unique flavours of Sikkim. Famous things for shopping include bamboo shoot pickle or churpi, a local cheese. These items are perfect gifts for your friends who appreciate diverse cuisines. Explore the local street markets in Gangtok and Namchi for the finest selection. 

 

As Sikkim is India's first organic state, its organic spices are not only flavourful but also offer health benefits. If you're looking for a special gift, one of the best things to buy in Sikkim is fragrant Black Cardamom, also known as 'Bari Alcha'. An essential ingredient in Indian kitchens, this aromatic spice from Sikkim is special and organic, adding a distinct flavour to dishes while evoking memories of your time in this Northeastern state.

 

 

If you enjoy Sikkim tea, you'll also like the traditional Tibetan crockery like tea sets, mugs, and vases. The artistic Sikkimese cups not only add aesthetic charm to your home but also make lovely gifts for loved ones. 

 

Crafted mainly from ceramic, these crockeries feature colourful art prints, often depicting dragon motifs or cultural events. They're must-buy souvenirs that will evoke memories of Sikkim's vibrant culture every time you use them.

 

 

In Sikkim, semi-precious stones and silver jewelry are quite popular. There are numerous shops in Gangtok offering authentic silver and pearl jewelry. Besides jewelry, you can also find accessories like silver anklets and glasses. The silver available here is of top-notch quality, so spending money on it is definitely worth it.

 

 

Thangkas are vibrant Buddhist paintings generally crafted on cotton or silk cloth. They often portray Buddhist deities, historic scenes, or mandalas. In Sikkim, these paintings serve as valuable teaching tools to learn about Buddha's life and teachings related to the Art of Enlightenment.  

 

Thangkas are also used as a helpful tool that aids meditation by providing a focal point, making it easier to concentrate during practice. These artworks are among the essential things to buy in Sikkim.

 

 

If you want to add some Sikkimese flair to your living space, Tibetan Carpets are the perfect choice. With their vibrant colours and intricate designs, they bring a piece of Sikkim's beauty into your home. These carpets often depict natural elements like flowers and leaves, or they tell stories of Sikkimese culture through their patterns.

 

Tibetan carpets are a true reflection of Sikkim's rich heritage and skilled craftsmanship, making them a top pick for souvenirs. These carpets are not just decorations; they're authentic pieces of art that offer a perfect blend of tradition and aesthetics.

 

 

Did you enjoy wearing masks as a child? Now is the perfect time to reminisce about those memories. Purchase colourful masks that showcase the culture and traditions of the state. These masks are a significant part of traditional dances and festivals in Sikkim

 

Made from unique wood called 'Zaru Shing', these masks represent the heritage and craftsmanship of Sikkimese artists. You can find masks shaped like deities, animals, or legendary figures. Many workshops are organized where you can learn the ancient craft of mask-making, which represents Sikkim's rich heritage.

 

 

Choktse is one of the best things to buy in Sikkim. It's like bringing home a special piece of art and culture. These wooden tables are handmade by talented Sikkimese artists and come in beautiful designs. 

 

Each Choktse is unique and can be used as a table, stool, or decorative piece in your home, adding a colourful touch to your living room. By purchasing a Choktse, you’ll not only embrace Sikkim's culture but also support local artists and preserve the traditions of the region.

 

 

Did you admire the Kimono-style jackets in Japanese period films? Now you can have your own in Sikkim! These colourful handwoven jackets, adorned with beautiful embroidery, are a must-buy item in Sikkim. 

 

Typically crafted from three different fabrics, Sikkim Jackets feature complementary colours and unique patterns, showcasing incredible craftsmanship. They are light, comfortable, and versatile—you can wear them over a t-shirt, tank top, or sweater, and even use them as a warm layer in winter.

 

 

If you're craving something authentic to bring back home, don't forget to pick up authentic bamboo shoots. They're a unique addition to Sikkimese cuisine that you won't find in other parts of the country. Whether as a gift for friends or an addition to your own meals, these juicy, sweet shoots can enhance both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. 

 

Not only are they flavourful, but they're also a healthy choice, packed with nutrients and low in calories. Bamboo shoots are known for their antioxidant properties and digestion-aiding abilities. To savour the taste of Sikkim, be sure to buy them from local markets in Gangtok.

 

Shopping in Sikkim │Where to Shop in Sikkim

 

Now that you're familiar with what to buy in Sikkim, let's explore some popular places where you can find these items. While many of these markets are located in Gangtok, you can also discover vibrant street markets in local towns.

 

MG Marg — Famous Gangtok Shopping Market

 

Short for Mahatma Gandhi Marg, MG Marg serves as the bustling pedestrian-only street in Gangtok and acts as the heart of shopping in Sikkim. The dynamic ambiance of MG Marg makes shopping a great experience, and visiting here is among the best things to do in Gangtok. Here, you'll find a variety of shops offering cool items like clothes, accessories, and local crafts. 

 

For those interested in trendy fashion, the New Market at one end of the road is the go-to spot with its latest styles. And if you are looking for cheap cloth shopping in Gangtok, head to the Old Market at the other end. It boasts narrow lanes and old-style shops selling handmade crafts and traditional clothing. Whether you're drawn to modern fashion or traditional souvenirs, MG Marg caters to everyone's preferences.

 

Lachen Market — Soul of Sikkim Cuisine

 

A perfect place to handpick Sikkim famous things for shopping, this market in Lachen offers fresh produce, local handicrafts, and authentic cuisine. Here you’ll also get a glimpse into the lives of local people and a chance to experience rural life amidst nature's serenity.

 

Ravangla Market — Shop Amid Nature

 

Located in Ravangla, amidst breathtaking landscapes, this market offers local items and opportunities to interact with friendly locals, providing a vibrant atmosphere for shopping and cultural experiences.

 

Laal Bazaar — Soul of Sikkim Cuisine

 

Also known as the Red Market, Laal Bazaar in Gangtok is the heart of Sikkim’s kitchen, offering fresh farm products, spices, local snacks, and traditional handicrafts. Sundays are particularly lively, with local tribes wearing traditional dresses and rural items available for purchase.

 

Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom

 

Done with street shopping in Gangtok? Head to the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handloom. Another popular attraction in Gangtok, this institute showcases Sikkim's rich artistic heritage through a wide range of traditional handicrafts, including textiles, carpets, and wooden artifacts, providing an opportunity to support local artisans and preserve Sikkim's cultural heritage.

 

The Government Institute of Cottage Industry

 

Another popular place in Gangtok, this institute is a hub for local artisans to display and sell their handmade items, including textiles, carpets, and wooden crafts, offering visitors a chance to bring home a piece of Sikkim's heritage while supporting local craftsmen.

 

Book Your Sikkim Tour Package!


Excited to indulge in the fantastic experience of shopping in Sikkim? Start by booking your Sikkim tour package and jump-start your delightful journey through the bustling markets of Sikkim. These markets not only showcase the local craftsmanship, culture, and hospitality but also offer a taste of the region's delicacies and rich heritage. Get ready for an unforgettable shopping adventure!

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