A Shopping Extravaganza in Kerala
Women, pack your bags and set off to the beautiful state of Kerala. Here we present some of the best shopping tips which come handy during your Kerala tour packages. Kerala is a shopper’s delight. If you are wondering what is so special to shop in Kerala, read on you will be awestruck to know if at all there’s anything you do not get here! Get ready, fashionistas, and come with an extra luggage; of course you can buy that also from here after you finished your shopping spree!
Kerala is a good place to buy clothes, jewellery, spices, handicrafts, traditional wooden furniture, handloom and designer sarees and many more intricate and exquisite products. Kerala’s population has an impeccable sense of fashion which is very evident from the range of designer boutique available in the cities here. You can plan a lot of shopping during your Kerala tourism packages. The hill stations are famous for tea, coffee, spices and herbs along with local handicrafts. Certain places are particularly popular for a certain food or edible items. Marayoor’s speciality is Jaggery which is still made in the traditional way. It is supposed to have medicinal values. Munnar’s tea, Thekkadi’s spices and Wayanad’s honey are very special.
Certain special items are put on sale only during festivities like Onam and Vishu. Similarly, the eatables and pickles made from seasonal fruits are also Kerala’s specialities. So read on to know what to buy from where during your Kerala holiday packages.
The Exquisite Handicrafts of Kerala
During your Kerala packages, do not forget to buy some exquisite handicrafts you will get only in Kerala. You get the authentic designs, best rates and quality products only in Kerala. Do no settle for the cheaper low-quality items if you plan to keep them as a souvenir with you. The good quality souvenirs can be prized possessions that can be handed over to the coming generations which they will also cherish.
Quality always comes at a price and do not hesitate to pay the right people who make them taking so much time and effort. The price we pay them is a token of appreciation to the authentic artist. I am listing out some handicrafts specific to Kerala which you can buy from here during your tour.
The colourful Kathakali masks and figurines are typical Kerala symbols which you will find in many stores in Kerala. The mask as such is not used in the performance. The face of the performer is painted using natural colours and additional fittings are done using rice flour. This makeup itself is a tedious task which takes more than 3 to 4 hours. The Kathakali masks and figurines represent Kerala in national and international events. You can buy these masks and figurines made of paper mash, wood or clay. The wooden ones may cost a little more but are the best buy. It lasts longer and can be easily maintained also. Clay masks and figurines are also handmade but they may get damaged easily. Buy a pleasant-faced Kathakali mask with green paint and smiling face. You can get it in various sizes and colours. The best place to buy these are the state owned handicraft emporiums in Allepey, Kochi, Trivandrum, Trissur or Kozhikode on your Kerala tour packages from Mumbai.
Kerala’s snake boats are elegant and can be very colourful too. You can buy the smaller models that look like canoes or a model of the houseboat. Allepey is the right place to buy these figurines as you can see some life-sized ones and even go on a cruise in one of them during your Kerala honeymoon packages. The actual houseboats are made of jackwood and coir and do not use any nail or metal. The boat resembles the hood of a Cobra and hence are called snake boats.
Coir products are exported in large scale from Kerala. Coir is used to make wall hangings, carpets, bags, sandals and even jewellery. Softened coir or Jute is used to make clothes too. These are made from the fiber of coconuts and are purely organic. You can buy good coir products from the factories in Allepey and the nearby areas or from the state emporiums during your Kerala packages.
Aranmula Mirror or Aranmula Kannadi
The speciality of Aranmula mirror is that it is purely made of metal. The composition and the method are a family secret and the family still make them in small scale in the traditional way. They do not use silvered glass for the mirror. It is considered very auspicious and a precious possession. You can buy them from the workshop run by the family who makes them in Aranmula which is around 16 kilometers from Trivandrum. You can buy this when you visit Trivandrum and Kovalam during your Kerala tour packages from Delhi.
Spices of Kerala
Kerala has been exporting spices since the historic times. It used to be a barter system back then when the Arabs, Greeks, Egyptians, Europeans and the Japanese would bring in precious metals and stones, utensils, silk, clothes and the like in return for the precious flavourful spices grown here. You can buy the best quality spices from the Spices Board of India outlets or directly from the spice farms in Thekkadi, Munnar etc during your Kerala tours. Spices are available for wholesale rates in the markets of Ernakulam, Fort Kochi and Mattancherry also from where the exporters buy them. If you are visiting the streets of Fort Kochi and Mattancherry you can buy some fresh spices in your Kerala trip.
Mural paintings & Kathakali paintings
Mural paintings were used to adorn the walls of Kerala’s temples and palaces in the olden days. These paintings used only organic natural colours such as yellow, black, green, red etc. Only the basic colours extracted from the flowers, vegetables, fruits and other natural elements like coal, turmeric etc. were used for Mural paintings. This art form has been revived now due to the efforts of some of the gifted artists. It now has a new commercial viability in the form of designs for clothes and wall decorations. You may not find a lot of mural paintings available in the commercial markets. The authentic ones are sold by the designers in their own boutiques or in places where the artists are associated with. They usually get these paintings done as per requirement. Some of the commonly seen mural paintings on sarees and shirts have the Kathakali, Krishna and Peacock patterns. Buying one of these will be another prized possession during your Kerala tour.
This is the classic decoration which is tied on the Mastak or the forehead of the Kerala elephants which is traditionally made of copper and is gold plated. But now they are available in various sizes and qualities which are used as wall hangings. These traditional decorations which used to be made in copper are now available in plastic and fiber which is very lightweight and cheap. You can easily buy a good one that suits your budget from Guruvayoor, Trissur and other temple centric areas of Kerala during your Kerala travel. This is a very typical Kerala handicraft which is not used anywhere else in the world. So it can be a very good souvenir of your honeymoon packages in Kerala.
Traditional Brass Lamps (Nilavilakku)
Brass lamps lit with mustard oil and a cotton wick is considered very auspicious in Indian households, especially down the South. Kerala produces some exceptional brass lamps in the traditional patterns which are bought and gifted to people across the globe. Nadavarambu near Trissur is one such place which is popular for making brass lamps, pooja utensils and traditional brass items like Uruli. These are heavy and a little expensive but are the best gifts to buy for weddings and house warming. Do buy one for yourself when you visit Kerala and light it every evening.
Plantain, Jackfruit and Tapioca Chips
You can make them at home if you know the right technique. But when you are in Kerala for your honeymoon packages buy some to munch on during your holidays and before you leave buy loads of them to share with your friends and family. If you are visiting Kozhikode you can try out a wide range of Halwas and other sweets and snacks. Kozhikode is the right place for foodies. It is actually a foodie’s paradise! You can spend a whole month trying the various sweets, snacks, vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes of Kozhikode and still keep asking for more.
The traditional Kerala feast
Though you cannot buy it and take it back home, you can experience the explosion of tastes at least once in your life. A traditional Kerala lunch feast consists of at least 28 varieties of dishes and 2 to 3 types of Payasams for dessert. There will be a variety of vegetarian items that explores all types of taste buds in your tongue. It is served on a banana leaf and you must have it with your hands.
There are many more things you can buy here like handicrafts made of coconut shells and seashells, elephant figurines made of wood, handicrafts made of ivory and sandalwood etc. Whether you buy them or not, you can take back home wonderful experiences and cherished memories of your Kerala holidays.