Apart from gorgeous waterfalls, peaceful monasteries, and lush-green valleys, Gangtok also offers a shopping extravaganza to all types of travelers. Its diverse culture and beautiful traditions are well reflected through the many things that this city offers, of which some can actually be taken home as souvenirs or gifts. But what exactly should you buy while you’re shopping in Gangtok and what is it that holds the most value? Well, if these are the questions that are popping up in your head right now, read along because that’s exactly what we are going to help you with. By the end, we are pretty sure you would not just want to visit and shop in Gangtok, but also know what is that you want to buy there!
Top 15 Things To Buy In Gangtok
Here’s a list of the best things to buy during your shopping in Gangtok. You’ll be amused to see how everything from home decor to clothes is so beautifully handcrafted in this city.
- Tibetan Carpets
- Semi-Precious Stones & Silver Jewelry
- Sikkim Tea
- Buddhist Figurines & Prayer Flags
- Wall Hangings
- Sikkimese Cups
- Alpine Cheese
- Black Cardamom
- Fresh Bamboo Shoots
- Hand-Woven Jackets
- Hand-Carved Wooden Tables
- Sikkimese Liqueur
1. Tibetan Carpets
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2. Semi-Precious Stones & Silver Jewelry
Dragon jewelry, precious stones, and all kinds of accessories made of silver are quite famous in the city of Gangtok. You can find almost every other shop in the city selling these. But if youre really into jewelry and wish to take home only the most authentic and traditional one, make sure you buy from Sikkimese Handicraft & Jewellery.
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3. Sikkim Tea
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Thangkas or Thankas are popular miniature paintings that depict the lifestyle and important events from Buddhas life, Buddhist deities, and the mystic mandalas. These paintings are mostly made on cotton, silk, and paper are amongst the best things to buy in Gangtok. They might seem a bit costly and feel delicate, but they are worth every dime.
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5. Buddhist Figurines & Prayer Flags
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6. Wall Hangings
Canvas and wall hangings are amongst the other famous shopping items in Gangtok that you need to add to your list. You can pick beautiful Tibetan lanterns or colorful hangings from MG Market, which is the best shopping place in Gangtok. Most of these items cost around INR 100 and reflect the colorful history of the city.
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7. Sikkimese Cups
Shopping in Gangtok, Sikkim is an absolute delight, thanks to things like the Sikkimese cups that keep popping up in between. Made up of ceramic with colorful art printed on them like dragons and events, these cups make up for great souvenir gifts. You can pick them up from the MG Market and the Lal Market for as low as INR 80 per piece.
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8. Alpine Cheese
Shopping in Gangtok is as offbeat and interesting as it can get. Out of all the things that Gangtok is known for, its alpine cheese wins when it comes to the most unique souvenirs. Made with a combination of Indo and Swiss, this European delicacy is Sikkim’s specialty. As the rich, yellow Gouda cheese melts in the mouth right after a bite, it makes one forget all about the calories. Alpine Cheese is not something that one can resist and hence, it is a global flavor sensation.
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9. Black Cardamom
Among many things that India is known for, its flavoursome and aromatic food is what takes away the heart of many. Black cardamom is one of the most important ingredients of Indian cuisine and is used in dishes like Biryani from Hyderabad, Dal Makhani from Punjab, and vegetable stew from Tamil Nadu. Sikkim probably offers the best flavors when it comes to black cardamom or ‘Bari Alcha’. This fragrant ingredient is indeed one of the best souvenirs for your moms, aunts, and chefs back at home.
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10. Fresh Bamboo Shoots
Sikkim has an ultra food scene that makes the foodies out there in the world go weak on the knees. Fresh bamboo shoots are something that one cannot find in any other part of the country but in Sikkim. The sweet and juicy flavor of bamboo shoots is a reason enough to take it for yourself and the family back home. It’s similar to carrying a slice of Gangtok with you. Do carry some shoots back for your friend chefs or homecooks as the number of dishes these shoots can be used in is truly extraordinary.
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11. Hand-Woven Jackets
Another thing that makes shopping in Gangtok an experience to remember is the hand-woven jacket that is idyllic for those who love to get an insight into the cultures of different towns and cities. These jackets exude tradition from each of its yarn. Handicrafts in Sikkim are perfect to witness the impressive craftsmanship. These are kimono style jackets adorning beautiful embroidery. You can find these jackets at Directorate of Handicrafts & Handlooms.
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Sikkim is a destination that is all about customs, traditions, and heritage. Another souvenir that you can buy while shopping in Sikkim is Choksee. Choksee is the finest example of Tibetan craftsmanship. This is a Tibetan designed table that can make your living room more aesthetically pleasing and culturally inclined. This piece of work is as artistic and colorful as it can get and attracts the art lovers
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13. Hand-Carved Wooden Tables
Apart from the Tibetan style tables, one can also find the hand-carved tables in Sikkim. Tables might seem a bit too much to carry as souvenirs, but the intricate designs of these hand made tables will make you think otherwise. The tables in Sikkim are built using ‘tooni’ or toona celiata, ‘rani chhaap’ or Macalia Exelsa, and ‘okher’ or Walnut. The eye-catching patterns and designs of these tables makes it difficult to not purchase them.
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14. Sikkimese Liqueur
This is something for adults. For those who love to stock up their bars with liqueurs from various parts of the world, the country should consider going for the local, authentic flavours of Sikkim. Right from paan and orange liqueur to ginger and cardamom liqueur, the variety of liqueurs that Sikkim has to offer is outstanding. You can surely add the diversity in flavors to your home bar or carry some flavours for your friends back home!
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Another thing that one can only find in Sikkim are the colorful and extremely creative masks. There are little workshops spread all across the country that one can visit to witness the making of this handicraft. A particular wood named ‘Zaru wood’ or ‘Zaru Shing’ is mostly used to make these masks. Such masks adorn the shapes and faces of various deities, animals, and other legends.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping In Gangtok
Q. What should I shop in Sikkim & Gangtok?
A. So, the souvenirs you can buy from Sikkim & Gangtok are the prayer flags. They can pretty much fit anything. You also have Canvas Wall Hangings, Thangkas, Woollen Carpets, and Traditional Folding Tables, Tea, Sikkimese Traditional Dress, Fruit Juice, etc.
Q. Why is Gangtok famous?
A. This city is famous for being in the lap of nature and natural beauty. It is also famous because of the people who are so loving and nice. The places you get to visit here are the MG Marg, Nathula Pass and Flower Exhibition which are in and around Gangtok.
Q. Is there snowfall in Gangtok?
A. Snowfall in Gangtok is a rare sight but you might witness it on the routes to high altitude places from Gangtok. Places like Tsomgo Lake and Nathula Pass may be close in winter because of snow.
Q. Which is the best month to visit Gangtok?
A. During its peak season, which is from September to June, Gangtok witnesses a lot of tourists. Most of the tourists travel to this place in the month of September and October months as it is the ideal time to explore Gangtok.
Q. What is the specialty of Sikkim?
A. Well, the state Sikkim is known for its Temi Tea and Organic farming. You will have this place to yourself with peace and harmony. The people of Sikkim are quite friendly and when you are visiting anyone’s houses, they will serve you a glass of lukewarm water and tea.
Q. What can I buy from Gangtok?
A. You can buy quite a few things from here like Tibetan Carpets, Semi-Precious Stones & Silver Jewelry, Sikkim Tea, Thangkas, Buddhist Figurines & Prayer Flags, Wall Hangings, Sikkimese Cups, and Black Cardamom.
Q. What is the famous food of Gangtok?
A. Tibetan cuisine is full of fresh vegetables, lentils, wildflowers, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and nettle leaves. The locals of Gangtok preserve the seasonal vegetables very well. Moreover, there is a craze for non-vegetarian food, beef, pork, and fish as well.