No vacation is complete without a heartfelt retail therapy. And Kerala is no exception. The graceful dresses, works of art, aromatic spices, beverages, and oil – there are ample options to fill the bags with while shopping in Kerala. Here is a quick rundown on where & what to shop in Kerala. Have a look before you plan a holiday in Kerala.
What To Shop In Kerala?
Kerala is not just an scenic tourist place, but it is also an amazing shopping destination. Here are the things that you must buy on yur Kerala holiday for the best shopping in kerala experience:
1. Tea And Coffee
Bagging tea and coffee is an important part of shopping in Kerala at Munnar. The Nilgiri Tea grown in various parts of Kerala and Kerala Kapi & Monsooned Malabar Coffee are rich in aroma, taste, and color. These can be obtained from local shops or certified counters of the tea & coffee estates.
Where to find Tea Estates: Munnar, Kolukkumalai, Wayanad, and Vagamon
Where to find Coffee Estates: Wayanad, Gavi, Nenmara, Idukki, and Peermade
Suggested Read: 25 Hotels And Resorts In Munnar For That Divine Holiday
Nothing beats Kerala in its variety & quality of spices and the expansive spice plantations. Be it fresh black pepper, cloves, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, or star anise, the richness & aroma of these spices is something to die for. If you are shopping in Kerala for spices, head to the locals shops in Kumily (near Thekkady) and around Fort Kochi.
Where to find spice plantations: Munnar, Kumily, Periyar, and Thekkady
Suggested Read: 10 Serene Resorts In Thekkady: Enjoy A Harmonious Stay
3. Banana Chips And Cashew Nuts
Locally known as Nenthra-kaya Upperi, banana chips are amongst the most popular items to shop in Kerala. They have a huge fandom in not just South but even in North of India. In some of the shops, you get the privilege of watching how they are actually prepared. Another best consumable product that you can buy from Kerala is cashew nuts, that are available here at quality and price. You can visit the cashew farms for experience or simply buy them from the shops. Both are available in abundance at local stalls, especially in and around Fort Kochi. Don’t forget to taste and bargain if you are planning to buy in bulk.
4. Kasavu Mundu And Dresses
Kasavu Mundu is the traditional textile of Kerala. It is a pure handmade cotton cloth with typical zari border. Though these are Malayalee custom dresses, nowadays people generally wear during ceremonies, temple visits, and weddings. Prices may vary with the difference in the handwork, the material, and the place from where it is bought. There are branded outlets as well as local shops for some steal deal.
Coconut and Coir Products: Kerala, the land of coconut, is an ideal place to pick coconut and coir products. These include rugs, carpets, mats, and some amazing cool souvenirs made of coconut husk.
Kathakali Mask: One should not leave Kerala without buying a Kathakali souvenir. Be it a wall hanging mask or a fridge magnet, this is one of most alluring shopping attractions in Kerala.
Nettur Casket and Chundan Vallam & Uru Models: Some of the fascinating wooden chests of the world are made in Kerala. Kerala is globally popular for snake boat races and you must definitely pick a Chundan Vallam or Urus (model boats) as souvenirs for gifting someone or decorating your own household.
Nettipattam: Well-decorated elephants can be seen during festivals, ceremonies, and marriages. Nettipattam, the decorative ornament used for elephants, can also be used as wall hanging or décor.
Nilavilakku: Nilavilakku or traditional Malayali oil lamp is another important handicraft of Kerala. It is considered as one of the significant items for traditional home décor.
6. Aroma Oils
Kerala is a place that boasts of best of the practices of Ayurveda science. Healing spa therapies, beauty treatments, and rejuvenating massages are popular in Kerala. Almost every resort has individual spa centers. A wide range of essential aromatic oils needed for various therapeutic treatments is available in Kerala at the best competitive rates. These aromatic oils have a soothing effect on body and mind. You can also take a few to gift to your friends.
Suggested Read: 9 Best Ayurveda Resorts In Kerala For A Revitalising Retreat
To inspire the womanhood in you, check out the fascinating and super cool jewelry (both artificial and gold) available in various cities. The gold ones reflect traditional Malayalam spirit while the junk jewelry and amazing in design and pattern.
Planning your holiday in Kerala but confused about what to do? These Kerala travel stories help you find your best trip ever!
Real travel stories. Real stays. Handy tips to help you make the right choice.
Famous Markets In Kerala
Now that you know what all thing to buy while shopping in Kerala, here are some of the most popular markets from where you can buy these things:
1. Spice Market – Kochi
The Spice Market in Kochi is one of the extremely popular shopping places in Kerala. It is lined up with local stores dealing with wide variety of spices. The strong aroma & vibrant colors of spices and the bustling market attract tourists round the year.
Famous for: Wide variety of spices like hand-picked ginger, cloves, cardamom, turmeric, and pepper or black gold.
Timings: 10 am – 9:30 pm
Also in Kochi: Anokhi for Contemporary Crafted Textiles, Tribes India for tribal items (Paintings, shawls, and figurines), and Niraamaya for Ayurvedic clothing & textiles
Suggested Read: 14 Fascinating Tourist Places To Visit In Cochin
2. Connemara Market – Trivandrum
Connemara Market, also known as Palayam Market, is a popular shopping destination in Trivandrum. The marketplace is dotted with local unbranded shops that sell vegetables, groceries, household items, coir products, and garments.
Famous for: Fish, live goats, fabric, clothes, spices and mistletoe and wine (during Christmas)
Timings: 7 am onwards
Also in Trivandrum:
- Chalai Market: Popularly known as Kerala’s busiest street market, Chalai Bazaar is another prime shopping destination in Trivandrum. While locals come here to pick their daily vegetable & grocery stocks, tourists explore this market for garments and beverages.
- Sarwaa: Sarwaa is another must-visit shop in Trivandrum. It is an extensive outlet with a splendid collection of different ethnic brands of knick-knacks, handicrafts, ornaments, rustic motifs, junk jewelries, and mural painting on bamboo frames.
3. Asparagus – Varkala
Asparagus is a one-of-its-kind eco-shop in Varkala that deals with all kinds of Kerala handloom, Kerala handicrafts, organic and khadi cotton and spices.
Famous for: Kalamkari, Ayur-vastra, and spices like cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, vanilla, turmeric, & coffee powder
Timings: 10 am – 5:30 pm
Also in Varkala: The Art of India is another handicraft shop, known for moderately priced handicrafts, jewelry, pashmina, and carpets.
4. Hindustan Spices And Herbals – Idukki
One of the primary hubs for spice shopping in Kerala, Hindustan Spices & Herbals is a one-stop solution for all kinds of spices and medicinal herbs with therapeutic value.
Timings: 10 am – 6 pm
5. Pulickatti Handicrafts – Alappuzha
Located near the boat jetty, Pulickatti is a fantastic and reasonably priced shop for souvenirs and artifacts.
Famous for: Wooden and metal handicrafts
Suggested Read: 10 Surreal Resorts In Alleppey
Suggested Read: 9 Best Ayurveda Resorts In Kerala For A Revitalising Retreat
Famous Shopping Malls In Kerala
Kerala has a variety of sopping places, from street markets to bazaars from shopping complexes to shopping mall. Here are some of the most popular shopping malls in Kerala:
6. LuLu Mall – Kochi
Spread over sprawling 17 acres, Lulu Mall is a major attraction of Kochi and one of the most popular shopping destinations in Kerala. With more than 215 branded shops, bustling food court, movie theaters, ice skating, and bowling alleys, this majestic looking mall pulls tourists around the year.
Timings: 9 am – 10 pm
Suggested Read: 10 Surprisingly Good Budget Hotels In Cochin
7. Centre Square Mall – Kochi
Another up-market mall in Kochi, the Centre Square is one of the popular shopping places in Kochi. This 5-storey mall has big brand players, happening food court, activity centers, & movie screens attract local people as well as travelers for a fantastic shopping experience.
Timings: 10 am – 10 pm
Suggested Read: 9 Luxury Resorts In Cochin For An Indulgent Stay
8. Oberon Mall – Kochi
Opened in 2009, this Oberon Mall is a lifestyle center with top listed domestic & global brands in retail, food, and recreation. With close to 100 stores & kiosks, this glamorous shopping place in Kerala houses some of the leading brands in fashion accessories, white goods, fine dining, and international Spa. However, this mall is more famous for having the first multiplex theater in Kerala.
Timings: 10 am – 10 pm
9. R P Mall – Kollam
Formerly known as the K Mall, RP Mall is the pioneering lifestyle venture from the renowned Malabar developers. This sprawling 2,10,000 sq.ft mall has 5 bustling floors. It houses leading names in fashion, jewelry, salon, food court, wedding studio, and cinemas.
Timings: 11 am – 10 pm
10. Focus Mall – Kozhikode
Located in the heart of Calicut city, Focus Mall is a popular shopping hub here. Its prime location, graceful design, and plethora of facilities pull tourists throughout the year. With escalators to shopping areas, see-through capsule elevators, ample parking space, and numerous branded shops, Focus Mall assures impressive footfall every day.
Timings: 10 am – 11 pm
Bonus: The Grand Kerala Shopping Festival
The phenomenal & revolutionary shopping festival in Kerala is organized by Kerala Tourism, in coordination with the Industries & Commerce Department, Finance Department, and local Self Government Departments. This annual shopping fiesta is an integral part of the experience of shopping in Kerala. Along with international brands, this shopping festival in Kerala also provides exciting offers, fun-filled competitions, exciting prizes, and loads of surprise deals.
Note: The dates of this season’s festival aren’t out yet. Keep checking their website for further announcements.
Further Read: Top 11 Shopping Destinations in India
Are you excited about shopping in Kerala? Kerala offers excellent shopping experiences for all. So while holidaying in God’s Own Country, entice your shopping splurge and pick some of the best traditional souvenirs for families and friends. So plan a trip to Kerala and head out to holiday in the most picturesque land of lagoons and go on a shopping spree.
Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping In Kerala
A. Kerala is called “Gods own country” and the land of spices. True to its name there are many things which one can buy from Kerala. Some of the famous items are tea and coffee, spices, Banana chips, Kasavu Mundu and dresses, handicrafts, Aroma oils and Jewelry.
A. Kochi is famous for things like silver and gold jewelry, silk sarees, handloom and handcrafted items.
A. Trivandrum is famous for handloom fabrics, wood, brass carvings and spices. Some of the most famous from where one should shop are the Chalai market, Sarwaa lifestyle, Connemara market, Ramachandran textiles and MG road.
A. Marine Drive, Jew Town, Cochin Spice Market, Lulu Mall are some of the best places to go for shopping in Kerala.
A. Kollam is famous for things like textiles, jewelry, handicrafts and handloom which belongs to South India.
A. The traditional and most famous saree in Kerala is the Kasavu saree which is actually a white saree with a golden color.
A. The biggest mall in Kerala is the LULU mall which is located at Edapally, Kochi.
A. The Nucleus Mall is the first shopping mall in Kerala which is located at Maradu one of the suburbs of Kochi. This place was opened on November 5, 2010, India’s first LEED-certified gold-rated green mall.
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