Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia
Hemmed in by Bhutan,Tibet and Nepal, Sikkim is a dramatically beautiful state located in the northeast part of India. Pleasant climate, organic vegetation, snow-covered landscape and decent commercialisation have endeared Sikkim as one of the best destinations for a serene retreat. While the landscape of Sikkim offers a host of adventure activities, the calm yet vibrant city life presents you a bouquet of other experiences as well. Shopping in Sikkim is one such experience that every traveller must enjoy on a tour. One can easily shop for best souvenirs, handicrafts, prayer flags, woollen carpets and so on. Check out the top shopping places in Sikkim that offer you the best of each category listed above and more.
Top 5 Places For Shopping In Sikkim
Sikkim is largely inhabited by three ethnic groups – Lepcha, Nepali and Bhutia who practice different culture. Whether you are planning for a trip to the places to visit in north Sikkim or South, the multicultural aspect of Sikkim has given birth to a number of things – food, costumes and festivals. In order to enjoy the best of these diversities, we suggest you try shopping in Sikkim. The marketplaces in Sikkim offer a host of assortments – all things ranging from traditional dress to handmade pickles. Check out these 5 best shopping destinations in Sikkim for a fantastic experience –
1. MG Road
2. Lal Bazaar
3. New Market
4. Old Market
5. Directorate of Handicrafts & Handlooms
1. MG Road
One of the main commercial areas of Sikkim, MG Road in Sikkim is located in MG Marg, Gangtok. It is an open mall in the heart of the city, and acts as the hotspot for all major shops, restaurants etc. in Gangtok. MG Road is largely famous for traditional Sikkimese cups, Thangkas and Choksi table designs. Apart from that, you can also shop for garments, souvenirs, trinkets, accessories, footwear and more. It is surely one of the best places for handicrafts shopping at Sikkim. Drop in anytime of the day before 7 p.m.
Location: MG Marg, Gangtok, Sikkim, India
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2. Lal Bazaar
Located in East Sikkim, Lal Bazaar is fondly known as the soul of Sikkims kitchen. It is the best place to shop for organic and farm products. The produce are sold fresh from the market by local villagers. Take a walk down the streets of this flea market to shop for dried fish and exotic eatables. You can also take a detour to the nearby posh shopping arena – MG Road.
Location: Vishal Gaon, Gangtok, Sikkim
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3. New Market
If you want to go for shopping in Sikkim Gangtok, then this is where you should come. New Market is considered to be one of the most popular shopping places in Sikkim. It is a bustling little market place in the main area of Gangtok. Some of the best items to buy from New Market are dry fruits, barfis and sweet mango peels. A lot of tourists come here to shop for the dried mango peels which can be carried back home.
Location: Near MG Marg, Vishal Gaon, Gangtok, Sikkim
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4. Old Market
It is one of the liveliest shopping places in Sikkim. Located in MG Marg, Old Market is famous for fashion wear and accessories. Old Market is always buzzing with the overwhelming tone of tourists who bargain for a good deal. Make sure to check out the sets of Dogra jewellery and handicrafts that are sold here. You can also shop for walnuts and almonds which are again a best-seller here.
Location: Near MG Marg, Gangtok, Sikkim
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5. Directorate of Handicrafts & Handlooms
Located at the furthermost edge of Tibet Road, Directorate of Handicrafts & Handlooms is famous for its distinct, large Sales Emporium. This is one of the best shopping destinations in Sikkim if you are looking for authentic Sikkimese handcrafted items and artwork. Local artisans and craftsmen are engaged to create these fine traditional products. You can find stunning Thangkas, artistic wood carvings, decorative wall hangings, soft woollen carpets and more.
Location: Zero Point, NH 31 A, Gangtok, Sikkim 737101
Things To Buy In Sikkim
As there are some amazing places to go shopping in Sikkim, you must also know what to expect from them. Listed below are some of the things you can buy in Sikkim!
The uniquely designed masks that are available in huge number in some of the markets in Sikkim signify the very essence of this state of India. You’ll find various giant masks that are worn by the monks and some of the locals in order to perform some of the prominent rituals.
As we all know, tea is one of the best beverages that can be found in Sikkim and this is why you must take back some packets home. You can buy some of the best teas at Temi Tea Gardens.
3. Traditional Dress
While you are exploring the Sikkim cloth markets, you should go through the Sikkimese ethnic dresses. The fabric and designs of these dresses will definitely tempt you to buying one of them. This can be one of the best souvenirs you’ll be taking back from your Sikkim trip
Thangkas are religious scrolls that are supposed to be hung on the walls. You can find various designs and styles in them. The fine fabric and intricate embroidery make them one of the best souvenirs from Sikkim.
5. Prayer Flags
In Sikkim, if you go anywhere for shopping you will discover colourful prayer flags welcoming the tourists. Prayer flags are generally displayed on waterfalls, roadsides, paths heading towards the lake and on mountain tops which will make the places to visit in Sikkim worthy. The flags symbolise the goodness of worship among the people which you also might take away with you and display on your car, shelves or outside your home.
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6. Singing Bowls
These bowls are generally displayed in the Buddhist monasteries and are regarded as one of the favourite souvenirs from Sikkim. The singing bowls are metallic bowls which are made of mixing various metals and mantras engraved on them. The bowls are accompanied with a wooden stick which produces sound thus making the bowl sing and hence the name is singing bowl.
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7. Prayer Wheels
Image credits: Wikimedia commons
Prayer wheel is considered to be small cylindrical boxes which are attached to a holding stick and thread hangs from it. The cylinders are generally carved in metal with precious tones on them. The prayer scrolls are placed inside the cylinder and they are supposed to impart positive energy in the air when the wheel is rotated by the holder.
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8. Dorjee Bell & Thunderbolt
Dorjee bell and thunderbolt are two of the brass artifacts made of metal which are widespread across the country. The merging of the two represent male and female energies which are placed together. Thunderbolt is the male energy and Dorjee bell is the female energy. Tourists can also pick some of the masterpieces of Buddha statues.
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9. Traditional Jewellery
Turquoise stone jewellery and blue stone jewellery are some of the famous Himalayan jewellery which everyone wants to pick a piece with. Some of the traditional designs might fascinate you the most. Ghau pendants and Akor earrings are two of the popular traditional jewellery. Ghau pendants are ornate boxes where you can keep the prayer scrolls in them and the Akor earrings are generally worn by Lhasa women which are long earrings.
Further Read: Sikkim In December: Find Exciting Experiences In The Winter Wonderland Of North-East
Head on an extravagant shopping spree this travel season by visiting the above best places for shopping in Sikkim. You may also take a chance for healthy bargaining to get a few traditional items in less price. Bring home some good shopping memories that you will later look back upon.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Shopping In Sikkim
What is best to buy in Sikkim?
Sikkim is one of those places that enthralls visitors with its awesome shopping experience. There are numerous things to buy in Sikkim but the following are the most popular amongst tourists- prayer flags, wall hangings, Thangkas, woolen carpets, Chosees, tea, the traditional dress of Sikkim, pickles, and Sikkim liquor.
What is Sikkim famous for?
Sikkim is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India and is famous for its natural beauty and Buddhism. There are numerous stunning lakes here such as Tsomgo Lake. Prayer Flags are quite famous here that are planted outside the homes of Buddhists for centuries. You can also visit the peaceful monasteries here, giving you a perfect chance to revive your soul. If you are looking for an adventurous expedition here then rafting at Teesta and Paragliding are a few good options!
What are the best markets in Sikkim?
There are numerous places for shopping in Sikking. Lall Bazar is one of the cheapest markets in Gangtok, Sikkim. Apart from numerous inexpensive gift items, you can also grab delicious local food here. MG Marg is a one-stop market for all your requirements. You can also head to the Directorate of Handicrafts and Handlooms, located at Tibet Road to check out some local products of Sikkim.
What are the best festivals in Sikkim?
Sikkim loves celebrating their culture and art and organizes numerous electrifying festivals throughout the year. The most popular Sikkim festivals are the Losoong Festival, Sonam Lhochhar Festival, Losar, Bhumchu, Ram Navami, Tendong Lho Rum Faat, Indrajatra Festival, Annual Sikkim Paragliding Festival, International Flower and Garden Festival, and Sikkim Summer Festival. These festivals purvey the true vibe of Sikkim and are loved by travelers from near and far.
Is there any shopping street in Sikkim?
MG Road in Gangtok is the main shopping street for tourists holidaying in Sikkim. This vast road is lined with numerous shops on both sides and offers almost everything that a tourist looks for! This market is closed on Tuesdays.
MG Road Gangtok offers an enormous range of men’s and women’s dress material, souvenirs, gifts, trinkets, shoes, accessories, home decoratives, etc. If you are heading here then do check out the amazing collection of Sikkimese Cups here. These cups cost between INR 65-75 per piece in this market. If you want to buy books on Buddhism then MG Road is the place where you can check the best collections.
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