Shopping in India by Region

What You'll Find to Buy in the Different Regions of India

Each region in India tends to specialize in a particular industry that's been handed down over generations. The unique items that are produced all have their own individual appeal. Here's a state by state guide as to what to shop for in India.

If you really love Indian handicrafts, you can learn more about them by going on one (or more!) of these 10 Themed Indian Handicraft Tours.

  • 01 of 12

    Rajasthan

    Rajasthani puppets.
    ••• Rajasthani puppets. Bartosz Hadyniak/Getty Images.

    Rajashtan, India's desert state, produces an eye-catching array of goods to delight the shopper. Colorful textiles embroidered with mirror work are a Rajasthani specialty. Puppets are ubiquitous. To buy precious and semi-precious gemstones, head to Jaipur, Rajashtan's pink city. Blue glazed pottery is also made in Jaipur. Other items to shop for in Rajasthan include turbans, paintings, brass items, and traditional men's shoes that curl up at the toes.

  • 02 of 12

    Gujarat

    Kutch embriodery.
    ••• Kutch embriodery. anand purohit/Getty Images

    Gujarat's Kutch region is renowned for its handicrafts, produced by the very talented artisans in its villages. Bandhani tie die and ajrakh block printing are two famous arts that originated in Pakistan and were brought to Kutch by migrants more than 350 years ago. Embroidery, weaving, pottery, lacquer work, leather work, mud and mirror work, and rogan art (a type of painting on fabric) are also prevalent in the region.

  • 03 of 12

    Odisha

    Odisha handicrafts.
    ••• Odisha handicrafts. Sharell Cook.

    Odisha is known for its intricate silver jewelry, as well as tribal jewelry. Cuttack is the main hub for filigree work, or Tarkasi as it's locally called. The handiwork is among the best in the world. Buy it cheaply from the many silver emporiums next to Bhubaneshwar Railway Station (ask to see boxes of unusual silver toe rings kept behind the counters). Also check out the diverse handicraft shops at Ekamra Haat urban market. Raghurajpur Handicraft Village near Puri is a great source of handicrafts including paintings, stone carvings, wood carvings, and wooden toys. Pipli, located between Bhubaneshwar and Puri, is famous for its applique work.

  • 04 of 12

    Kashmir

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    ••• Andrea Pistolesi/Getty Images

    Kashmir is most renowned for its carpets, with production techniques imported long ago from Persia. Other items originating from Kashmir include colorful papier-mache products, leather boots and shoes, and intricately carved wooden furniture including screens and tables. Head to the Boulevard in Srinagar to find shops and vendors selling a wide variety of items. The Kashmir Government Arts Emporium on Residency Road near the Tourist Reception Center is a popular fixed-price place.  Don't expect to get a bargain there though!

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  • 05 of 12

    Tamil Nadu

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    ••• Mark Harmel/Getty Images

    Silk saris from Kanchipuram (Kanjeevaram), near Chennai, are among the finest saris in India. You can save around 10% on the purchase price by shopping where they're made. However, as is to be expected, there are a lot of fakes out there. Sometimes, it's not easy to spot them either.  The temple town of Tanjore (Thanjavur) is known for its intricate paintings with gold foil, usually of gods and goddesses.

  • 06 of 12

    Uttar Pradesh

    Marble inlay.
    ••• Orien Harvey/Getty Images

    Marble items, obviously inspired by the Taj Mahal, abound in Agra. Some of them are made in exquisite detail, inlaid with semi-precious stones. For leather work, India's main production center is in the Kanpur area. Varanasi is a popular place to buy silk and saris, but it's important to check the quality and purity. Uttar Pradesh also produces a great range of copper and brass items.

  • 07 of 12

    Karnataka

    Bunches of Sandalwood incense.
    ••• Bunches of Sandalwood incense. Daniel MacDonald / www.dmacphoto.com /GettyImages

    Karnataka is known for its fragrant sandalwood industry. Plenty of sandalwood carvings and incense can be found, especially around Mysore.

  • 08 of 12

    Maharashtra

    Indian shoes.
    ••• Steven Miric/Getty Images

    Footwear is a good buy in Maharashtra. India's prevalent leather chappals (sandals) are made down south, around Kolhapur and Pune. Shoes can be found all through the markets of Mumbai, but particularly on Linking Road in Bandra. Mumbai also has a market called Chor Bazaar that's popular for antique and vintage items. Aurangabad is known for its patterned Himroo weaving industry, which produces shawls, sheets, bedspreads, and saris. Particularly stunning silk and gold thread saris are made in Paithan, near Aurangabad. The workmanship is carried out in painstaking detail, with price tags to match.

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  • 09 of 12

    Goa

    Feni bottles.
    ••• Feni bottles. Greg Elms/Getty Images

    The production of feni (traditional locally made alcohol) is booming in Goa. It comes in two types - cashew and coconut - and can be bought in decorative bottles to take home. Beware that it packs a punch! Goa is also renowned for its markets overflowing with colorful hippie clothes. The Wednesday flea market at Anjuna is the most famous but you'll find clothing stalls along the roads behind most beaches.

  • 10 of 12

    West Bengal

    Tea.
    ••• Laszlo Selly/Getty Images.

    Kolkata specializes in the production of terracotta wares, including bowls, figurines, and wall hangings. Being the cultural capital of India, this city also offers a fine range of traditional Indian instruments. Further north, around Darjeeling and Kalimpong, is the territory of India's tea plantations. This is where to head for delicious, aromatic tea.

  • 11 of 12

    Himachal Pradesh

    Kullu shawl.
    ••• Kullu shawl. Alan Lagadu/Getty Images.

    A wide range of traditional woolen shawls and caps are produced in the Kullu Valley. These are very warm due to the cold winter climate so close to the Himalaya mountains. The influence of the Tibetan community can be widely felt in places such as McLeod Ganj and Dharamsala. Traditional Tibetan rugs, silver jewelry, prayer wheels and flags, meditation bowls and beads, and music are all readily available there.

  • 12 of 12

    Bihar

    Madhubani painting.
    ••• Pramod R. Mistry/Getty Images.
    Bihar has a thriving wood carving industry, with wood inlay work being one of the state's oldest crafts. Bihar is also known for its unique folk art paintings. Many Madhubani ceremonial folk paintings are produced around the Patna area, by artists that have settled there.