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Shopping in Goa

For travellers to Goa, the visit is not complete unless they take back a souvenir of their memorable sojourn in this magnificent paradise. Naturally, shopping should be a priority on the itinerary of every tourist, along with the sightseeing attractions.

The excellent local handicrafts of Goa are easily the most popular souvenir items and include brassware, terracotta, shell work, crochet, carved furniture, bamboo work, papier-mache, etc. These are available in the Government Emporia and also at shops and stalls near the popular tourist spots. Another item which is on the list of every traveller to Goa is a pack of the famed cashew nuts. These are available practically everywhere. There are shops specialising in selling only cashewnuts. The nuts are available in a wide variety of tastes ranging from plain, salted and masala. The prices vary based on the quality and flavour.

There are also many fascinating options in the lifestyle and fashion shops which have come up in recent times. Some of these are located in fabulous old Goan houses which have been painstakingly restored. These shops make the best selections in home styling and fashion available to the tourists at quite reasonable prices.

It is also a fascinating experience to go around and shop in the traditional markets of the Goan towns and villages. These markets are a mirror of Goa's ethnic culture and provide a glimpse of the typical Goan way of doing business.

Two of the most famous such market areas are Mapusa and Anjuna. The Friday Market at Mapusa, where stalls sell everything from curios and old coins to dried fish and spices. The Wednesday Market at Anjuna Beach started by and for foreigners is an extremely lively spot where souvenirs, beachwear, trinkets and handicrafts are sold at bargain prices.

Most deluxe hotels and resorts also have good in-house shops, but the price ranges are usually higher. The charm of shopping in Goa lies in bargaining to your heart's content in markets and shops until you finally bring down the price and make the purchase a worthwhile experience.

Local Markets

Traditional Markets

Most Goan towns have a Municipal Market where you can get practically everything you need in one place to stock up on your provisions. This is the traditional market place for the average Goan for his daily shopping needs. These markets are usually the most interesting place to browse around for shopping. However over the years, some markets have gained fame around the world for their unique variety and ambience. Friday Mapusa Market

The small town of Mapusa lies in northern Goa and is one of the main market centres in the state, serving both inland farmers and the villagers of the coast. The market is at its bustling best every Friday morning when it draws large crowds of Goans as well tourists. Goans come from all over the state to do their weekly shopping here. Although it's not much different from any other regional market, it's an excellent example of a typical busy Goan bazar. The market opens early morning around 8 am and the business is in full swing throughout the day until the closure at around 6 pm in the evening.

There are vendors selling everything from fresh fruit, vegetables to fish, earthen cooking pots to the latest plastic utensils. Banastarim Bazar

Banastarim is a small village which lies in Ponda Taluka further along the road down the highway NH4A from the famous Old Goa Church complex. There is a weekly bazar held here on Fridays, which is quite similar to the Mapusa market. The main difference between the two markets is that due to its location, this is not yet as popular with the tourists. As such the market still retains its old world charm and Goan ambience without the commercialisation aimed at tourists. Goods are thus available at extremely cheap prices. Anjuna Market

Originally started by foreigners who wanted to sell off their second-hand items such as cameras, watches and even clothes, the Anjuna market today has quite a different appearance. Held every Wednesday, near the famous Anjuna beach, it is a major attraction for people from Goa as well as the tourists. Today it is more populated by stalls operated by Tibetan and Kashmiri traders and colourful Lamani tribal women rather than foreigners. The stalls usually sell handicrafts from around India. Bargaining is expected by most vendors, so be sure to haggle around with the starting price until you are sure you are getting your money's worth.

Handicrafts

Government Emporia for local Art & Handicraft

Goa does not lag behind as far as local arts and crafts are concerned and with the superb craftsmanship of the local artisans has managed to carve out a niche for itself in this highly competitive field. It can be said that artistic talent virtually runs in Goan blood, which is manifested, in many artistic crafts that have attained commercial proportions over the years. Local artists make excellent souvenirs from a wide range of materials. These items are crafted by professional artisans in their ethnic ambience in the rural areas, and also by artisans working at the arts and crafts complexes run by the government.

The products are sold through various handicraft emporia and at stalls at all the major tourist spots. The art and craft of Goa is the product of the aesthetic blend of Portuguese and Indian cultures. The crafts of the state are intricately beautiful, capturing the fancies of tourists and locals alike. These crafts are a mirror of Goa's perennial beauty and they have won critical acclaim of the connoisseurs of the art world.

alt Goan lace is here, as are colourful masks, cotton bags, wooden toys and the excellent shopping bags and table mats woven from sisal or banana, coconut or pineapple fibre. The best items are perhaps the fabulous terracotta and brass items from Bicholim. Items made from exquisite sea shells ranging from chandeliers to mirrors to idols are also much in demand.

The major art forms of the state include bamboo craft, woodcarving, brass metals, seashell craft, Papier-Mache, and wooden lacquer ware. Other important crafts are Jute Macrame, Fabric Collage, Plaster of Paris, Crochet and embroidery, fiber and Batik prints, fiber stone carving, Coconut shell carving, metal embossing, silver and imitation jewelry, cotton dolls, soft toys, woolen tapestry, and artistic weaving. POTTERY & TERRACOTA

These are traditional crafts with utility-cum-decorative items produced by the potters with artistic perfection and realistic finish. The items produced with this craft include flower garden pots, bowls with floral designs, figures of Saints, Gods' and Goddesses' and animals, ashtrays and penholders, etc. BRASS METAL WARE While utensils of utility are made of sheet metal (copper), brass metal casting is a craft passed on from one generation to another practised on hereditary basis. The items produced include oil lamps in various designs, candle stands, temple towers, church bells, ashtrays, etc. alt WOODEN LAQUERWARE/WOOD TURNING Some of the most exquisite items produced in Goan woodcraft include cradles, baby carts, toys, corner stands, etc. which are used mostly by Hindu families on religious occassions. CROCHET & EMBROIDERY Works such as tablecloths, children and ladies garments, pillow and cushion covers, linen form a breathtaking apparel range. alt BAMBOO CRAFT One of the major crafts industry of Goa. The list of popular Bamboo products include flower baskets, mats, and letter-holders, pen stands, fans and other decorative items. FIBRE CRAFT Shopping bags, ladies purses, coasters and wall hangings, and other essential accessory items used in daily purposes are made of banana or sisal fibre and the major fibre craft centre is situated in Corlim. JUTE MACRAME CRAFT Jute craft is known to be one of the most unique crafts of India and items such as decorative bags, belts, wall hangings, lamp shades, flower pots, hangers, etc are popular Goan souvenirs. alt COCONUT MASK CARVING & SEA SHELL CRAFT Mask carving has got a whole new look in Goa as it is done on coconut shells. Sea shell craft produces ashtrays, lamp shades, coasters, chandeliers, curtains, pot hangers, table mats, clocks, mirror frame, etc. GHRSSIDC The Goa Handicrafts, Rural & Small Scale Industries Development Corporation Limited (GHRSSIDC), a Government of Goa Undertaking, set up in 1980 performs the role of encouraging, promoting and marketing the myriad of Goan handicrafts by making these items available through its various outlets

Alappuzha

Located 71 Kms to the north of Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam is another coastal district of Kerala famous for its houseboat cruises.The district which is the centre of the countrys cashew trading and processing industry also has some interesting historic remnants and a number of temples built in traditional ornate architechural style.

Boat building yard

One of the oldest ports on the Malabar coast , the houseboat destination of Kollam was once the port of international spice trade . 30% of this historic town is covered by the renowned Ashtamudi lake, making Kollam the gateway to the magnificient backwaters of Kerala that can be enjoyed through the houseboat ride.

The eight hour trip between Kollam and Alappuzha is the longest backwater houseboat cruise in Kerala.Alumkadavu, situated 23 kms from Kollam town,is halfway on the route to Alappuzha from Kollam. The quiet little backwater village in Karunagapally town is famous for its houseboat building yard. It is here that the gigantic kettuvallam(traditional cargo boats of rural Kerala)or houseboats were built. Today the kettuvallams which were long replaced by modern means of transport, have been converted into full fledged houseboats.

Kottayam

Bordered by the lofty Western Ghats on the east, the Vembanad lake and the paddy fields of Kuttanad on the west, Kottayam is a land of unique characterestics. Panaromic backwater stretches, lush paddy fields, highlands, extensive rubber plantations and the total literacy level achieved by the people have given this district the title: the land of letters, latex and lakes.

Backwater Destination

A voyage towards the north of Alappuzha, about 10 Kms from Kottayam, takes you to the rich green, sleepy little village of Kumarakom on the Vembanad lake. An enchanting picnic spot and a fast developing backwater tourism destination, Kumarakom provides boating , fishing and sight-seeing experiences that are truly exhilarating. An exclusive attraction of this much sought after backwater resort is the Kumarakom bird sanctuary.

The Kumarakom bird sanctuary is an orthithologists paradise and a favourite haunt of migratory birds like the Siberian stork, egret, darter, heron and teal. A cruise along the Vembanad lake is the best way to view the bird life.

Kumarakom

Kumarakom in Kerala is a beautiful backwater destination. Located on the picturesque Vembanad Lake, Kumarakom has to be seen to be believed. Kumarakom consists of a cluster of islands which have been converted into a number of tourist resorts. The place is very popular with the discerning luxury tourist.

Kumarakom is enthrallingly beautiful. The blue backwaters and the surface of Vembanad Lake reflect the azure sky. The amazing shades of green of the vegetation that include mangroves, coconut palms, and paddy fields cover the verdant countryside. Channels and waterways wind their way through this green paradise. Water lillies and lotuses bloom in the water and birds from the bird sanctuary on Vembanad Lake call as they fly across the clear tropical sky. Kumarakom is an idyllic holiday destination for visitors.

While in Kumarakom you can enjoy the attractions of your tourist resort, have an ayurvedic massage, try fishing or bird watching and have a totally relaxing holiday.The birds you can see at the Vembanad Sanctuary in Kumarakom include terns, gulls, herons, lapwings, kingfishers, stilts and Brahminy Kites. If youre a nature lover youre sure to be enchanted by the natural beauty of Kumarakom.

Kumarakom is located 15 Km from Kottayam and about 75 Km from Cochin, which is the nearest airport. Kumarakom is accessible by road and rail till Kottayam. Taking the boat cruise to Kumarakom is the ideal way to travel to Kumarakom. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while lazing on a houseboat as you drift along the serene backwaters of Kumarakomů a cool, romantic and heavenly experience

 
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