Popular shopping items are Pashmina shawls, jewellery, handicrafts and wool garments. For all these and more, head out to the Main Bazaar Road. Ladakh Art Palace, has several souvenir stores; a great place to look around for Tibetan trumpets, brass and copper 'Chang' kettles and prayer beads and wheels. The Tibetan Handicraft Emporium has a vast array of arts, handicraft and curios on display. Get your hands on some silver jewelry and the traditional turquoise Ladakhi jewelry. During the season, explore the Tibetan Market on the Fort Road that offers handicrafts and jewellery. Remember to bargain as much as you can and watch out for fake antiques!
Handwoven rugs, carpets and shawls are available in a range of prices in Ladakh's markets. The carpets have floral or geometric designs or dragon motifs on them and can also be hung as decorative wall hangings. Woven in wool gathered from Ladakhi goats, and dyed with natural dyes, Ladakhi carpets and rugs are thick, long-lasting and objects of utility and beauty, which you can buy while shopping in Ladakh.
While shopping in open markets, bargaining is commonly practiced and the final price you pay for any product will depend on your skill at negotiating with the seller. In government-run crafts emporia and larger established stores the prices are fixed and bargaining does not occur.
Shopping Venues in Ladakh
Some good venues for shopping in Ladakh are:
- Ladakh Art Palace on the Main Bazaar Road
- Tibetan Handicraft Emporium on the Main Bazaar Road
- Ladakh Environment and Health Organization on the Main Bazaar Road
- Tibetan Handicraft Community Showroom in Choglamsar
- Cottage Industries Exposition in Changspa
- Ecology Centre in Changspa
- Women's Alliance in Changspa
Main markets in Leh are:
- Tibetan Market off Old Leh Road for clothes
- Moti Market near the Leh bus stand