Rich and diverse in its traditions, ecosystem and agribusiness, the state of Kerala opens a wide vista of shopping opportunities. Shopping in Kerala becomes particularly fulfilling when you are in the state.
Tourists visiting Kerala to enjoy the scenically beautiful locations, festivals and food are commonplace. However, shopping in Kerala is totally a different and unique experience.
Each district in the state provides its unique products enabling your shopping in Kerala experience enriching. Be it the textile or ornaments, edible items, or arts and crafts, you have astonishing choices while shopping in Kerala.
Spices, Essential Oils and Herbal products
Once upon a time, spices and ayurvedic essentials remained synonyms to the state of Kerala. Even today, the abundant availability of certain rare and unique spice or ayurvedic plants in Kerala is a boon.
Those visiting Kerala make sure to shop for these products from different pockets of the state. Apart from that, spices and herbal items are exported in large quantities to different countries. The ‘spice route' in the olden days was coined for no different reason.
The hilly regions in Kerala are popular for growing these spices and herbals. And below are common and popular ones you can shop in Kerala.
Spices: Black, white and green pepper, Ginger, Cardamom, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Bay leaf, Cumin, Khasakhasa, Fenugreek, Mustard, Tamarind, Clove, Shahjeera, Star anise
Herbals: Vettila, Thippali, Vayambu, Noni, Murikooti, Neermaruthu, Pathimugham, Panikoorkka, Neelayamari, Kattar vazha seedlings, Karingali, Danthapala, Adalodakam, Asokam, Changalamparanda, Mullatha, Brahmi, Ithi, Lakshmitharu, Mailanji, Ayyappana, Lakshmitharu, and Manimaruth.
Aranmula Kannadi (Mirror) and Nilavilakku
One of the best and most precious objects that have to be on your list while shopping in Kerala is the Aranmula mirror. It is an artisan's delight to mold this pristine piece. Crafted from metal, the mirror is an exceptional piece of art invoking good fortunes and wealth. Or so is the belief associated with it.
The temple town of Aranmula is the birthplace of this unique mirror. The handmade, front surface metal mirror eliminates secondary reflections, unlike the back surface mirrors. Glass refraction effect is not applicable to it. Shouldn't this be part of your fashion accessories?
Nilavilakku is a traditional lamp used in places of worship, on auspicious occasions, and even at homes. Made of bronze or brass, these lamps come in different designs and sizes. Depending on the size, they weigh differently and need to maintain well to keep it shining always.
Banana & Jackfruit Chips and Cashew nuts
Need I say much about these delicacies?
The banana deep fried in coconut oil and the banana cube-cut sweet items are equally popular and must-buy products while visiting Kerala. They are made from plantains (Ethapazham/Nendram) which are mostly found in Kerala only.
Have you fried cashew nuts in open fire and tasted it crunchy hot? Delectable! Of course, while shopping in Kerala, you have multiple options like spicy, roasted, fried, salted, and plain, with chocolate, with dates, and so on. Expensive delicacies, unlike banana chips.
Kasavu Mundu and Sarees
Of style and tradition, Kasavu dress elegantly portrays someone's disposition. The traditional dress worn by women in Kerala is the Kasavu saree and for men, it is Kasavu mundu.
The hand-woven, cream-colored dress with a golden color border is considered to be the auspicious attire during the festival seasons in Kerala. It is elegant and comfortable, especially with the intrinsic golden color border works they lavish on it these days.
Kathakali Masks and Nettipattam
Kathakali is a prominent, religious dance form that originated in Kerala. The vivid and vibrant mask used by the performer is truly an object to marvel at.
So is a Nettipattam which is an elaborate golden color ornament draped on elephants during religious ceremonies.
For those who love and appreciate the festivals and dance forms of the state, these two objects hold utmost value. Certainly not to be used for their intended purposes, but art lovers flaunt these at their homes with pride.
Tea and Coffee
Besides spices, tea and coffee are common products in the state. People of Kerala enjoy these beverages. Plantations in Munnar and Wayanad districts produce a wide range of premium tea and coffee that you can shop for.
Who doesn't love chocolates? Munnar district is famous as a tourist paradise and popular for its tea and coffee. Homemade chocolates available in the shops herein are a sweet surprise as you walk shopping around.
The fertile land in the region produces cocoa in abundance paving the way for chocolate production in the local units. For those who are used to tasting branded chocolates, shopping in Kerala for these homemade chocolates can induce sweet surprises.
They are not displayed in attractive wrappers nor do you find any ads to woo you. You taste them, you buy them. White, brown, and dark chocolates are available in bars and pieces of different sizes. Flavors include mango, pineapple, strawberry, rose, lichi, spicy, and many more.
You don't pay for a piece as for your normal chocolate, you pay for its weight. For 250-gram prices range from INR 300 upwards.
Handicrafts and Coir Products
Although the situation has changed drastically in recent years, coconut and coconut byproducts continue to hold prime and prestigious positions.
When you think of visiting the district of Alappuzha (Alleppey) backwaters and boat safari top your list. Beyond this explored tourism prospect lies the colorful range of coir products.
Made from coconut fiber/husk, coir, and other products like carpets, brushes, rugs, and so on are available for shopping in Kerala. These eco-friendly products, including home décor items, are attractive, useful, and durable.
Be it in Thiruvananthapuram, Quilon, Cochin, Calicut, or in most other districts, handicrafts, fancy items, and souvenirs can be shopped. Made from sea products, ivory, wood, or clay, the handicrafts market in Kerala is unique and popular. Traditional jewelry and ornaments are other attractions while shopping in Kerala.
Your shopping in Kerala can include exquisite fruits, delicious seafood, and tender coconut products along with many other things.
A Travel enthusiast and Foodie, craving to explore the intricate beauty of nature and its gift of delectable treats. Pens down his thoughts and experiences to present a delightful journey for his readers