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Darjeeling Shopping & The Top Stores
You are probably looking for some original and authentic of Darjeeling.
There are actually plenty on offer for you from this small part of the world that has many skilled craftsmen and artisans making exquisite handmade articles and products.
The main shopping areas in Darjeeling are located along the Nehru Road and also around the Chowrasta Mall itself. As you walk along, you will see many boutique and other shops, as well as many temporary stalls on the roadside put up by the Bhutias and Nepalese. And there would be many vendors selling various small souvenir and gift articles on table tops or spreading them right on the road on a piece of plastic cloth.
Nehru Road Darjeeling
So what do you want to shop in Darjeeling? Some of the popular handmade items include the Khukri (curved Gorkha knives with decorative handles), Tibetan masks, paintings of Bhutia facial expressions on cloth pieces, local jewelry items including brooches and pendants with carved-in gems, many types of curios, traditional boots, woolen items including shawls & pashminas, scarves, caps, leather items and lot more. Another unique artwork is the scroll paintings locally known as Thankas that are typically created by local Bhutia artists depicting Buddhist religious stories.
Darjeeling is where the Toy Train was first introduced in the country by Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) in 1881 which later went on to get the UNESCO World Heritage status. One of my favorite souvenirs from the Darjeeling hills is a small memento that reflects of this rich heritage. There are lot many outlets at the Darjeeling Station that sells miniature toy train models, T-shirts with DHR logo, or even beer mugs and wine glasses with DHR tags, caps, pens and more.
If you take keen interest in Art and Handicraft, then there are some places including craft centers, emporiums and stores that are special and stand out from the rest in terms of craftsmanship and authenticity. Check out Darjeeling Art & Craft to know about them and what kind of stuff can you get there.
Shops along Nehru Road, Darjeeling
Let's now take a walk along Nehru Road that leads up to the Mall and see what kind of stores you get there. The road essentially starts from where the restaurant Keventer's is located which has an address of 1 Nehru Road. On the right side of this narrow uphill road, there is a long line of temporary stalls set up by the local Bhutias and selling all types of small souvenir and curio items. Most will have woolens including shawls & sweaters, gloves, caps, bags etc. Some even sell toys that move and work on solar energy.
A Stall on Nehru Road, Darjeeling
On the left and after Keventers is a store called Photo Services & Sales that offers books and photos including children's books and novels. This is a good place to pick up picture postcards of Darjeeling including that of Toy Train and Himalayan Ranges. It also sells gift items, cameras & films, toys and music as well.
The next one is the Bata Shop having well stocked shoes and slippers for both men & women. Next to that is House of Tea which is an exclusive outlet of Goodricke Tea Estate. This is a great place if you want to buy Darjeeling Tea of various qualities that are sold in packets and plucked and processed at the Goodricke gardens. You can also have a cup of hot tea here.
Next is Darjeeling Pharmacy. Other than medicines, it also sells many types of toiletries, hair colors, conditioners etc.
Followed by this is the popular vegetarian restaurant Hasty Tasty. After this you will see a small shop R N Agarwal Tea selling Darjeeling Tea both loose and in packets. It proudly displays "Fresh Pure Darjeeling Tea" and "Flavory Darjeeling Tea". An young Sardarji was once at the counter. Being quite impressed with his selling style, on one occasion I had bought a packet of tea from here. I was quite disappointed though and found hardly any flavor.
Then you will find Darjeeling Photo Stores that has diversified over time to sell several items other than photos and pictures of various Darjeeling scenes. Other than large laminated pictures of Tea Gardens, Kanchenjunga and other attractive landscapes of Darjeeling, there are sections on books and leather bags as well. You will also get camera films here.
Next is Weekender, a fashion clothing store selling modern clothing items mostly for young boys and girls. Then there is Lilliput Bazar, a store for the kids. They have plenty of collections including dolls, soft toys, kids dresses, shoes etc. Then you will see Frank Ross Chemist Shop which is a large pharmacy and adjacent to it is the Frank Ross Cafe run by the same family.
Weekender & Lilliput Bazar, Nehru Road
The next store P. C. Banerjee established in 1900 offers a range of spectacles, sunglasses, contact lenses, hearing aids etc. Next store Montecarlo Canterbury sells different kinds of shawls, sweaters and other woolen products. This is followed by the well known bakery and multi-cuisine restaurant Glenary's.
Next is the Elite Studio which is also quite large and sells diversified products. You can get picture post cards, soft dolls, posters, cameras, films and many other souvenir and gift items. After Elite Studio you will come across the Manjusha Emporium showcasing West Bengal handcraft and handloom products including wood craft, needle work and silk products. Next is the Nepal Curio House selling all kinds of Nepalese curio items and souvenirs.
Inside Manjusha Emporium, Darjeeling
You will then see Asian Art Palace, a store packed with curio items. They have different kinds of necklaces, earrings, chains, gems & other semi precious stones, brooches and many other items. Then there are couple of small shops selling dolls, cloth bags etc and one selling pure organic honey, followed by Kalimpong Art Gallery that has all kinds of artwork including paintings on cloths that can be rolled, brass models of Buddha. Then there is a tailoring shop.
If you look at the right side, the line of temporary Bhutia stalls that started right from the beginning of the Nehru Road, finally ends here. Here you will see the Hotel Shangri-La a boutique hotel providing great 2-Star amenities and located close to the Mall.
After that on the right side of the road are a bunch of clothing stores including Manipur Handloom, Himalayan Hosiery and Handloom, Dayal Handloom and few others. All of these sell items like jackets, sarees, shawls and other woolen items, and some like Manipur Handloom almost always offer items on sale (up to 30 - 40% discounts).
Manipur Handloom, Nehru Rd., Darjeeling
You will soon see the huge Pine Ridge Hotel on the left. There is a shopping arcade below the hotel and facing the road. Players Sports store sells all kinds of sports items, Kodak Photo Shop which is a studio selling cameras and accessories, Pine Ridge Travels which is a travel agent offering flight, train and tour bookings and Eastern Art which sells Tibetan arts, carpets, cloth paintings and other curios.
Shops in Chowrasta Mall
As you walk past the Pine Ridge hotel, you will be on the Chowrasta Mall. There are many stores located along the boundary of the Mall selling all kinds of items including curios, books, jewelry and other items. Here you will find some of the oldest and famous shops of Darjeeling. Check out Shops in Darjeeling Mall to know about them.
Another popular area with the locals is the Chowk Bazaar, a hyper busy market in a flat area located a lower level and selling all kinds of household items.
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