When in Shantiniketan, remember, you have come to one of the most creative places on earth. Be ready to be taken aback by the creativity you see around you. Nobody will blame you when you express the desire to take all of this creativity back home. So here’s a guide on what all you can actually carry back –
What To Buy When In Shantiniketan? The beautifully-coloured hand-made leather bags, famously called the Shantiniketan bags, purses, clutches; jute wares ranging from bags, mats, rugs, home décor items; kantha stitch dress materials, blouse pieces, sarees, stoles, children dresses; hand-made batik dress materials, blouse pieces, sarees, stoles, children dresses; a variety of jewellery made with stones, jute, brass, bamboo, shells, what have you;
Best Place To Shop In Shantiniketan: There are quite a few places where you can shop in Shantiniketan. Below are a few of those place:
- Poush Mela: You get it all out here. Famous for its arts and crafts, Poush Mela witnesses a confluence of artisans from different parts of Bengal and the rest of India every December from 22nd to 25th. Everything creative and beautiful is here. Perhaps priced with the outside tourist in mind, you may end up paying 10-20% more for the wares put on sale at the Mela. But frankly, the prices are still so reasonable that you don’t realise the mark-up.
- Amar Kutir: Amar Kutir should actually be your first choice for shopping when you go to Shantiniketan. About 15-20 minute of a rickshaw ride from the main town of Shantiniketan, Amar Kutir has just about everything that you want to buy. All available under one roof, you will definitely buy more than you can carry back home. Whats more, the prices are so so reasonable that there is absolutely no guilt in the binge. Run by a cooperative society that not only promotes local arts and crafts, it also gives sustainable employment to the village artisans. The quality of products meet international standards. Wear them, carry them and you are bound to make a strong fashion statement.
- Shanibarer Haat: Shanibarer Haat, or the Saturday Market, is located about 2.5 kms from Shantiniketan. An open market under the tress, it doesn’t have a whole lot of variety. The prices are also, somewhat, whimsical and bargaining is the order of the day. I looked around, but bought nothing from here. Although the market is supported by the Dept of Tourism, I found it to be highly unregulated – couldn’t be sure of the quality and the prices.
Plan a trip to Shantinektan during Poush Mela in December with our compilation of itinerary, sight-seeing suggestions, Mitali homestay review, shopping and food recommendations. Read the posts in the link — Best Shantiniketan Itinerary and Blogs