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Shopping in Haridwar
It is almost impossible to leave Haridwar without stuffing into your bag some of the most interesting and well-crafted items. Divine Ganges, a number of world renowned ashrams and ancient temples make Haridwar one of the most revered pilgrimage centres in India. Generally, tourists come here for a spiritual experience and therefore shopping in the holy town is not on their wish list. But once you come to know of the varieties, the quality and the craftsmanship on offer, you will definitely want to go on a shopping spree, before you leave the place. For travellers, it can also be the most unexpected souvenir shopping opportunity in Haridwar.
Have some empty space in your backpack and start on your souvenir shopping in Haridwar. Intricately carved stone idols, beads, copper and brass puja utensils, glass bangles, cane baskets and jewellery are some of the most popular buying items in Haridwar. But before that, you will really need to know where to go to stuff your bags with these items. Some of the most popular and much visited marketplaces in and around Haridwar are as follows.
Your first and foremost option and that which tourists prefer going to is the Moti Bazar in Haridwar. The market lies on the Upper Road towards the north of the canal. Here, you will find a number of stalls in series selling wide range of Pooja articles and other accessories. Once here, you can purchase items including intricately carved stone idols, metal utensils (mainly of copper and brass), sweets, colourful glass bangles and cane baskets. These stalls also sell wonderful kitchen set toys, pickles and Ayurveda medicines.
Another wonderful option for souvenir shopping awaits you at the Jawalapur market of Haridwar. Apart from buying souvenirs at the market here, you can also check out various pure veg restaurants and sweetmeat shops. Shops in the market sell a wide variety of mouth watering delicacies here.
Walking 3 miles south of Haridwar takes you to the historical town of Kankhal. The place is strewn all over with ashrams and religious centres. Here you can look for various pooja items including wonderfully carved images of Hindu dieties and the very popular sandalwood rudraksh. Devotees, sages and sadhus find it mandatory to wear rudraks for its beneficial properties. As per the Hindu mythology, seeds of rudraksh are the tears of Lord Shiva. As the rudraksha seeds touches the heart, they send out energy. Wearing rudraksh can do wonders for you, if you follow the rules.
The market is located on the Railway Road. Continuously frequented by visitors from all over, the market has a lot to offer, both religious as well as ornamental. Rudraksha seeds are on display here in plenty. But before you make a buy, do make sure that you are buying genuine seeds. Apart from this, you can buy Ayurvedic medicines as well. There are medicines available for all kinds of pains and aches. Visitors most like to buy digestive powders (churan) and pedas (a type of sweets made from milk) from the market.
Government Handloom & Handicraft Emporium
The pilgrimage town of Haridwar also features a number of government-run emporiums. At these shops, you can find a wide variety of religious as well as stone and wood handicrafts. In these shops, you do not need to haggle as they charge you a fixed and reasonable price. Look for some decorative pieces to take back home as well. Imitation jewellery at these shops is a must buy for travellers. Choose as per your likes and these jewellery items will surely make for good fashion accessories. Do remember to check out the UP Handloom Emporium close to the Bharat Mata Temple and the Government Emporium at the Gandhi Ashram.
A tour to Haridwar is a mix of myth religion and wonder. The precious stones on sale in these markets are very neat and intricately carved. It will fascinate you to know that these stones have actually flown down in the waters of River Ganges. As the river originates from the Gangotri glacier in the mountains and begins on its journey down, it brings with itself a collection of pure and neat stones. When the Ganga enters the plains, the stones get deposited at Rishikesh. So the amazing shape and the excellent polish come to these stones naturally. Apart from these natural stones, the markets mentioned above also sell prayer articles, yoga books, religious CDs and DVDs.
Tourists can also enjoy shopping in Haridwar as they hike. When you combine shopping with pilgrimage in Haridwar, you make the travelling experience only richer. In addition, you can actually get familiar with the local art and craft of the place. Though souvenir stalls are scattered all around Haridwar, you are required to be a little careful. Look out for the fake ones, like in the case of rudraksh seeds; it is tough for you to identify genuine rudraksh seeds. Only an experienced person can help you identify these divine seeds. Known to have mystical properties, wearing rudraksh seeds can accelerate your spiritual growth as well as your progress.
A List of Shopping Items/ Accessories available in Haridwar
Given below is a list of all the souvenirs that you can buy during your tour to Haridwar. In case you are buying these items from privately owned shops, do remember to haggle over the price offered by the shopkeeper. However, bargaining is not needed at government-run emporiums and shops.
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