Nepal has many fine handicrafts to
offer to visitors hand-knotted woollen
carpets, jewellery, pashmina shawls,
woollen knitwears, embroidery, thangka
paintings, mithila painting, wood carvings, metalworks, ceramics and pottery, rice paper and stationary.
Woodcraft is the speciality of the Newar artisans of the
Kathmandu Valley. Among the items
that you may wish to purchase while in Kathmano its
making, and the details that have been
worked into it.
However, windows and frames are
not the only items on sale. Statues of
gods, erotic carvings, traditional fig ures, and carvings with modern motifs
are also available. The wooden
images are made by using tools that
were used a thousand years ago.
The metal work is also exceptional.
Statues of high quality are available for prices ranging from
a few thousand rupees to gold inlaid
life-sized works. The lost was method
is used to create these works of art.
The wax figure is covered with clay
and put in the sun to dry. Once ready,
the wax is melted out and molten metal
poured into the clay hollow. When the
metal cools down and sets, the clay
covering is destroyed and careful work
with hammer, chisel and sanding material
follows. The metal statue is then
painted as per the specifications of reli
gion or as per the request of the client.
Gurkha Khukuri is one of its kind of
knives found only in Nepal. Price
ranges according to the hardness of the
blade and the origin of its make.
Nepal are excellent and ornate knives
for decor are also available.
Tibetan carpets are popular floor coverings in Europe and much
af Nepal's foreign exchange earnings
have come from the sale of carpets in
the past two decades. The designs are
traditional as well as modern. The
modern designs have been created by
some of the best artists working today
in Europe and the products of the better
manufacturers have graced many a
Tibetan rug collection. Today, special
effort is being made to break into the
American and Japanese markets with
special designs and quality rugs.
Gems and Jewellry:
Nepal has some of the best goldsmiths and silver
smiths in the worid, i.e. the Newar
craftsmen, who have been delighting
collectors and royal patrons with their
exquisite creations for more than 600
years. So if you've ever wanted to own
the finest jewellry, at a fractian of the
cost you'd pay at home, Nepal is the
Nepal's most distinctive gems are
the exquisite tourmalines from the eastern ranges,
in pink, sunset rose, peach,
golden, amber and green. There are
very rare lime-green tourmalines that
are found novdhere else, and some with
more than one color in a single stone.
The newly-discovered lemon-yellow
tourmalines are especially fine.
Thangkas and Paubhas:
For hundreds of years, scroll paintings have
decorated the walls of monasteries,
temples, and homes in East Asia.
Especially, the Tibetan and Newar
styles come from a time when these
cultures were at their peak. Most of the
older surviving scroll paintings are
reminders of a period when the rulers
and the public were concentrating upon
the arts as offerings to the deities.
The Mithila paintings, known as Madhubani paint
ings in India and Janakpur paintings in
Nepal, are a common practice among
the women of southern Nepal. The
wind, sun, and rain very easily discolor
these wall paintings, but they were not
designed to withstand climate and
time. The paintings, in fact, are usually
painted over with clay when the
women house clean for the next festival.
in the Valley produce handwoven cot
ton cloth of many colors and patterns.
Visitors will find beautifully designed
clothing and fabrics in Kathmandu's
shops. The Magars of western Nepal
also weave fabrics for readymade gar ments. Tussar which is the best
Nepalese silk is not shiny but has a nat
ural glow. It is made from an undomes
ticated forest worm found in the south
ern jungle regions. The Newars of the
Kathmandu Valley and the Rai people
of eastern Nepal have passed on the
tradition of making blockprinted paper
and cloth to modern producers.
Traditional Nepalese paper, popularly known as
"rice paper" is actually made of lokta
bark found in remote areas of the coun
try. Because of its strength, govern
ment offices use it for official docu ments. Many stores in Thamel and
Patan sell writing pads and bound jour nals, as well as calendars and lamp
shades of lokta paper.
In the Terai region, bas
kets used for household and decorative
purposes are made from grass. The
baskets come in different shapes and
sizes according to their application.
Raw jute which is one of Nepal's
largest exports is grown in the southern
Terai region and made into baskets and
There are government restrictions that visitors should be
aware of before purchasing items to
take home. Antiques are not permitted
to be taken out of Nepal. An inspection
by the Department of Archaeology is
required for any exports of antiques. To
be on the safe side, visitors should
have antique Tibetan carpets, old thangkas, and metal statues examined
by the Department of Archaeology.
They should then obtain a certificate
from the office before leaving Nepal.
National Parks and