By the Editorial Team
Traveling to a far off location is exciting, with the promise of adventure lurking in your mind. While you are sure to have some knowledge about the popular tourist attractions across India, information about the Andaman & Nicobar Islands may not always be easily available. You can definitely check the Andaman tourism centres nearby and obtain the know-how about reaching the far-off islands. Yet the habits of the local populace and things that you can buy in the market and shopping centres can only become obvious once you arrive at the location. You have to make an effort to learn more about the remote archipelago, featuring a number of quaint islands that do not see too many people from the mainland of India.
So, how do you go about buying artefacts of local origin and souvenirs for your near and dear ones back home? Fret not; you are likely to come across tiny shops and dingy roadside stalls once you move away from the main streets and begin exploring the Main Island and capital city of Port Blair. You are sure to find rough materials and hastily created handicrafts created out of the sea shells and bones of marine animals.
However, there are many other things that deserve your attention. So, set half a day aside for a brisk round of shopping, preferably after you have completed your sightseeing trips. Dress vibrantly but sensibly for the occasion, don a hat to protect your skin from the scorching sun and hold onto your wallet firmly as you step into the markets and shopping centres for buying the things that will remind you of this glorious destination in future.
These are a few things that you may find. Take your pick of the artefacts and spend some happy hours browsing to your heart’s content.
The youth make use of the local wood and carve them beautifully into kitchen utensils and decorative items. You will thus be able to find amazing wooden cutlery sets as well as highly polished glasses and plates at a fair price. Surprisingly, there are wooden furniture on sale too. Folding tables and chairs with brass inlays and edged with a glittering gold hue happen to be in high demand. Buy the bigger items only if you are going to board the ship back home. Else, stick to the sturdy and usable utensils along with plaques and statues.
Coconut Shell decorative items
You just cannot go anywhere within the islands of Andaman without finding the ubiquitous green coconut drink ready to be sipped. Curries laden with coconut shavings and ground coconut make the food tastier here. Here, you will be awestruck on seeing the most beautiful items made by carving the shells displayed at the emporiums and smaller shops alike. You will feel delighted to carry an adorable lamp designed out of coconut shell that can be lit up in front of your favourite deity. Mugs, masks and other decorative items created painstakingly out of the humble coconut can make you shop till you drop.
You just cannot resist the lure of soft, sparkling pearls while at Andaman. Head to the Aberdeen Bazaar, Port Blair, if you happen to be a serious shopper! There is nothing that you cannot get here in the islands if you don’t find it at the well stocked, crowded market. You are sure to find the prettiest pearls here as well. Do not be taken aback because no two pearls look similar. Rest assured, this is completely natural and you are looking at authentic pearls. Pick up loose ones, if you want to get your jewellery designed by a master craftsman. Or else buy the necklaces, earrings and bracelets created by the hardworking Nicobar women. It is true that Andaman Tourism is incomplete without pearl shopping.
Do not forget to get a sturdy cane to aid your ailing granny who will be waiting for you impatiently. You might pick up the bamboo baskets, figurines as well as some of the delightful showpieces that demand instant attention. An intricately woven lamp shade might catch your attention while you are busy shopping for souvenirs. Try on the masks for a few laughs and buy some of them to delight your kids.
You are likely to find sea shells at every step. While you are free to stoop down and pick them up, you just cannot go on collecting them endlessly. So, restrain yourself and purchase the most beautiful shell ornaments ever. Go a little further and grab a cute handbag with tiny shells all over. You might even be bold enough to buy yourself a sarong embellished with shells and seed pearls. The shells are not always transparent or white in color though. You will be stupefied to find your bracelet showing off flecks of iridescence. Remember that the jewellery designed with sea shells is totally legal, so you have nothing to fear if you fill up an entire bag with the most magnificent pieces of shell jewellery. Wait! You might obtain a polished tortoise shell box and a strand of colourful coral to enhance the decor of your home after bidding adieu to the spectacular islands of Andaman & Nicobar.
You surely love your spices as most Indians do. There is no reason to stick to a bland continental diet when you are touring the Andaman Island. Make sure to ask for spiced curries whenever you choose to lunch out. However, you should not forget to pack cinnamons, cloves, and black pepper from the island on your way home. The spices of Andaman happen to be fresh and unadulterated, so don’t hesitate to bring back whole bottles. Besides, small packets of spices make excellent gifts. You will indeed be gratified to find wide smiles greeting you as you hand out the fiery and delectable spices to your family and friends.
Now you have an idea about everything that you can buy and bring back from the depth of the oceans there. Bon Voyage!
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