1. Tibetan Prayer Flags
When visiting Nepal you may notice colorful flags fluttering at important places around the country. These colorful flags are Tibetan prayer flags, or dar cho, intended to increase life, fortune, wealth and health of all sentient beings. With symbols, sacred texts and mantras etched onto them, they are believed to generate spiritual vibrations that are released when blown by the wind carried in the air as silent prayers. You can hang them in your garden to remind you of your trip. These prayer flags are easily available at tourist souvenir shops around Kathmandu.
2. Pashmina Shawls
Known to the world as cashmere, in Nepal Pashmina is considered of the world’s most luxurious natural fabrics. They are made from the soft hair of mountain goats found on the Tibetan Plateau. Soft and warm, these handmade shawls are the perfect item to gift friends and family. They make a great fashion statement, they never go out of style and are perfect for any occasion. Besides shawls, don’t forget to look out for cardigans, stoles and blankets to take back home.
From miniature Hindu and Buddhist deities to life-sized carved wooden masks to terracotta puppets, handicrafts are in abundance in Nepal. These one-of-a-kind handmade crafts are intricately detailed and make for beautiful wall hangings and showpieces. Just don’t buy antique pieces, as it’s illegal to take them out of the country.
4. Khukuri Knife
Khukuri knives are exquisite pieces of Nepali craftsmanship. This famous knife used by the Nepali Gurkha soldiers is also commonly used in every village in Nepal. Many of these knives found in Kathmandu today are specifically made for tourists as a keepsake, making them a must-buy souvenir when visiting the country. Being the national knife of Nepal, it is presented as a token of love on special occasions. They are a great centerpiece and conversation starter that symbolize bravery and are a unique memento to take back home.
5. Singing Bowl
Singing bowls can make up for interesting souvenirs, with a multitude of uses when you get back home. These hand-crafted metal musical instruments emit continuous harmonic sound and vibration from the rim when struck by a padded mallet in circles. The vibration produced by the bowl is said to have perfect healing qualities, and ideal while meditating. The bowls come in various sizes, and antique singing bowls are often hand-hammered and crafted by at least three skilled artisans. All roadside vendors at the Durbar Squares in Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Patan have stalls of singing bowls on display.
6. Lokta Paper Products
Lokta paper is made of rice husk and is an interesting souvenir from Nepal. In recent years, this industry has seen much innovation. You can find lampshades, photo albums, wallpaper and even handbags made of lokta paper. However, the most popular lokta products are cultural calendars, notebooks, diaries, gift boxes and loose paper.
7. Bagh Chal (Tiger moving game)
This traditional Nepali board game called Bagh Chal (tiger moving game). There are four tiger pieces and twenty goat pieces in the game. The goat wins by surrounding the tigers, or the tiger wins by capturing all the goats. The board layout is easy to draw, and players can play this game anywhere. This is an intelligent puzzle game, and buying one for family or friends can forge a relationship between people.