Shopping in India
The legacy of Indian handicrafts and artistry is as old as its origin. Beginning from the Indus Valley, the Indian civilization has a stronghold in crafts and artifacts. India is an abode of high quality shopping items, which hails the bequest of Indian civilization. India is blessed with excellent stone crafts, pottery, woodcrafts, metal crafts, gems and jewelry, paintings, textiles, leather crafts, shell crafts…etc.
Like the Taj Mahal on the banks of the River Yamuna, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the exquisite stonework of India in marble, sandstone etc is famous across the globe. The handicraft importers of Indian arts and crafts items import these items for their uniqueness. Stone craft in India is not only restricted to ornate carvings on temples or sculptures of deities, but it is also used in making items like carved panels, tiles, paper weights, pen stands, models of historical buildings, sculptures of animals and humans etc. The basic design is traced on the stone and it is given a crude shape. The final carving is then carried out and the items are polished.
Pottery is another important shopping item, which traces its origin some 5000 years ago. The traditional Indian pottery is a beautiful example of Indian arts and crafts. The damp clay molded in different shapes and sizes are artistic expression of the vision and moors of the society.
Since 3000 B.C Indian artisans knew the art of metal craft. Different metals like iron, copper, silver and alloys like bronze, bell metal, white metal etc were used to produce variety of items both for utility and aesthetic purposes.
Woodcrafts are another prominent artifact of Indian culture. The history of wood handicrafts of India can be traced to antiquity. Besides furniture, the beautiful artifacts in wood like photo frames, toys, statues, household items etc have a large international clientele.
Gems & Jewelry
Like the Kohinoor diamond on the British Crown, gems & jewelry form an essential handicraft arts and crafts item of India. The handicraft buyers of India export gems and jewelry fashioned in different designs and styles across world.
Over the years Indian painters have made their name calculated among the top painters of the world like Raja Ravi Varma. The handicraft buyers from India acknowledge the presence of a large international clientele looking for Indian paintings like Miniatures, Thangka and Madhubani. Thus, paintings form a large part of handicraft exports from India.
Textiles form an integral part of the Indian tradition, which boasts of handicrafts. Indian Sarees are renowned worldwide as a formal dress. The handicrafts of India have a huge market in the US. The traditional specialized arts and crafts of India like textiles, metal craft, and wood craft are imported on a large scale and are acclaimed for their finesse and elegance.
India is famous the world over for its leather products. In the rural areas of India, hide from cattle and camel is locally cured and after tanning, it is used to make different items. Different regions of India have different leather products to offer: Kohlapur in Maharashtra is world famous for its Kohlapuri chappals (traditional Indian footwear). This footwear is popular because of their softness and durability.
Carpets & Flooring
Carpets and floorings are exquisite handicraft products of India crafted in wool, silk, jute, coir, bamboo and wool, enjoying a patronage of large international clientele.
Toys & Dolls
The traditions of toy and doll making in India are rich and diverse. A variety of material like, wood, clay, leather etc is used in making ethnic toys. Toys made in India not only cater to the dreams of a child but they are also related with religious rituals and festivals. Toys are not only made in the shape of animals, birds, carts etc but also made to depict gods and deities.
Jute & Coir
Jute and coir crafts are relatively new compared to other traditional craft traditions of India. Jute and coir fibers are mainly used in the production of utilitarian items, though some decorative items are also made. Coir is obtained from coconut husk. Kerala the 'land of coconuts' is the largest producer of coir and accounts for about 75 per cent of the total coir production from India. It is also known as the wonder fiber.
The oldest references to making of glass and items made from glass come from the ancient Indian epic, the Mahabharat. The Mughal rulers gave an impetus to the craft of glass making. Glass items such as perfume bottles, tumblers etc belonging to this period was made in different shapes and decorations. The Mughals had a fascination for colored glass.
Seashells are a gift of nature to man and they are found in a variety of shape, size and color. The colors and textures imparted and imprinted on seashells, by nature cannot be matched even by the best artist. Small seashells are known as cowries. Coconut shells are also used to make exquisite handicrafts, which made the attraction of the world community.