Haridwar and Rishikesh are the most visited destinations in Uttarakhand also known as Garhwal hills of the state named Devbhumi (the land of the Gods). Haridwar is a primitive pilgrimage town situated at a point where Ganga set foots in also known as Gangadwar or the door to Ganga. Rishikesh is just about 20 km away from the hills, used to be the favorite spot of saints and sadhus. Some amusing ashrams and meditation center are available on the banks of Ganges here.
Can anyone buy souvenirs or do shopping in Rishikesh and Haridwar?
Tourists always want to buy or shop some antiques, souvenirs or any memorable items for their loved ones from the holy places or even the places they have visited.
Below,is the list of some antiques or tokens-
Old Coins -
Old coins known as vintage or antiques coins is one of the most amazig thing in haridwar. It can be found in most popular places, near temples in these holy towns too. People exchange their currency notes for change that they give away to beggars or use for making offerings at multiple places.
Coins offered again come back in circulation for exchange. Any tourist can easily use lot of old coins and out-of-circulation coins easily.
Stone Shaligrams -
Real shaligrams are rounded small stones found in the rivers . It mostly found in the bank of rivers of Nepal. Shaligram is treated as a sign of the Lord Vishnu, which can be used in many pilgrimage by the pilgrims.
It is easy to carry and also at an economical price, it is a perfect gift to carries the essence of the place as a good souvenir. If you are a Shaivite you can look for similarly shaped stone or crystals – they are called such as Sphatik and Lingas. Sphatik means crystal and linga is the representation of Shiva.
Pickles & Murabba -
People frequently visit to the market in Rishikesh, and always prefer to come back with some Pickles or Murabba. There is a shop nearby to Parmarth Niketan which sells varities of lip smacking murabbas although their USP in murabbas are Amla Murabba and Carrot Murabba.
Also, in Haridwar’s main market behind the famous Har Ki Paudi, there are number of shops with piles of various pickles on display. While there are usual pickles like Mango Pickle and Lime Pickle, there are unusual ones like Karela or Bitter gourd Pickle.
Ayurvedic Herbs -
In Uttarakhand, there is a saying– Plants feed everywhere, but plants of Uttarakhand heals. It’s evident that Haridwar is a home to traditional Ayurveda treatments. Walking around the main and a narrow streets, anyone can still find Vedshalas, meditation center, ashrams and small-scale units preparing Ayurvedic and organic medicines in traditional styles. It is advisable to take medicines only after consulting an expert but you can pick up common herbs from the shops in the holy town.
Interesting, unique and curable herbs like Hill Mint or Pahadi Pudina, Ashwagandha, Vansh Lochan, Hing, and many other things are easily available for the common people. Be aware that some of them may be advertising some herbs for weight reduction – that is just bait. Herbs are good, but none of them can guarantee weight loss at least not in a healthy way.
You can also pick up the potted plants that are available at nurseries and at some ashrams that promote bio-diversity like Gayatri Parivar.
Bel and Buransh Squash -
You can find several extra vagant fruits which can only be find in haridwar native to Uttarakhand . Some unique fruits are Bel and Buransh and both are seasonal fruits. If you visit in the season, you can have them fresh. To bring back home, pick up the squash bottles of both these that are available in many stores in the city.
Walking Sticks -
In the holy city of haridwar, you can see many shops with walking sticks lined up against the walls or hanging in front. The simplest ones were simply bamboo sticks cut at an appropriate length after that handicrafts of haridwar and rishikesh painted or etched sticks which is aunthetic and organic thing of there are the ones with designs painted or etched on them. Even better ones have a handle to hold and the best ones have a metallic cap at one end to keep it stable.
I assume destinations like these get a lot of elderly visitors and it is a perfect souvenir for them.
Sandalwood is an integral part of worship in Indian temples. There is also a keen technique such as you can buy blocks of wood that you can rub against a stone slab to create sandalwood or a Chandan paste even you can get wood pieces of various colors. Smell and pick the one you like. You can also buy the small stone slab along with sandalwood.