Being one of India‘s most popular tourist destinations, it‘s not surprising that many of the famous souvenir choices have become highly commercialised.
So you’re heading back home after a sun-kissed holiday in Goa and you’re wondering what to take back with you as a little piece of this vibrant state.
Being one of India’s most popular tourist destinations, it’s not surprising that many of the famous souvenir choices have become highly commercialised.
As a serial souvenir hoarder, I treasure souvenirs and hold them as dearly as memories themselves! And as a Goan, I cringe when someone proudly displays their “I Love Goa” T-shirts or a bottle of Feni as a memorabilia of their holiday.
So while the masses are heading off to buy “genuine” pashmina shawls along the streets of Calangute, I’m letting you in on some of my favourites.
Sea Shell handicrafts like necklaces, rings, bracelets coasters, paperweights and even lamps and chandeliers are extremely beautiful.
Every shell and every piece is unique, plus they come in a myriad of hues and can be found anywhere. Take home one of these articles or simply pick up a beautiful shell from the beach. Nothing beats free!
Like shells, coconut art is another great, yet not very common souvenir to take back. You will find a lot of articles made of coir, coconut shells or palm leaves such as storage pouches, cute cups and bottles. Being hand-made, you will have to shell out more, but it’s worth every penny.
Another funky idea is to get a black henna tattoo. Getting these temporary tattoos are a huge trend among Indian and foreign tourists alike.
They will either be stamped on to your skin or will be drawn on by tribal women on the beach. Get your name written in Hindi, a floral pattern, a dolphin or just pick your design from the worn out book you will be presented with.
Walk into a market and you will find gypsies trying to sell you “jhola” bags with pretty mirror work on them or tiny boxes decorated with little beads and shimmering mirrors. Although not of the best quality, these are beautiful, eye-catching and as close as you will get to buying a hippie souvenir.
If you love cooking, pick up a couple of packets of traditional Goan masalas! Powders and pastes like Rechado and Xacuti are popular Goan spices that can be taken back with you to keep the flavour of Goa alive on your dinner table for as long as you want.
Personally, I love collections that allow me to add-on similar pieces from every place – such bottle openers or bracelet charms.
If that appeals to you, you can find a load of funny Goan caricatures printed on shot glasses and fridge magnets to add to your collection. They depict scenes from a typical day in a local’s life and is a great keep-sake.
Lastly, Goa is famous for Azulejos (intricate paintings done by hand on tiles and an expressive form of Portuguese Art.) Get one with your name on it, or with your family name to place outside your front door.
So the next time you’re heading to my beautiful state of Goa, I hope you skip the tee-shirts, the alcohol and the cashew nuts, and opt for something unique instead!