Andaman, is undoubted, one of the most unique places in India. Being away from the mainland has its own advantages. Over the years, Andaman has enjoyed its own culture. In fact, each island has its own culture and specialities.
Shopping in Andaman, too, has a unique flavour to it. The handicrafts and other local goods have their own flavour and USPs. So, here is our guide to the best things you can buy during your Andaman trip.
Top Items to shop for in Andaman
- Wooden-based handicrafts
- Coconut handicrafts
- Seashell jewellery
- Bamboo cane
Pearls are probably a woman’s second best friend. Nicobari women have nurtured this friendship to make pearl jewellery in their own unique style. They make beautiful ornaments that you can wear on special occasions and also for daily wear. Pearls are one of the top things to shop for in Andaman.
There are also shops which offer pearls so that you can customise and make your own jewellery out of them. So, whatever be the case, make sure you go pearl shopping in Andaman.
Also See: Top 10 things to do in Andaman
The Islanders are master craftsmen with wood. You will find various kinds of carvings and also utility items made of wood here. The quality of work and finish is excellent. The kitchen utensils made of wood are especially of note. Bowls, spatulas, spoons, glasses, etc. are made of wood with an exceptional finish and finesse. You will also find some pieces which beautifully infuse silver into their work. For example, jewellery boxes with ornate silver handles.
You will also find lots of handicrafts made of coconut shells. There are showpieces and other knick-knacks made of them. The item that really caught our eye was the lampshades made of coconut shells. They were really exquisite.
The Andaman and Nicobaris have an unlimited supply of seashells, and they know how to make the best use of it. You will find lots of pretty jewellery made of seashells. Necklaces made of seashells are especially pretty. You will find lots of variety in the jewellery – be it in colour or size or patterns.
The shops lining the entrances to the beaches are lined with things that you might need at the beach. Top on your list that you should buy are hats and sarongs. The hats sold here are trendy and extremely useful during your time here. The sarongs, too, come in beautiful patterns and colours and will add to your Instagram look.
Also See: 9 Must visit islands in Andaman
Bamboo and Cane
You will also find lots of handicrafts using bamboo and cane. You will be able to find many souvenirs made of bamboo or cane. Some of the items you should consider of bamboo are handbaskets, figurines or other showpieces. The Nicobari women are experts in dealing with bamboo.
You will also enjoy looking for the collection of walking sticks made of cane here. They are very beautifully carved and painted. They come in all sizes and are very sturdy.
Corals are one of the prettiest items you can shop for in Andaman. They come in various shapes and sizes, and all of them are breathtaking. Corals make for great showpieces. Some of them can be really big.
Note: You might be tempted to pick up seashells and corals of the beach. They would be lying all over the place. But, taking them out of Andaman is illegal.
Make sure you are buying these items from a shop which issues receipts for them. Your baggage will be scanned at the airport. If you are found to be carrying these items without a receipt, the items will be confiscated, and you will be fined. In short, please make sure that you have a legitimate receipt for all the handicraft related purchases you are making in Andaman.
Top places to shop in Andaman
Aberdeen Market is the oldest and most famous market in Andaman. You will find anything from handicrafts to household items to things you might need on your holiday here. Make sure you take your time here to look at the shops and try to bargain.
Sagarika is a government-run emporium. It is the best place to buy seashells and corals. It is located in the heart of Port Blair. You will find tons of souvenirs and other handicrafts that you can buy here.
Being government run, they are closed on national holidays and also have strict timings. Please make sure that you check these before you head out. Sagarika is one of the best places to go souvenir shopping in Andaman.
Market No. 3 And No. 2 Village
This market is located on Havelock Island. There are is not as much range as one might find in Port Blair, but you might want to keep a lookout for seashell and coconut based items.
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Queen Seashell Craft
The Queen Seashell Craft is located in the Aberdeen Market. You will be able to find beautiful items made of bamboo and coconut shells here. You will also find jewellery and other items made of seashells here.
There are other places that you can look to shop for in Port Blair – Goalghar, Junglighat, Prem Nagar and Delanipur.
Our recommended list for must shop items in Andaman
- Wooden utensils
- T-shirts at the Cellular Jail Gift shop
- Seashell Jewelry at Sagarika Emporium
- Coconut shell handicrafts at Queen Sea Shell Mart