Where to shop in Andamans?
The end of a holiday in any part of the world means keeping at least a day for shopping before heading back home. Be it souvenirs for friends and family or something for yourself, shopping locally is a great way to remember the times spent at the destination. Although the Andaman Islands is not known to be a shopping destination, it has quite a few unique things to take back home with you.
- MG Road or the Mahatma Gandhi Road in the Andamans is a gold mine for many travelers. This place represents the rich cultural heritage and customs of India. It is located in Port Blair and is considered as the shopping hub here due to a wide range of items being found. Numerous shops are selling authentic cane and bamboo products that come in the form of hats, bags, pitchers, mugs, wall hangings, vases, etc. It is also a great place to find colorful and trendy hats and sarongs for the beach. The Andaman Islands have been working towards sustainable living by helping the environment become plastic-free. Hence, the jute industry here is flourishing and gaining popularity over the past few years. You can find some amazing jute handicrafts which are sold in the form of bags, hats, footwear, clothes, jewelry and so much more. One of the many interesting artifacts found here also includes fishbone items. They may seem strange at first, but you will be spellbound with the detailing of dolls, and home décor, which is all made of fishbones. Lastly, this place is a haven for spice lovers. You can find all sorts of high-quality spices starting from cardamom, cinnamon, vanilla, cloves, betel, to black pepper. Make sure to load up those bags with bona fide homegrown spices from the Andaman Islands.
- Aberdeen Bazaar is also in Port Blair and is well-known for buying daily essentials along with unique handicrafts made by local artisans. One thing in particular that you should keep an eye out for, is pearls. They are found in abundance in Aberdeen Bazaar’s jewelry stores. There are chances that all stores may not be selling genuine or authentic pearls, so do a thorough quality check before buying any. However, this is the only market where you can get your hands-on superior quality of pearl jewelry as well as high-end seashell products. The famous Nicobarese Mats are also sold in this market. Due to the Indian Government’s ban on visiting the Nicobar Islands, the tribal people from there sell their goods across various markets in the Andaman Islands.
- Sagarika Government Emporium and Andaman Handicraft Emporium are two places that the Government has set up for local craftsperson to showcase their talent of creating beautiful pieces made of wood, seashells, jute, and coconut shells. The indigenous people of this island are extremely talented and hardworking. There is no better way of showing your support but by buying a few of their handmade items. Each product you see has a story to tell, making it a great opportunity to interact with them while browsing and scouting for the perfect purchase.
Do remember to check these places when you visit the Andamans. There are several small beach shops where you can do your last-minute shopping as well. However, we would recommend giving yourself a day to explore these expansive markets for a more fulfilling experience.