Shopping in Shillong: Best Markets to Shop in Meghalaya 2023
Shillong is a city located in the northeastern part of India, nestled in the hills of Meghalaya. It is one of the most picturesque places in the country, with stunning landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, which you can explore with our Meghalaya Packages. Not only the natural beauty of Shillong but also shopping in Shillong is also a unique experience, that is heavily influenced by the culture of the people of the state.
As you walk through the local markets in Shillong, you’ll come to know that every single item on display reflects the unique cultural identity of the region. From handcrafted native handicrafts to traditional women’s clothing and handbags, the city’s markets are a testimony to the artistic legacy of the Khasai people. You’ll find a fascinating blend of traditional craftsmanship and modern aesthetics, making shopping in Shillong one of the top things to do in Shillong.
As you wander around the markets in Shillong, you’ll come to realize that everything you see is a representation of the area’s unique culture. From hand-crafted handicrafts to classic clothes and accessories, the markets are a tribute to the Khasi people’s artistry.
Shillong’s culture is all about sustainability, so you won’t be disappointed when you come across eco-friendly products or organic offerings at the market stalls. Plus, the artisans in Shillong are proud to use locally sourced materials to make unique souvenirs and mementos that capture the beauty of Shillong’s natural beauty.
So, here is a perfect guide for some shopping in Shillong while exploring the natural charms of Meghalaya.
Best Things To Buy in Shillong
1. Shawls in Shillong: A Weave of Elegance and Tradition
Shawls from Shillong are a real showstopper! Not only are they a fashion statement, but they’re also a symbol of the culture of the region. Shawls are handmade by Khasi women and are full of tribal motifs, classic patterns, and natural colors from the area.
Every single shawl is handmade with hours of effort and is passed down from one generation to the next. Shawls can be worn for a variety of reasons, from practical to decorative. People from Shillong wear them for traditional outfits, and those visiting Shillong often buy them as gifts or for themselves.
You can wear them over your shoulders or wrap them around your shoulders in cold weather. Not only are they beautiful, but they’re also pieces of art that anyone can wear. Shawls are a huge part of Khasi and Jaintia culture and are used in a lot of rituals and ceremonies. Not only do they have a lot of meaning, but they also tell stories about the history of the tribal people.
2. Manipuri Lungis: Traditional Attire with a Twist
Manipur lungis or phaneks are traditional garments from Manipur, but you can also find them in the local markets in Shillong. They’re known for their bright colors, unique patterns, and cultural importance.
Basically, it’s a piece of fabric that’s tied around your waist, like a skirt. It’s made from different materials like cotton and silk, but what sets them apart is their eye-catching patterns and colors. Manipuri lungis are made with a combination of traditional weaving and modern designs. The weavers take great care to make sure each one looks like a piece of art.
The colors and patterns can be symbolic of the wearer’s social position or the occasion. People in the region use them for a variety of reasons, from casual wear to special occasions. Not only are they comfortable, but they also represent the culture and identity of the region, making them one of the best things to buy in Shillong as souvenirs for travelers.
3. Scottish Clothes: A Nod to Shillong’s Colonial Heritage
In Shillong, you can find Scottish Cloth Material woven into the city’s rich cultural fabric. It pays tribute to the Scottish influence on the city’s culture and fashion and is known for its classic patterns like tartan and plaid. It’s made from a variety of textiles, from wool to synthetic blends, so you can find something that fits your style and comfort.
You can turn it into all kinds of clothing, from kilts and tartan skirts to shawls and suits. Not only is it fashionable, but it also pays tribute to the colonial past of Shillong. The presence of Scottish cloth in Shillong markets is a sign of the long-lasting legacy of the Scots in the area. Scotland’s influence spread throughout the British colonial period, and their unique patterns became part of the town’s culture.
Nowadays, Scottish cloth is worn on a variety of occasions, from cultural events to traditional dances. It adds a touch of class and history to any outfit. Having a piece of clothing made from Scotland’s cloth is not just a fashion statement, it’s a way of showing off the town’s unique blend of tradition and colonial heritage.
4. Khasi Scrubs
If you are not into fashion or clothing, then this is one of the best things to buy in Shillong as a souvenir. This is one of the best utility souvenirs you will get in the local markets in Shillong easily. You won’t even have to search for souvenir shops in Shillong as these will be easily available on the streets as sold by local smiling Khasi women.
They are eco-friendly and affordable. I have never used the scrubs in the cities. They are available almost everywhere. It costs around Rs 50 per scrub. They are high quality. You can cut them to length and pack them in your suitcase. You won’t regret it.
5. Bamboo Products: Sustainable Treasures of Shillong’s Markets
When it comes to the best things to buy in Shillong, bamboo products are at the top of the list. Not only are these eco-friendly products a great way to showcase the artistic talent of the region, but they are also a great way to contribute to the cause of sustainable living.
Shillong’s markets are filled with bamboo handicrafts, ranging from intricately designed baskets to home decor items such as bamboo lampshades, bamboo coasters, bamboo wall hangings, bamboo furniture, bamboo musical instruments, bamboo flutes, bamboo percussion instruments, bamboo kitchenware, bamboo cutlery, bamboo plates, and bamboo utensils.
Bamboo is part of the local culture and reflects the region’s connection with nature. It’s a renewable resource that grows quickly and has minimal environmental impact. Not only do you get beautiful items, but you also help preserve the cultural heritage and promote eco-friendly practices. So if you’re a conscious shopper or a traveler, Shillong is the place to buy bamboo products!
6. Local Organic Products: Take back the taste of Meghalaya
The markets of Shillong aren’t just a great place to find amazing handicrafts – they also have a great selection of organic, local products. If you’re a tourist looking to experience the delicious flavors and eco-friendly living that Shillong has to offer, then you should definitely check out these organic treats.
If you’re looking for something to add to your culinary adventures, bamboo shoot pickle is one of the best things to buy in Shillong. It’s a locally-made pickle that gives your meals a unique tang and shows off the region’s fondness for bamboo. There’s also a huge selection of fruit products in the markets, from wines, jams and jellies to preserves.
And if you’re looking for a unique spice to add zest to your meals, check out the spices in the hills like the fiery Raja Chilli, cinnamon, bay leaves and black pepper. Plus, you can take home some tea leaves for a soothing brew.
Not only do you get to savor the delicious flavors of Shillong but you’re also supporting sustainable practices that care about the environment and the people in the area – it’s a great way to bring some of the purity of Shillong back home!
Best Places to Shop in Shillong
1. Police Bazaar
If you’re looking for a shopping experience that’s not just about the shopping in Shillong, check out Police Bazaar! Nestled right in the heart of the city, Police Bazaar is one of the most iconic and the best places to shop in Shillong. This vibrant market also provides an authentic insight into the way of life of the people of the area and offers a variety of shopping options.
What makes Police Bazaar unique is its vibrant and colorful atmosphere. The streets are bustling with shoppers, and the air is filled with the delicious aroma of local street food. Police Bazaar offers a wide variety of products, ranging from traditional handicrafts and textiles, to ethnic jewelry, electronics, clothes, and local delicacies, catering to the varied tastes of locals and tourists alike.
A maximum number of souvenir shops in Shillong are located here, which makes it one of the must-visit local markets in Shillong for tourists. This shopping experience is not only about shopping but also about immersing yourself in the culture of the city. There are friendly vendors who are always ready to sell their wares, and the atmosphere is lively and colorful.
- Famous Shops Here: Glory’s Plaza, Megha Emporium, Assam Emporium, Khasi Emporium, Hanumanbux Mahesh Kumar, Purbashree Emporium
- Timing of Police Bazaar: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
2. Bara Bazar or Iewduh Market
Bara Bazaar is one of the most famous and oldest markets in Shillong. Located in the heart of the city, this bustling market is not only a shopping paradise but also a foodie paradise. Shillong has a rich culinary and shopping history.
Whether you are a food lover who wants to try authentic Khasi food or a shopper who wants to discover the local markets in Shillong. Bara Bazaar has something for everyone. The fact that it is mainly run by women adds to the charm of this market. It is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience the flavors of Shillong.
Walking through its vibrant lanes, you’ll be wowed by the delicious smells of freshly prepared food. Plus, most of the shops and restaurants are run by locals, adding an extra layer of flavor. And if you’re looking for something more than just food, you can shop in Bara Bazaar, where you’ll find a huge variety of products from fresh produce to local spices. Whether you’re looking for traditional scrubs or spices, you’ll be sure to find something you love.
- Timing of Bara Bazaar: 08:00 AM to 08:00 PM
3. Bhutia Market
Bhutia Market is a bustling hub of commerce and culture in Shillong. It’s right in the middle of the city and is full of authentic shopping and cultural experiences.
What makes the Bhutia market unique is that it has a wide variety of products for all kinds of customers. From handicrafts and textiles, to jewelry, to modern clothing and electronics, to local food specialties, Bhutia market has it all. It captures the essence of shopping in Shillong by combining tradition with modern trends.
What makes it unique is that it is an immersive and lively market. As you walk through the busy lanes, you’ll be welcomed by friendly vendors who are happy to show off their products. The market’s lively atmosphere, vibrant displays, and fragrant street food stalls all add to the overall ambiance.
When you visit Bhutia market, you will find hidden gems such as local handicraft shops and some souvenir shops in Shillong where you can buy intricately woven Meghalaya shawls or bamboo products. You can also get a glimpse of the region’s love for fashion with shops selling clothes and electronics.
Whether you’re looking for one-of-a-kind souvenirs, can’t wait to try some of the local food, or just want to get a taste of the culture that Shillong has to offer, you’re sure to have an amazing shopping experience at Bhutia market. It’s a great way to get a feel for the city’s rich culture and it’s definitely worth a visit!
- Timing of Bhutia Bazaar: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Frequently Asked Questions for Shopping in Shillong
1. What Are The Popular Shopping Areas In Shillong?
The most popular market for shopping in Shillong is the Police Bazaar which is located in the heart of the city. Other than that the Bara Bazaar and the Bhutia Markets are some of the best places to shop in Shillong. Tourists will find many souvenirs to take back as a memory of their Meghalaya Trip.
2. Can I Find Traditional Meghalayan Products In Shillong?
Indeed, Shillong is a treasure trove for traditional Meghalayan products. Shoppers can immerse themselves in the local culture by exploring intricately woven shawls, Scottish clothes, bamboo items, indigenous spices, Khasi scrubs, and exquisite handmade jewelry, all of which pay homage to the region’s rich heritage.
3. Are There Any Shopping Malls In Shillong?
Yes, the OB Shopping Mall is the biggest and probably the only shopping mall in Shillong. This shopping mall houses a number of branded stores, electronics, restaurants, food court, etc. But, you cannot expect a big shopping mall like you’d find in big cities. But, if you want to maximize your experience of shopping in Shillong, it does have lively markets and shopping districts that offer a unique shopping experience that reflects the local culture.
4. What Are Some Must-Buy Souvenirs From Shillong?
If you’re visiting Shillong, make sure you don’t miss out on the chance to buy some Meghalayan souvenirs! From bamboo shawls to Khasi scrubs and spices, there’s something for everyone. You can also find local handicrafts and fine jewelry, all of which capture the essence of the culture and craftsmanship of the region and become treasured keepsakes of your trip.