The arts and crafts of Kashmir have been popular for hundreds of years and were much valued by the erstwhile kings and rulers of Indian princely states. During British rule the high officials used to purchase fine specimens of shawls and wraps as gifts to their betrothed. Hand woven carpets were equally famous and even today are considered as luxury in personal spaces. Therefore it is not a surprise that the first thing recommended by anyone is either a shawl or carpet.
A good number of stores are located on the famous Boulevard Road, in Lal Chowk area and at many places in the old city. However, for the information of the traveler, independent sellers often recommended by hoteliers or credible travel service providers also provide best deals. The authentic shawls and carpets are expensive and make a great collection.
Precious and semi precious stone dealers also have great stuff to sell. These shops are mostly located in Dalgate and Lal Chowk areas. Travelers can also buy great pieces of jewelry from these stores.
Wood carving and paper-machie are also best buys in Kashmir. Carved wood furniture is excellent and exemplary of classic furniture. Paper machie products, which are made from wood pulp with their shiny surfaces painted with art-work, are also wonderful. The shops that sell furniture and paper machie are scattered all over the valley. Travelers can find a lot of them near the city center.
Lal Chowk or Red Square is the main market in Srinagar where you can buy almost anything to make your tour comfortable. For tourists shops on the Bund or banks of Jhelum River are quite fulfilling.
Traders and food connoisseurs are also attracted to the saffron fields located some 12 kms from Srinagar, in the region called Pampore. A fine variety, in fact the best produced in the world, of Saffron is cultivated and sold here.
Kashmir is also a major producer of fruits and dry fruits like almonds, peaches, apricots and walnuts. Besides these fruits like apples, strawberries and cherries are grown and cultivated in large quantities. Fruit vendors are found everywhere in Kashmir whereas dry fruit dealers are concentrated in select destinations.
Sports goods produced in Kashmir are also very popular in India and international markets. Cricket bats made from a kind of willow grown in Kashmir are the best in the world.