Every place has a unique mark of its own and Himachal Pradesh has a plethora of things to offer to any avid shopper and traveller. The first time I went to Chamba, I was surprised with the options that shopping in Chamba could offer.
No visit to this beautiful town is complete without a visit to its beautifully designed shops. Shopping in Chamba must include a mandatory visit to shops offering the traditional Chamba Chappals. A unique fact is that you will find only men engaged in making of these footwear items.
The preparation begins with cutting of bottom part of the leather which is done according to size and shape of the feet. The different cut out pieces is glued with lati which is locally made glue. The lower and upper portion of the sole are stitched and the vamp is stitched along with the strap that is used for tying.
Embroidered chappals are also made on request but the special fact here is that this embroidery is done only by women.
Unique Musical Instruments
Shopping in Chamba goes much beyond buying chappals and if you are someone who is interested in music, the town has much to offer. You will find these instruments being made in workshops which are not hard to locate. I also similarly bumped into one last year.
Among the musical instruments popular in the region are horns or “singas” as they are locally known and kettle drums or “nagaras”.
A range of wood products are also available in Chamba. Infact, wood carving has been a traditional art in the region and when you are shopping in Chamba, do look out for some elegant wood products. Wooden statues of Hindu Gods and Goddesses will definitely impress you.
You can also shop for traditional wooden products like Kunala, Kosi, Dongri and Barigna.
Cast Metal Work
Cast metal work has been in existence since long and Chamba being a 1000 year old town, this work has been since ages. Brass has been and is extensively used in this cast metal work in Chamba. The traditional embroidery work as evident on Chamba Rumal is done on this cast metal work too. You will find inscriptions of Shiv Parvati and other Hindu Gods on these metal plates.
Chamba Rumal should be on your priority wish list when you are shopping in Chamba. A unique aspect of this Rumal is that picture on both side of this Rumal is same. Fine charcoal or brush is used in outline of the drawing.
You will find the embroidery done in different colours with help of double satin stitch which is done both in forward and backward direction alternately. Moreover, with both sides being stitched simultaneously, the designs look in tandem and you will find the Rumal same on both the sides. This technique of stitching is also known as dorukha.
You will find all these things and artifacts with relative ease as the town is small and the lanes meet into each other. Happy Shopping!