Top 15 famous Souvenirs and Gifts to pick in Sri Lanka (Part 1)
1. Gems & Jewelry
Sri Lanka is home to many gemstone mines, specially moonstone mines. I visited one moonstone mine and it was fascinating to see the gems being mined, sorted, cut, polished and fitted into metal to make lovely jewelry. There was no way I could have come back without picking up some moonstones from there.
Gemstones – Most popular Sri Lankan Souvenirs
You can buy gems anywhere in Sri Lanka. Most tourist areas like Unawatuna and Kandy are full of big and small gem stores. There are many museums where they showcase the mining process through a film and give you basic information about gems. You are then spoilt for choices to choose from. Bargain hard even at high-end showrooms.
2. Ceylon Tea
The Ceylon tea has always been famous. It is an easy Sri Lanka Souvenir to pick for who does not appreciate some fine tea. You can visit the tea gardens in central Sri Lanka, visit the tea factories and choose your tea flavor.
Ceylon Tea as Souvenir
3. Porcelain Tableware
Do you know that Noritake – the world famous Japanese porcelain products are made in Sri Lanka? You can get them at a very reasonable price either at their factory outlet or at their huge showroom at Colombo. You can also find their products at multi-brand showrooms like Odel.
Fine Porcelain from Sri Lanka
Legend is that Mrs. Ambani also visited Sri Lanka to pick up her tableware when she was furnishing her new home in Mumbai.
4. Cinnamon Sticks
Sri Lanka grows almost all spices that South India does – for the weather is similar. However, do you know that Sri Lanka is the biggest exporter of Cinnamon? So, my pick of all the spices here is Cinnamon.
Cinnamon Sticks – Gourmet Souvenir from Sri Lanka
You can pick up lovely packs of multiple spices or just the cinnamon sticks. Cinnamon powder is available too, but I prefer the sticks.
5. Wooden Masks
Wood carving is a widely practiced skill in Sri Lanka. In fact, when you see the assembly hall at Kandy Tooth Relic Temple, you would see finely carved pillar tops. Wood carved masks are quintessential Sri Lanka Souvenirs.
Colorful Wooden Masks – Sri Lanka
You can find the colorful wooden masks to put at home – each with a meaning. The Red one protects and yellow one brings wealth and Blue one helps in the career. A famous sculpture to pick is that of a sitting fisherman holding a fishing rod in hand.
6. Dumbara Mats & Cane Boxes
Dumbara is a hand-woven coarse fabric that comes from villages around Kandy. They are typically woven in geometric patterns. I saw a lot of them in white and black colors with red making an occasional entry. At Cinnamon Citadel hotel in Kandy, I saw the front office walls covered in this weave. At souvenir shops, I saw the table linen in Dumbara Mats. And at designer shops, I saw small baskets and bags made of Dumbara.
Cane Curios as Sri Lanka Souvenirs
If you like handwoven stuff, take your pick. You can also pick the small cane baskets and boxes.
7. Sri Lankan Sari
The Sri Lankan Sari is a bit different from Indian Sari. It is a 3 piece Sari, much like Kerala Saris. However, unlike Kerala Saris that are primarily in white, Sri Lankan Saris come in bright colors. Sri Lankan Sari comes in 3 pieces – a piece to make the blouse, a wraparound with the frill at the top and an unstitched piece like dupatta or stole.
Sri Lankan woman in Sri Lankan Sari
When my curiosity got the better of me, I asked a lady to show me how they wear. It is much simpler to wear a Sri Lankan Sari than our 6 yard one.
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