Five Souvenirs to buy on a visit to Hyderabad, India

Hyderabad the capital city of Indian state of Telangana has a lot to offer to its visitors from remarkable historical attractions to scrumptious biryanis and the myriad of shopping options. A visit to any new destination concludes with bringing along lots of wonderful memories and along with it some indigenous items as souvenirs which we can treasure for rest of our lives. And Hyderabad has some great memorabilia to offer to its guests. Here we list down the items one should take as souvenirs on a visit to the Hyderabad – The City of Nizams:

1. Pearls

Hyderabad is considered to be the largest center for the trading of pearls in India. Pearls have been a favorite since the historic times when the Nizams of Hyderabad loved to adorn themselves with the pearl jewelry and pearl studded clothing. It is also believed that the royal family used the crushed pearls on their skin as well as a beauty enhancement product. The court of Nizams boasted of some of the best artisans from all over the world. Pearls in sublime shades of pink, yellow, white and grey and the unmatched Basra pearls which ranged from 50k up to 1 lakh all are available to adorn the stunning jewelry sets. Though it will astounding to learn that the pearls in Hyderabad aren’t a local produce but are imported from Hongkong, Japan, and China with China dominating the market. Hyderabad has highly skilled workers for drilling and processing of pearls. From Patthar Gatti to Laad bazaar surrounding the iconic Charminar one can find numerous shops in Hyderabad to buy pearls. We shopped at the Satyanarayan Jewellers on a recommendation from our local friends. SatyaNarayan Jewellers own branches all over Hyderabad.

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

2. Attars or Ittars (Natural Perfumes)

As we strolled through the jam-packed shops in the lanes of Charminar myriad of sweet smell beckoned us to the Attar or Ittar shops. Hyderabad produces some of the indigenous natural perfumes called attars which have been favorites from the times of Nizams with shops more than 100 years old. Attar is an Arabic word derived from the Persian word atr, which means ‘fragrance’. The famous Moazzam Jahi market also has some of famous Attar shops. The array of colorful bottles will evoke all your senses with enchanting fragrances of flowers, herbs, and spices. The shop owner with pleasure dabbed drops of attar on our wrist and back of the hand with information of source. Whiffing the pleasant smell left us in a light trance. The attars are arranged in beautiful colorful glass bottles which you can buy in bottles of different sizes as per your requirement. We bought a small bottle of jasmine fragrance which is said to be favorites of the Nizams too. We also bought some incense sticks from the same shop. Attars are non-alcoholic perfumes which make an integral part of religious ceremony.

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

3. Bangles

The glitter and shine of the gorgeous bangles will enthrall you with its hues and radiance well before you make way into the ancient Laad Bazaar or the Chudi Bazar from Charminar. Plain glass bangles, glass bangles with shimmers and the famous stone studded Lac bangles adorn the shops lining the chaotic street of Laad Bazaar. While hawkers sell out bangles and other bric-a-brac on streets the traditional shops have bed arrangements where customers sit and choose from wide range of bangles. The sellers gauge the size of bangles merely by holding the hands or some by just having a look at the hand. The various ethnic designs bathed in fascinating colors have been worn by the women of Hyderabad including the ladies of Royal families of Nizams since centuries.

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

4. Bidri

Bidri is a metal handicraft made of blackened alloy of zinc and copper and is popular since the Mughal ages. The evidence of which is evident from the huge collection of bidriwares like vases, ashtrays, trinket boxes and hukka bases found in the museums of Hyderabad. The term ‘Bidriware’ is believed to have originated from the town of Bidar in the Karnataka state of India which is also a major manufacturing center for the metalware. The craft of Bidri is believed to be originated in Persia and Iran and brought to India during the reign of Sultan Ahmed Shah Bahmani. Hyderabad artisans excel in the skillful practice of elaborate Bidri work. Abids is a prominent market where one can shop for a variety of bidri items in the city. The unique metalware makes for an interesting gifting item and take-away souvenir.

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

5. Osmania Biscuits

A visit to Hyderabad isn’t complete without savoring on the mouth melting Osmania biscuits and the Irani chai. Nimrah Cafe near Charminar is frequented by the locals and tourists to try the wide assortment of biscuits from fruit biscuits, Jam biscuits and many others besides the famed Osmania biscuits. Another hot spot for buying some amazing variety of biscuits is the Karachi bakery near the prominent Mozzamjahi Market in Nampally. Wait, biscuits don’t make for a souvenir? Well, the delectable biscuits make for a great takeaway as well as a gift for friends and family though you may not be able to keep it for life but the taste of the biscuits is something you would cherish for the rest of the life.

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

Apart from these most sought after items for shopping in Hyderabad, one can also go shopping for dress materials, bed sheets, Khara dupatta worn during the wedding and other items of clothing for which Hyderabad has a wholesale market around the Patthargati neighborhood.

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Souvenirs Hyderabad SouthIndia

TIP: The knack of Bargaining is definitely a must to crack a good deal. Happy Shopping!

Have you visited Hyderabad? Did you enjoy shopping in Hyderabad? Which is your favorite takeaway?

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13 Comment

  1. Gareth says: Reply

    These are some really good tips and certainly, as someone who isn’t an enthusiastic shopper, I could always do with a few hints as to what souvenirs to bring back from the places I visit. The colours of the bangle shop are incredible, quintessentially Indian while those pearls would have my girlfriend salivating. Not too sure what airport security would say about a Bidri though!

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Bidri are exported too so we don’t think there should be any problem with airport authority 🙂

  2. What worries me about buying pearls or bangles in shops like these is the fact that I don’t know how much they are worth. Are they priced up already, can you still haggle, as a foreigner I have no idea?? The bakery looks easy to use with prices clearly marked up.

    1. mm GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Yes, you can still haggle as a foreign its always good to have an idea from your local friends or from someone who has already bought from there. Still, there is no harm in giving it a try.

  3. India is so huge that I had not even heard of that state 🙂 I am not a souvenir shopper but I love those souvenirs because they are also something I could use. Actually, I even have Indian bangles and would love to have some pearls 🙂 Great ideas.

  4. Bhusha says: Reply

    As soon as I saw the topic, the first things that came to my mind were pearls, lac bangles and Osmania biscuits! I still have the pearls and bangles that I got a decade ago from my first visit to Hyderabad and my uncle just brought a bag full of biscuits from his recent travel!

  5. I’d love to go shopping in India! Pearls, beautiful dresses/textiles, bangles – it’s exactly what I’d imagine finding while browsing the markets/shops there! Thanks for sharing this fun post and lovely photos 🙂

  6. Reshma says: Reply

    Hyderabad is synonymous with extravagant pearls, and most women go there for bangles. I also had heard about attars ( have never tried one, is the fragrance too strong?) but didn’t know about bidri. The influence of the southern kingdoms and the Mughals from the north seem to heavily hang on this charming city!

  7. This is such a great list! I think I would love those perfumes – jasmine is my favorite scent. Those biscuits look delicious as well

  8. Sonja says: Reply

    Ok now I want to go shopping there! I had no idea they had all those pearls there, that’s amazing! And I love trying different foods so that works too :). Thanks for the tips!

  9. Great tips for shopping and great ideas for souvenirs! India’s stuff and style are very colorful. I would love to go shopping whenever I get to visit Hyderabad.

  10. Therie says: Reply

    I’d definitely take some of those biscuits home!

  11. Laad bazaar near Char Minar is full of local items which a traveler can buy gifts for themselves and their loved ones. Bangles, clothes, perfumes etc are the preferred choice. What did I buy? Nothing. But I ate lot of local food!

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