Hyderabad is a great shopping place. You can buy Hyderabad Souvenirs for everyone from here. In the 30 months that I spent living in the city, I walked around all the old and new parts of the city. Looking back at these pictures of the walking tours I realized that there are so many shopping opportunities that the city offers.
So, here is my list of top Hyderabad Souvenirs to pick:
Anyone who grew up in India knows that Hyderabad is well known for its pearls. It has been a center of pearl trade for many centuries now. Yes, with hardly a water body around, it can not be the source of pearls. If you walk around the lanes near Charminar or area around Char Kaman, you can see many pearl shops. If you can request the shop owners, you can see small workshops behind shops. This is where the raw pearls are polished, pierced and strung together in a string.
Prices range from as low as Rs 100/- for simple earrings to few lakhs. All depends on the pearls you pick.
Pearls are available at leading jewelry shops across the city but my recommendation is to go to the old city to pick one of the most favorite Hyderabad Souvenirs.
The lane connecting Char Minar to Chowmahalla goes by the popular name of Laad Bazaar. You just can not miss the bright lacquer bangles sold here. I was fortunate enough to go behind the shining shops and see the bangles being made. The technique used to make the bangles is similar to the one you get in Rajasthan. The work done on bangles in the city is distinct for its bold colors and design. There is no way you can miss the shine of these bangles.
Read More – Laad Bazaar & Bangle Making
Each bangle is crafted manually. Each stone is individually pasted to create myriad patterns. Just explore the shops around to chose the bangles that best match your ethnic dresses. I used to enjoy just walking around these shops, watching women fuss over colors and patterns.
Lac bangles from Hyderabad make a perfect gift for all the girls and women around you.
Prices – Very affordable.
The Bidri is a metal craft that comes from the town of Bidar. Now, Bidar technically falls in the neighboring state of Karnataka. Physically and culturally it is quite close to Hyderabad. I saw a Bidri work workshop near the Salarjung Museum in the city. The works are of course available in most souvenir shops. It was an eye-opening experience to see the artisans craft each piece Most tourists end up buying it in state emporium ‘Lepakshi’. However, you can find small shops in the old city where you can buy them cheaper.
Most common items in Bidri work include small boxes and pen stands. The silver on top of black metal looks elegant, strong yet delicate.
If you have time at hand and design in mind, you can get Bidri work made to order – just for you. Many families in the city get the pieces custom made for family functions.
Check out this handcrafted metal brass glasses in Bidri work on Amazon India and many more.
Traditional weaves & fabrics
There are many types of woven fabric that you can buy in Andhra & Telangana. I would restrict my recommendations to two of them:
Pochampally Saris – Every woman who ever wears a Sari must have a Pochampally Sari in her collection. The choice is between silk or cotton. Once you made that choice, you need to choose between the wide range of color combinations available.
You can also buy home linen in the same geometric Pochampally patterns. If the weaving process intrigues you, head to Pochampally village that is only 45 km away from the city.
Kalamkari – This art of hand printing the fabric using a pen belongs to Sri Kalahasti further south of Hyderabad. However, among all the big cities, Hyderabad is your best bet to pick up authentic Kalamkari prints. Look at boutique shops in areas like Banjara Hills and Jubilee Hills.
You can buy fabric for making dresses or you can buy paintings in Kalamkari.
This is traditional bridal wear of Hyderabad. It comprises of more than 12 meters of fabric. Most of the fabric wears heavily embroidery. When I first looked at the garment in a shop in the old city area, I was amazed by how do fragile women carry so much weight. I tried one on me to figure out how it is worn. It seems simple & of course, beautiful.
While the full bridal wear can be a great gift for any to-be-brides around you, I recommend the ones you get for small girls. They look very cute and I am sure your daughter or your niece would love it.
I am not sure if you know the city boasts of many local varieties of Mangoes. Just step outside the urban areas of the city and more often than not, you will find yourself in a mango orchard. If you happen to be there during summer months, visit an orchard. Many orchard owners allow you to pick your mangoes – just pay for your pick at the exit.
Popular varieties include Himayat – which is absolutely green in color. My favorite though is Rasaal – the one you have to eat by sucking through a tiny hole on top.
If you miss the Mango season, pick the Hyderabadi Mango Pickle.
This post cannot be complete without the world famous Hyderabadi Biryani. Now, if you are thinking, how can you pack a perishable product as a souvenir. The biryani makers of the city have taken care of packing issues. You can pick up packed Hyderabadi Biryani from its famous outlets like Paradise in Secunderabad. It is available even at the airport. Believe me, your foodie friends cannot ask for a better souvenir from Hyderabad.
Of course, there is nothing much that vegetarians like me would appreciate in Biryani. For vegetarians, check the next option.
Bakery Products – Karachi Bakery & Osmania Biscuits
Fruits cookies from Karachi bakery are those melt in the mouth cookies that you get nowhere else. You can get them almost anywhere in the city. If you want to visit the original shop, head to the old city at their original outlet.
If you want to pick up the biscuits that were invented for last Nizam of Hyderabad – Osman Ali, ask anyone for Osmania Biscuit. Now, I am not too fond of Osmania biscuits as they are both sweet & salt. Do not tell that to a Hyderabadi – they love it. Have it with Irani Chai you get anywhere in Hyderabad or Kesar Chai that you get in special places.
Both these bakery items make a good souvenir from the city of Hyderabad.
Pulla Reddy Paper Sweet
Paper Sweet is a special sweet that you get only in the city. It is made of layers of the paper-thin layer of rice – almost like rice paper. Inside there is a filling of coconut and jaggery or coconut and sugar. Every time I ate this sweet, I wondered, how they manage to make the paper thin layers of rice. You get them at many places, but for the authentic ones go to Pulla Reddy Sweets.
When I used to visit the city from Delhi or Bangalore, this is one Mithai I always picked up. It did not matter people liked the sweet or not – it always surprised people with its recipe.
Gongura Pickle – my favorite of Hyderabad Souvenirs
If you have not lived in Telugu states of Andhra / Telangana – you probably are wondering what is Gongura. Well, it is a green leave that is used as a souring agent in this region. The Daal made with it is simply yummy.
Gongura pickle is readily available in any grocery store in the city. This is the best way to take this Telugu leave home. Savor it with your food at home. A great gift too.
Do you have any more souvenir suggestions to share with the readers? Do let me know in the comments below. Which is your favorite Hyderabad Souvenirs?
Recommend you read the following travel blog posts on the city walking tours and places to visit nearby.