Shopping in Mahabalipuram
Mahabalipuram is an interesting shopping destination; people from afar come here to handpick exclusive stone and wooden sculptures among other fascinating memorabilia. Here soapstone, granite and wood are popularly used to carve out deities, celestial beings, human figures, animals and birds. Some elaborate sculptures depict scenes from country life or an episode from the great epic Mahabharata. The local shops here house a motley collection of little soapstone idols of gods and goddesses, wooden and seashell jewelry, silver antiques, cane artifacts, bronze art, woodcarvings and a range of other handicraft. Mount Road in Mahabalipuram is the place to find all this and more. However, it is advisable to buy sculptures and other such souvenirs from a government emporium as the prices
quoted are fixed and reasonable.
You could even give a hand to the local sculptor and learn a few things about sculpting. It is a good idea to pick up sculptures from one such workshop as you can get it at a reasonable price, and not to mention, experience statue-making first-hand. Sculptures from Mahabalipuram are popular in countries such as UK, Germany, Denmark and Singapore. You will also come across a few Kashmiri shops here in Mahabalipuram; they sell local Kashmiri handicraft such as souvenirs of papier mash, threadwork-rich stoles and traditional dress material.
The street just outside Arjunaâs Penance is full with workshops of granite carvers who have on display enormous Lord Shiva sculptures among other deities from Hindu mythology. You can even try out the Poompuhar Handicraft Emporium on the Shore Temple Road. It has a range of antiques, soapstone statues of Hindu deities, woodcarvings, jewelry, and seashell handicraft. It is not a very big place, but the collection is interesting and one-off. Poompuhar is a government emporium.
Stroll down the Shore Temple Road and keep and eye out for quaint little shops. Some of them have a truly impressive collection of silk cushion covers with zari work, papier mash jewelry boxes of varied shapes and sizes, shawls, wooden, bronze and granite idols, bigger stone sculptures, and antique jewelry. Always remember to bargain when buying souvenirs from any place other than a government emporium.