The regions rich tradition of handicraft and handlooms make shopping a pleasant experience in Manali. Due to the presence of vast forestland producing huge timber, wood has traditionally been a favorite medium for handicrafts. Key chains, name plates, etc with customized messages are worth a buy as mementos. Also, you can get your name carved/written on a single grain of rice.
Stroll the market to shop for some colorful woolen stuff such as sweaters, pullovers, shawls and quilts among others. Dont forget to pick up some beautifully hand-embroidered woolen shawl in Manali. This includes some heavily hand-embroidered rugs. The shops on the Mall are full with Tibetan handicraft which includes some one-off curios, antiques and knick-knacks for home dcor. You could also include the very exquisite inlaid silver jewelry in turquoise and coral in your shopping cart. For all kinds of shopping, The Mall is the hub, and you will get an amazing variety here. You will come across numerous private outlets alongside government-run emporiums.
The village of Vashisht has a gem store (owned by a gentleman named Shafi) that has on offer an impressive assortment of semi-precious jewelry, unset stones, silver ornaments, rugs and shawls. This small corner shop just below the main square in the village is a treasure trove of ethnic junk. For hippie clothes and jewelry, look no beyond Old Manali.
Remember to always bargain. Hand-embroidered woolen shawls are best bought from the Mall. But do take a look around the Mall and the road off Hadimba Temple, you might find some exclusive creations and souvenirs. The main shopping zone in the Mall comprises Hong Kong Market, Thai Market, Tibetan Market, Dragon Shopping Complex, Lama Underground, Shangri La Shopping Complex, New NAC Market and Snow Lion Underground Market. If you are looking forward to shopping for something ethnic, explore the Tibetan market famous for rugs, Kullu caps, shawls, local tweeds, woolen blankets, footwear, one-off Buddhist paintings, silver jewelry, bamboo souvenirs, metal craft and natural oil among others. For authentic Kashmiri hand-woven shawls, try the Kullu-Kashmir Shawl Emporium, a cooperative run by local women.
Before rounding off your shopping excursion in Manali, dont forget to pick up fresh fruit juice concentrates, jams, jellies and pickles; the flavors are authentic and make a nice souvenir.