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Ooty Shopping Guide – where and what to shop and buy

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Ooty’s markets and shops are brimming with cosy scarves, jumpers and fabrics to warm you up on chilly mountain nights. As a prime tourist spot, there are plenty of shops and stalls selling souvenir trinkets and handicrafts. Ooty is well known for its foodie gift items that are produced locally, including tea, chocolate, and gourmet cheeses. Although if you’re not heading home for a while, you might need to scoff the cheese and chocolate yourself.
Tibetan Market

 

 

Close to the ravishing, technicolored splendour of the famous Botanical Gardens, the bustling Tibetan Market has rows of stalls hung with vibrant clothing, ethereal materials, and rich shawls. The market’s particularly well known for its hand embroidered scarves and colorful thick fabrics, perfect for snuggling up with on a cold night. This is definitely a place to head to if the chilly mountain air gets too much for you.

 

Doddabetta Tea Factory

 

 

Scattered with tea plantations, the Nilgiri region – and Ooty in particular – is a great place to acquire some locally made blends . Choose from aromatic black, white, jasmine, and refreshing green teas. You can buy packets of tea from the shops in town, as well as the market, but it’s hard to know what quality you’re getting. For really good value – as well as an insight into how tea is made – it’s worth heading to Doddabetta Tea Factory, just a short taxi ride from Charing Cross, at one end of Commercial Road.

 

Coonoor

 

 

A 40-minute drive south of Ooty is Coonoor – another popular Nilgiri hill station. Despite being smaller than Ooty it has a bustling commercial centre with a busy market, as well as some interesting stores selling locally made organic produce like honey. Like Ooty, Coonoor’s also well known for its handmade chocolates. Cheese lovers rave about Acres Wild – a family-run organic farm and home-stay just outside Coonoor. Buy and try their vegetarian artisan cheeses, including gouda, feta, ricotta, and mozzarella.

 

Shopping Tips

 

 

In general when shopping in India, you’ll need to take on your fair share of haggling to get the best price, especially when buying from markets and any stall or shop without price tags. Prices tend to be most inflated in tourist-centric areas where sellers start high. It’s worth doing some research to find what a fair price is for something before you purchase, and keep this in mind when knocking the price down. If you imply that you’ll walk away without the item, often sellers will magically drop the cost. If you need any help or advice you could ask at the local tourist information centre, or your hotel.