Odisha boasts of a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant artistic tradition. The state offers a wide range of shopping options for tourists who want to take home a piece of its arts and crafts. Here are some of the best souvenirs to buy from Odisha:
1. Stone sculptures: Odisha is one of the few places in India where the stone sculpting is still practiced. You can see many roadside workshops where the sculptors are busy carving stone images of gods, goddesses, animals, and other motifs. You can get one sculpted as per your requirements or buy a ready-made one from souvenir shops.
2. Filigree work: Filigree work is delicately carved jewelry and other items in silver. The carving is so fine that it almost feels like threads of silver are woven together. You can buy earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, boxes, idols, and more in filigree work. The best place to buy filigree work is Nimchauri in Cuttack, where the art originated.
3. Pattachitra: Pattachitra is a traditional painting style that uses natural colors and palm leaves as the canvas. The paintings depict scenes from Hindu mythology, especially the Jagannath cult. The paintings are intricate and colorful, and often have a border of floral or geometric patterns. You can buy Pattachitra paintings on palm leaves, cloth, silk, paper, or even glass². The best place to buy Pattachitra is Raghurajpur village near Puri, where the whole village is dedicated to this art.
4.Pipili work: Pipili work is a form of applique work that uses patches of different colored fabrics to create designs on a base cloth. The designs usually include flowers, animals, birds, and religious symbols. You can buy lamps, bags, umbrellas, wall hangings, bed covers, and more in Pipili work. The best place to buy Pipili work is Pipili village.
5. Sambalpur saree: Sambalpuri saree is a hand-woven saree that uses a tie-dye technique to create intricate patterns on the fabric. The saree is made of cotton or silk. You can buy Sambalpuri sarees from Sambalpur or Bargarh districts, or from Boyanika or Mehers’ showrooms in Bhubaneswar.
6. Chenapoda: Chenapoda is a traditional cheese dessert from Odisha. It is made of well-kneaded homemade fresh cheese (chhena), sugar, semolina, and cardamom. The mixture is baked in a pan lined with banana leaves until it becomes brown and caramelized. Chenapoda literally means Baked Cheese in English.
7. Conch shells: Conch shells are considered auspicious in Hinduism and are used as musical instruments, ritual objects, and decorative items. Odisha has a long coastline and a rich marine life, which makes it a good source of conch shells. You can buy conch shells of different shapes, sizes, and colors from Puri or other coastal towns. You can also buy intricate seashell handicrafts such as lamps, mirrors, boxes.
8.Dhokra: Dhokra is a form of metal casting that uses wax and clay molds to create figures of humans, animals, gods, etc.. The art has been practiced by the tribal communities of Odisha for centuries and has a distinctive style and charm². You can buy Dhokra statues, jewelry, wall hangings, etc. from Koraput or Keonjhar districts or from Ekamra Haat, Adisha shop or any stone carving shops in Bhubaneswar.
9. Horn work: Horn work is another tribal art form that uses animal horns to create various objects such as combs, boxes, spoons. The horn work products are polished and carved with intricate designs and motifs. You can buy horn work items from Balangir or Kalahandi districts or from Orissa Rural and Urban Producers’ Association (ORUPA) in Bhubaneswar.
10. Kewra: Kewra is a fragrant extract obtained from the flowers of the screw pine plant. It is used as a flavoring agent in sweets, beverages, and perfumes². Odisha is the largest producer of kewra in India and has a geographical indication tag for it. You can buy kewra essence, water, or attar from Puri or Ganjam districts or from Utkalika Orissa State Emporium in Bhubaneswar.