The craft shop was initiated in 2001 to provide visitors the opportunity to buy local craft products, thus boosting the local economy, and helping to preserve traditional skills. An example of how the skills can be preserved is the making of pabu (Ladakhi shoes). These were traditionally made for home use only and were in danger of being replaced modern mass produced substitutes.
However, the possibility of selling pabu to tourists has helped revive this skill, and now the craft shop has an increasing range of products, from pure pashmina shawls (produced by a local cooperative: expensive, but incomparably soft and warm), to yak wool and silk products. The shop also offers bespoke tailoring: if your visit to Ladakh allows the time, a tailor will make made-to-measure traditional clothes for you, such as waistcoats or jackets. So when you’re wondering what to buy for friends back home, or how to remind yourself of Ladakh when you’re back home yourself, come to our craft shop for a browse – and if you’d like to learn more about Ladakh and its traditional skills, combine your visit to coincide with our 2 p.m. film showings.