Having spent quite some time in Leh over the years, I have some favorite places I’d like to share. For this post, there are two wonderful shops where you can buy genuine Ladakhi goods, both at very fair prices where you don’t have to bargain. Nomadic Woolen Mills sells really fine Ladakhi pashmina (which is just another word for cashmere). It’s located upstairs in the Sankar Complex in the main bazaar, just to the right of the stairs. The owner, Nawang Phuntsog, gets his raw material directly from the Ladakhi nomads who raise their goats on the Changtang Plateau. While there are many shops selling pashmina in Leh, most are Kashmiri, and the styles are quite different. Nawang has shawls stoles, mufflers and some wonderful hats. You can also order online at: www.nomadicwool.webs.com
The second shop is the Ladakh Rural Women’s Enterprise shop, which is located on the ground floor of the NAC Complex, the big white building across from Dzomsa near State Bank of India at the end of the main market. It’s just to the left of the main entrance. It’s run by a delightful Ladakhi lady named Tsering Dolma. She sells a wide variety of handicraft items made by rural Ladakhi women. But some of the most adorable items in the shop are little felted pashmina animals that she makes herself right in the shop.