Member Rating 4 out of 5 by phileasfogg on July 7, 2002

Laksala is the place to go if you’re keen on buying local handicrafts- it’s run by the Sri Lanka Handicrafts Board, (and they sure know what they’re about), so the range of stuff you’ll find here is the best from across the country. Laksala has more than a dozen outlets in different cities, but the one in the capital is in a class by itself. A large colonial building- wooden floors and staircases- houses the emporium, which has extensive counters selling a vast range of traditional crafts. Check out the fabrics- there’s lovely batik work, both as bolts of cloth and as wall hangings, sarongs, and stuff like that; coir rugs, terracotta, lacquer, brassware and silverware. The jewellery, of course, is stunning- both plain silver as well as gold and precious stones.

My pals and I were on student budgets (read shoestring), so we couldn’t splurge on sapphires and rubies, but we bought some really nice souvenirs- very colourful little wooden masks (they’re called `garas’- supposed to bring you luck), tiny painted wooden elephants, and lovely batik wall hangings. All quite affordable (within Rs 500 for two little elephants, a mask and a wall hanging), and very good quality.

No 60, York Street (fort)
Colombo, Sri Lanka

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