The paradise island of Sri Lanka has many wonderful things to offer to whoever travels to see her beauty and charm. On that note, this episode is about Laksala in Sri Lanka, a place where you can do some quality shopping to take home.
The Laksala (ලක්සල) in Sri Lanka is the only state-owned souvenir and gift shop that has a variety of artisanal-quality handicrafts, fabric, ceramic ware, gemstone-studded jewelry, and many more. Its main purpose is to take Sri Lanka’s handicrafts to an international level and introduce the artistry of the country to the globe. Laksala has a branch network covering almost every major city in Sri Lanka.
Read till the end of this article if you wish to learn more about Laksala and the wonderful shopping experience you have in it.
What is Laksala in Sri Lanka?
Laksala is the largest gift and souvenir shop in Sri Lanka which is also the only handicraft store operated through the government. It has an extensive branch network and almost every major tourism-based city in the country has a Laksala store.
Skilled and experienced artisans from all over the country are encouraged to sell their elegant products through this store so that Laksala helps these talented people to come forward and show their artistic work to the world.
In fact, Laksala in Sri Lanka is an excellent platform for these gifted people scattered all around Sri Lanka to take their artistry to an international level and let the people in foreign countries own and take home something truly precious in every visit they make to Sri Lanka.
Why is Laksala So Significant?
This store was established in 1982 under the National Crafts Council And Allied Institutions. Since then Laksala has gone through considerable changes with an ever-growing list of products on sale.
At present, Laksala operates through over 13 branches located island-wide and offers the most extensive variety of all Sri Lankan products at a great price. Above all, Laksala facilitates the myriad industries that supply goods to it to stay both promising and in business.
You will find a diverse blend of items ranging from selections of glamorously packaged Ceylon tea and spices to, colorful batik clothing to a complicated collection of arts and crafts
Moreover, you will also find the finest collection of traditional Sri Lankan gemstones and jewelry at this place. Therefore, Laksala is your one-stop shopping destination and a visit to one of these stores feels like you covered all of Sri Lanka.
What Can You Find In Laksala?
As mentioned earlier, you can find a variety of authentic Sri Lankan products in Laksala. This shop follows a strict selection procedure when it comes to sourcing products for its stores.
Since Laksala plays a nationally significant role in promoting the arts and crafts of the island, its products are picked from the most genuine of producers. Therefore, you can rely on Laksala to offer you the most authentic and traditionally crafted items wherever possible.
Arts and Crafts
Authentic Sri Lankan arts and crafts are the main things you’ll find in Laksala. Most gift and souvenir items sold here are produced with the association of Sri Lankan culture, heritage, and religion. Here, you will find beautifully carved and painted elephants designed to signify the Esala Perahera in Kandy.
The intricately painted elephants are so colorful that you will instantly remember the magnificently illuminated elephants who walk in the Kandy procession each year. In addition to wooden elephants and pulp elephants, you will also find fine designs such as coconut husk elephants.
Not only elephants but there are also more wooden, coconut husk, and coconut shell designs such as candle holders, ornaments, statues, etc., that you can take with you to adorn your home. Another significant item you’ll find in Laksala is the vibrant masks.
Traditional carved masks with radiant tropical colors are a much-loved souvenir for any of you visiting Sri Lanka. Painted faces of monsters from folktales illustrate the masks of distinct colors.
In Sri Lanka, masks are used for mask dances where the traditional Sri Lankan mask is hand-carved by an “edura” (exorcist). These are made out of local timber, and polished using specific plant leaves. Then the mask is painted using natural organic and mineral-based pigments.
Purchase expertly crafted Laksala leather bags, slippers, shoes, purses, wallets, humpites, passport bags, or leather notebooks that can be used for many years. Beautiful intricately carved Sri Lankan leather with traditional swan and elephant motifs is valuable and can be gifted too.
These leather goods are available in traditional leather and the designs are distinctive to Sri Lanka. These timeless designs are made for perfection so that you can proudly use them daily with higher durability.
Finest Brassware at Laksala
Brassware brings illumination to any establishment. In Sri Lanka, traditional brassware is passed down through generations, especially brass lamps. You will get a range of stunning brassware with outstanding traditional motifs and a unique Sri Lankan essence.
Among the items available at Laksala showrooms are vases, oil lamps, trays, candle holders, jewelry boxes, bowls, bottle openers, letter openers, and betel holders. Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc which is very malleable. And, by changing the proportion of the two ingredients brass of different colors can be produced while yellow color brass is the most famous color in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan Handloom
At Laksala, you can buy luxury handcrafted sarees, creative upholstery fabrics with a medley of vivid colors and vibrant soft toys are some handloom products of Sri Lanka’s centuries-old handloom industry which has been passed down from generations.
Sri Lanka has a favored market for handloom products all over the world. According to history, Sri Lanka’s handloom textile industry has traded with China, India, and countries in the Middle East.
Since handloom products are environmentally-friendly and endurable using eco-friendly raw materials, you will contribute to saving the earth by purchasing these products. Thus, Sri Lankan handloom has a higher demand when compared to other fabrics and is a bit higher in price.
Batik Clothing at Laksala
Batik is an acclimated element of Sri Lankan textile and fashion manufacture which has combined with deep-rooted Sri Lankan tradition and culture. Laksala has a wide range of Batik items to choose from at its many stores located island-wide.
Vibrant dresses, sarees, blouses, kurta tops, sarongs, and shirts, along with cushions, wall hangings, bedspreads, and pennants, are a few items done on Batik at Laksala. Batik is a village-based initiative in Sri Lanka though at present there are few large-scale producers as well. A lot of agility, effort, and craftsmanship are required to produce an item of Batik.
A professional batik artist can design only two sarongs or casual shirts a day. Sri Lankan Batik portrays traditional mosaics with engaging designs that reflect the invention, imagination, and mastery of the hands of the artists. Each step in the procedure of batik manufacturing is done by hand. Sri Lankan Batik designs are mostly connected to the country’s culture, nature, and folklore.
Rush and Reedware
You will find exquisitely crafted rush and reed ware at Laksala showrooms exhibiting the mastery of Sri Lankan artisans. These goods include hats, baskets, boxes, mats, lamp shades, bags, purses, table mats, and wall hangers.
Brilliant and colorful rush and reed ware at Laksala showcases a remarkable world of skilled upcountry craftspeople who have designed these complexly-designed items. Reed and rush ware goods are made of materials processed using Palmyra leaves and talipot (thalakola) coconut.
This rush and reed ware of Sri Lanka is dating back to the period when ancient kings and queens required well-sculptured handicrafts in their royal gardens and palaces. Also, a large part of households in Sri Lanka have a supply of rush and reed ware in their living rooms and kitchens.
Wallets, purses, pouches, and handbags are trendy items for many ladies who prefer majestic handcrafted goods instead of synthetic items.
Gem and Jewelry
Certified and authentic collection of rings, bangles, bracelets, and necklaces studded with the finest striking gems for which Sri Lanka is world-renowned and all these can be purchased at Laksala showrooms!
Precious stones and gems with a mix of valuable metals featuring masterful craftsmanship are the pride of Laksala showrooms in which the locals and tourists get fascinated by the magnificent collection of gem-studded jewelry with detailed designs. The main gemstones in Sri Lanka are:
- Blue Sapphire
- Yellow Sapphire
- Asteriated Sapphires (Star Sapphires)
- Spinel Beryl
These gems are very popular among tourists who visit the country, while there are about 200 minerals in Sri Lanka that have been categorized as gemstones.
Ceylon Tea And Spices
Ceylon Tea is the purest and finest tea in the world with distinct characteristics of flavor, aroma, and overall quality. You can buy Laksala Tea in every showroom, which is a derivative of Ceylon Tea that is of premium quality.
These teas are rich in flavor with fine color and cater to tea connoisseurs all over the world with their unique taste, purest processing and eye-catchy packaging. Buy them for yourself or use them to be gifted to your loved ones
You will also get high-quality Ceylon spices from Laksala. Ceylon cinnamon, which is equally reputed as Ceylon tea, is a specially-featured spice in Laksala stores. You can buy top-grade Ceylon cinnamon as quills or powder along with a variety of other essential flavorful, aromatic, and fresh spices.
If you like to learn more about Ceylon tea and discover how you can get the authentic Ceylon tea experience in Sri Lanka, click on this link and refer to our comprehensive article.
Ceramic ware at Laksala is designed with finesse and mastery as well as sticking to rigid quality control procedures. This has resulted in an eclectic customer base from all over the world who come to the showrooms, especially to buy Laksala ceramics.
Sri Lanka has a rich tradition in the ceramic industry with a highly experienced workforce including skilled designers, chemists, engineers, researchers, and technologists, advanced technology in the manufacturing technique along with an abundant supply of raw materials required for the industry.
What Else Can You Get From Laksala?
In addition to the products we have mentioned above, you can also get high-quality silverware from most Laksala outlets.
Moreover, since Sri Lankan artisans are recently coming up with their organic skincare products and cosmetics, you might also find some of those products from Laksala stores. Accordingly, you can buy handmade soap, lotions, body scrubs, lip balms, handmade shampoos, incense sticks, etc from this store.
Branch Network of Laksala Stores
Here’s a guide to the 14 Laksala branches in Sri Lanka along with their addresses so it might help you to locate the stores while visiting Sri Lanka:
- Laksala Fort – 60, York Street, Colombo 01.
- Laksala Thunmulla – 215, Bauddhaloka Mawatha, Tummulla
- Laksala Bambalapitiya – Govt. Flats, Colombo 04
- Laksala Katubadda – 282, Galle Road,Katubedda, Moratuwa
- Laksala Kandy – 05, Sangaraja Mawatha, Kandy
- Laksala Galle – Galle Road, Galle.
- Laksala Matara – 55, Dharmapala Mawatha, Matara
- Laksala Nuwara Eliya – Udupussallawa Road, Nuwaraeliya
- Laksala Polgolla – Polgolla Road, Kandy
- Laksala Moragalla – 82, Galle Road, Moragalla
- Laksala Battaramulla – “Janakala kendraya”, Battaramulla
- Laksala Waragoda – 760, Galboralla, Waragoda, Kelaniya
- Laksala Katunayaka – 53-D, B I A, Katunayaka
- Laksala Kurunegala – 1st Floor, Central Super Market, Kurunegala
Pay A Visit To A Laksala Store And You’ll Never Regret The Decision!
Laksala, as the largest chain of state-owned gift and souvenir shop in Sri Lanka, is indeed a great place to visit to do some quality shopping. You will be able to find a wide range of authentic Sri Lankan handicrafts here that includes, brassware, batik, Sri Lankan handloom, timber products, wooden masks, etc.
We hope this episode was helpful for you to find a Laksala store in the nearest city in the country with your current location in Sri Lanka and also paved the way for you to explore some of the best artisanal-level goods in this paradise island.