Souvenirs and gifts from the places we visit keeps the memories alive. When it is an authentic piece of item, it adds more value to it. There are two such special shops I came across in Coonoor.
Vriksh, probably the oldest establishment I visited in Coonoor and Red Earth, a shop that was opened just a few days back when we were there.
Vriksh Antique Shop
Disclaimer: Photographs are taken with permission.
Spotting this shop was not a part of shopping but an accident. There was this very old looking yet cool building when I went for an evening walk in Coonoor and surprisingly it was an antique shop.
Once I went inside, it was more like traveling in time. In two floors, they have showcased a lot of vintage pieces from tables, mirrors, lamps and much more, everything gathered from a long gone era.
The basement has these cots, some wooden and some metal. It feels like being inside a Victorian era movies. Most items are suitable for home decor and other interior designs.
They also build furniture in genuine wood as per the order. If you are backpacking or traveling continuously, it might not be possible to buy something from here and carry it around. But, you can always order the items from Vriksh.
Photography is strictly prohibited inside the shop since their models and pieces of art are pretty unique. Copying those designs on cheap materials is somewhat a threat to their business.
Luckily, I could meet the owner of the shop and got to take the pictures. Vriksh, started by her grandma back in the 80s, the shop carries a lot of sentiments.
There is more to the building than a shop. I think the whole beauty of Coonoor is enhanced by these old buildings and houses with their own signature look. Vriksh stays a connected to the road by a slab built in between.
From the outside, it looks really pretty with the flowers and the basement, a perfect spot to film something spooky. Imagine a ghost figure running through this alley and disappears to the valley!
Red earth, on the other hand, must be the newest establishment we stumbled upon in Coonoor. It was only days since the shop was opened. We went there in search of a good place for essential oils.
They helped us a lot in understanding the place, tribes and culture of Coonoor. Hospitality we received from Sooraj, the owner of Red Earth and his family is beyond appreciation.
If you read about the previous blogs on the tribes in the Nilgiris, much of the information came from them and those whom I met through them. About the shop, it is started with the vision of distributing organic and local products, with less plastic.
They have a variety of items from organic produce, pottery, tribal crafts and such. Last forest is a brand we came across a lot in Coonoor for their organic products. Red earth also has a lot of their products.
In addition, there were many pottery items, home decor and accessories. We eneded up buying lip balms, soaps and some candies. They also have different food produces that are locally collected.
Remember the Toda tribe prints I have much talked about in previous blogs? They have a lot of varieties in them. Sling bags, beanies, purses, shawls and much more.
And those metal bottles were really good, enough to test your self control over shopping. But, they all make a good souvenir or gift.
But if you are into the antique pieces, check out the television collection inside the shop. He has managed to bring all the old age televisions and recorders into the shop which essentially lift up the spirit of this tiny shop.
Red earth is a tiny shop that hides in the corner of a busy road. It is easy to NOT find the shop since it is at the corner of a building. But look for these plastic bottles hanging with plants as a decor and you have reached the destination.
Sometimes the shops attracts us for its interiors. He has designed the shop himself and you can find many small elements in his shop. It is such small details and the warm nature of everyone who works towards this shop that makes it more special.