Although Kathmandu is not as famous as New York, Paris, or London as a world-renowned shopping destination, it is still useful to know a few Nepali words for types of shops before landing in Nepal. This incredible landlocked Himalayan nation in South Asia is best known for its breathtaking landscapes, but we all need to know where to stock up on essentials before heading into the mountains or doing a spot of sightseeing.
This time, we will be learning some essential words for different types of shops so you can easily find whatever it is you are looking for.
Different Types Of Shops In Nepal
In Nepal, a diverse array of shops caters to various needs. Traditional bazaars offer local crafts and goods, while modern malls provide international brands. Additionally, specialty shops for trekking gear, herbal medicines, and Tibetan artifacts cater to tourists and locals alike, reflecting Nepal’s rich cultural and economic diversity. Let us take a quick look at some of these shops.
Shop/ Store – Dukan
This is a blanket term for a shop or store in Nepali. It encompasses numerous retail businesses, from clothing boutiques to electronics stores. The Nepali word “dukan” (दुकान) is versatile, making it a catch-all term for various types of shops.
General Store – Pasal
The best place to find a wide range of everyday items. From groceries to toiletries, from stationery to household essentials, the “pasal” (पसल) is a one-stop shop for the daily needs of the local community. It serves as the heart of the neighborhood and is a great place to start. Even if you cannot find what you need the “pasal” owner is likely to be able to point you in the right direction.
Grocery Store – Khadya Pasal
“Khadya pasal” (खाद्य पसल) translates to “grocery store” in the English language. A combination of khadya (खाद्य) meaning eatable or edible, and Pasal (पसल), these shops are essential for sourcing food and cooking ingredients. From rice and lentils to spices and vegetables, you’ll find a wide array of culinary necessities in these stores.
Local Pub/ Speakeasy – Bhatti
Like many countries, Nepal has its share of local pubs and watering holes. These establishments are colloquially known as “bhatti” (भट्टी) in Nepali. Here, you can enjoy a drink, socialize with friends, and often savor some local snacks. Bhattis are cozy retreats for those seeking a relaxed atmosphere and are usually found hidden away in the back alleys serving up buffalo meat snacks washed down with a very affordable, very potent rice-based home brew.
Market – Bazar
The term “bazar” (बजार) or “Souk” in Nepali is synonymous with the English word “market.” It encompasses a large, enclosed, bustling space where vendors set up stalls to sell or exchange various goods. Nepali markets are known for their lively atmosphere, and they often feature a wide variety of shops and stalls offering everything from textiles to street food. If you head out to explore the streets of Katmandu, you are bound to find yourself straying into the vibrant throng of a Nepali bazaar.
Hardware Store – Dharai Pasal
“Dharai pasal” (धरै पसल) is the term used for hardware stores in Nepali meaning a shop that stocks tools, building materials, and other equipment necessary for construction and home improvement projects.
Bookstore – Pustak Pasal
Nepali bibliophiles and students can explore the world of literature at “pustak pasal,” (पुस्तक पसल) or bookstores. These shops provide a wide range of reading materials, from textbooks and reference books to novels and magazines. It is a great place to pick up a Nepali dictionary and are often in the business of stocking a range of reading material in different languages.
Clothing Store – Kapada Pasal
“Kapada pasal” (कपडा पसल) refers to clothing stores in Nepal. These shops offer an array of garments, from traditional Nepali attire like the “daura suruwal” to modern Western clothing. Kapada Pasal are the place to visit if you need some specialist gear before heading out into the Himalayas. Kapada (कपडा) is the translation of clothes or clothing.
Jewelry Store – Gahana Pasal
For those seeking to adorn themselves with exquisite, brightly colored, Nepali jewelry, “gahana pasal” (गहना पसल) is the place to visit. These specialized shops offer a dazzling array of gold, silver, and beaded jewelry, often intricately designed and crafted to be worn at weddings, festivals, and pujas.
Computer Store – Computer Pasal
In recent years, computer stores (कम्प्युटर पसल) have become ubiquitous in Nepal. These shops offer a range of computer hardware, software, and accessories and are extremely useful if your phone is on the blink or your laptop requires some TLC.
Sweet Shop – Mithai Pasal
“Mithai pasal” (मिठाइ पसल) refers to sweet shops where you can find a delightful assortment of traditional Nepali sweets and snacks. From ‘jalebi” to “sel roti”, these shops cater to the sweet tooth of customers.
Herbal Medicine Store – Harbala Auṣadhi Pasal
Particularly useful for those who have overdone it at the “mithai pasal”. Nepal has a thriving tradition of herbal medicine, and “harbala ausadhi pasal” (हर्बल औषधि पसल) specialize in selling herbal remedies, traditional medicines, and healing herbs.
From traditional clothing stores to modern computer shops and thronging bazaars, the Nepali language beautifully captures the essence of these establishments. Exploring these words not only gives us insight into Nepal’s commercial landscape but also highlights the cultural and economic significance of its shops and stores. The next time you visit Nepal, take a moment to appreciate the linguistic intricacies that adorn its marketplaces, enriching the shopping experience in this Himalayan nation.
Learn More Nepali Words For Types Of Shops With Ling
If you are looking for an online app to kick start your Nepali language journey or to improve the Nepali you already know, Ling is the perfect tool for you. With lessons set by native Nepali speakers and stacks of games and quizzes to keep things fun, the Ling app is your perfect virtual companion to take with you into the Himalayas. Try out Ling today at Google Play or the App Store.