Jaipur is where India’s creative force, global designers and shopping diehards gather to devour a rich repertoire of rare and unique wares. There are plenty of markets and shops, but what kind of things are there to buy and where should you go? Here are recommendations from Renee Lodens of Travelshoppa, and general tips to help you get the most out of your shopping trip.
What to Buy
• Jaipur was once the world’s gemstone capital; today, precious and semi-precious stones still pass through to be examined, cleaned, cut and polished before your eyes. Serious gem hunters should head to MI Road to visit the city’s – and perhaps the world’s – oldest and most famous jewellery store, The Gem Palace. Don’t miss authentic Kundan jewellery, which is from Jaipur itself.
• Exotic blue pottery is another hallmark of Jaipur – blue pots, jars and other vessels decorated with bird and animal motifs. Nehru Bazaar has a great selection.
• Jaipur is known for its “tie and dye” bandhej fabrics, and block-printed bedspreads and wall hangings in vibrant colours. Popular prints Gitto, Sanganeri and Bagru originate here and are used extensively by designers around the world.
• Leather jutti slippers in flamboyant colours are typically worn with traditional dress, and are all the rage in India and beyond.
Where to Shop
Jaipur’s bazaars offer a wide range of handicrafts. Try Johari Bazaar for jewellery, Nehru Bazaar for authentic Rajasthani crafts, Mirza Ismail Road (MI Road) for pottery, Chandpol Bazaar for marble sculptures, Kishanpole Bazaar for wooden sculptures, Phool Mandi for flowers, and Chaura Ratsa for all things stationery. Most bazaars open at 10am and close late evening.
Save some rupees for the city’s well-presented local boutiques: Hot Pink, founded by Parisian jeweller Marie-Hélène de Taillac, Aashka for clothes and furniture, Idli by French interior and fashion designer Thierry Journo, and concept shop Teatro Dhora for a beautiful scarf and shawl.
Renée’s Top Tips
• Entire streets and lanes are allocated to traders to showcase and sell their wares.
• Much of the brassware, stoneware, glassware and sandalwood carving you see is unique to Jaipur.
• Visit bazaars and markets in the morning to avoid crowds.
• Check what you’re buying is legitimate.
• Do some people-watching of women in traditional Jodhpuri dresses and men in colourful turbans.
• Jaipur’s weather is temperate from November to March, but there’s little tree cover and it’s easy to overheat.
Travelshopa is the curated guide to the best local shopping around the world. travelshopa.com | @travelshopa
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