Shopping in -Jaipur


The founder of the city of Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh, dispatched emissaries all over the country inviting artisans to come and settle in his new capital. Special areas were designated for their places of work and residence and the incentives were an attempt to ensure they came with their families; for only then would they settle for good in Jaipur. This farsightedness has made Jaipur the crafts capital of the country. Indeed, the city's lifeblood seems to be derived from the industry of gems and jewelry and the cottage-scale industries dealing in the arts and crafts

Jaipur's bazaars are a source of endless fascination. What has changed is patronage. The average Indian and foreign tourist are equal partners in the new boom in the business. Today's bazaars accept folk art and jewelry, and have been successful in helping bridge the gap between traditional art and contemporary usage.

The traditional art of tie-and-dye textiles by dexterously knotting the material and dipping it in color to form delicate bandhej patterns is found all over the state. Jaipur's Jauhari Bazaar has rows of shops dealing in tie-and-dye fabrics and saris. Also available are the fine self-check-weave cotton saris from Kota.

Sanganer and Bagru, two little villages near Jaipur, are famous for their delicate floral sprigs and linear and zigzag stripes in earth colors respectively. Sanganer is also famous for producing handmade paper and blue pottery.

Another Rajasthani specialty is quilting. No shopping expedition to Jaipur is complete without a feather-soft Jaipuri razai. Available in beautiful colors with Sanganeri prints, bright tie-dyed materials, marble prints on cotton or in brightly hued velvet, these quilts weigh very little, yet are comfortingly warm.

Jaipur's Jauhari Bazaar or jeweler's mart has row upon row of shops selling handcrafted jewelry, loose precious and semi-precious stones, and crafting it all into an excellent range of the country's most dramatic settings in gold. Jaipur is the world's largest gem-cutting center and, therefore, the best place to pick up strings of garnets, amethysts, or quartz.

One cannot go far in Jaipur without wanting to possess a pair of the handcrafted slip-on shoes called jutis. All the markets in Jaipur are full of this special piece of craft.