Wednesday, 19 June 2019

When in Jaipur… Part 1 - Shopping Guide

Jaipur is known World over as the city of Forts and Palaces, the city of Royalty and of course a foodies’ and shopper’s paradise. Be it the exquisite Gems and Jewellery or the handcrafted toys and artefacts - Jaipur has something for everyone. We today bring you a gist of the many lovely things that a shopper can fill their shopping bags with in Jaipur. Foodies, you need to wait for the Part 2.

To make things simpler, let’s take you on a tour from one market to another telling you all about the specialities these markets are known for. But first things first, Link Road in Bapu Bazaar is the foodies’ paradise and we too like a true blue Jaipurite start our tour from here with some Chaat and Falooda to provide us with the much needed energy to last us through the day. We will stop over for lunch at LMB, but that’s another story.

We begin our shopping trip from Bapu Bazaar itself which is one of the main and many well-designed and laid out marketplaces of the Pink City. The shops display an array of Lac Jewellery, Imitation Jewellery, Bangles in vibrant colours, Leather Mojris and Bags, Readymade garments in Tie and Dye and Hand Block Prints, Sarees and dress material - cottons and chiffons being the most popular choices, handicrafts - puppets, toys, key rings, pens, artefacts, mirror frames, etc etc., - there is so so much to see and buy in this lovely market of Jaipur. Take your leisurely time to window shop or to pick some souvenirs for yourself.

The straight lane that Bapu Bazaar is converges into a perpendicular road called Johri Bazaar which connects Sanganeri Gate and Badi Chopar. This is the most famous market for tourists and locals alike. The shops towards the Sanganeri Gate end store the secrets from the Maharajas’ Kitchens - yes! These are the spice and condiments shops and stock everything that your kitchen might need. From freshly ground regular spices to some of the exotic ones, they also keep spice mixes that come in handy when you want to try your hands at the authentic Rajasthani dishes. You may find the local ingredients and dried versions of the locally sourced vegetables too like Ker, Sangri, Kachri etc.

Next comes the chiffon and cotton paradise with the most beautiful tie-dye patterns on sarees, turbans, dupattas and dress material. Jaipur is also known for its “Gota” work and you can easily find something that you would love to add to your wardrobe here. This is the market that the brides-to-be come to for their trousseau shopping. Silver jewellery and Gem Stones jewellery shops also line this market very prominently. Approach Badi Chopar and it is no less than a Shopper’s Utopia! Hand made perfumes called Itra or Ittar, handcrafted wall decor pieces with intricate embroidery and mirror work, fabrics, bangles, handicrafts, mojris, imitation as well as real jewellery and hand block printed bedspreads - think of it and it is there! The quintessential collectible from Jaipur is the Jaipuri Razai - the featherlight cotton-filled quilts that come in Cotton and Velvet versions. This you have to definitely add to your Linen collection. 

Club your shopping with a bit of Sight seeing and go towards the JalMahal, the intervening market is the hub for carpet and GI tagged Blue Pottery shopping. You may alternatively choose to take a walk with us through the Industrial Town of Sanganer to pick up your stash of Blue Pottery, Hand Block printed textiles and Hand Made Paper. More information on the walk is available here.

While browsing through the very many shops we crossed the famous Laxmi Misthan Bhandar, to satiate the hunger pangs let us go back there for the best Ras Malai and Aloo Tikki Chaat in town. Lunch options too are galore here, but that is for a later time.

Next comes our spinal road, the road that is still unsure if it is a road (that’s us Jaipurites’ inside joke), the M I Road. One walk across the length of this road can give you a glimpse of what Jaipur is all about in just forty minutes. The buildings call for your attention for the brilliant architecture, the shops whistle out with all the lovely wares they display, the eateries whisper the names of the mouth watering dishes in your ears, the jewels and gems wink a colourful wink, the handicrafts stores wave at you and the famous Lassi shop just smiles at you, well knowing that you would end your walk with a tall glass of rose flavoured lassi.