Colour, heritage, and craftsmanship come together in India like nowhere else in the country. The state is famed for its sheer variety of artisan skill, working with materials as varied as diamonds and camel leather, bold experiments in color and patterns, and most importantly, a cultural artistic legacy that has been passed down the generation. From a scarf to a ring, anything you buy in India’s royal state will have some cultural connotation to it that will make it a special possession you will love to talk about. Jewellery, pottery, leather, art, furniture – Rajasthan is a shopper’s paradise that has it all.
Here are some ‘hotspots’ curated specifically to provide women with shopping delights that they might not find anywhere else in India, in a list spanning across Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and Jodhpur.
Jaipur cannot be left out of any list pertaining to the delights of Rajasthan, and this holds true for shopping as well. Rustic flavour is imbued in everything here, from jewelry, footwear, and bangles, to hand block-printed textiles, tie dye fashion and miniature art. Women will love the vibrant kota doria saris and embroidered ‘juttis’ they can get for a bargain in Johari Bazaar, MI Road, Nehru Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chaupar Stalls. Fans of ornate jewelry will be amazed at the precise craftsmanship of the men and women performing kundan work (the setting of precious stones in gold), and minakari (enamel on gold), using techniques that have been passed down the generations.
Bikaner is one of the best places if you’re hunting for exquisite leather and sheep-skin souvenirs. These are not only beautiful, but also durable. Along with accessories like shoes, belts, bags, wallets, you can get the famous rangi dupatta, lacquer bangles, and more. The best time to shop is during the Camel festival, where local shops are in full bloom selling the best craft materials. Alternatively, Kote Gare (King Edward Memorial Road), Junagarh Fort and Station Road are always open to shoppers for great deals and hours and hours of shopping.
Jaisalmer is where women can hunt for household accessories that have a medieval Rajasthani touch. Additionally, fashionistas will be spoiled for choice in the many markets specialising in embroidery, mirror-work and rugs. Things you simply must buy include carpets, ornate wooden boxes, and bandhini (tie-and-dye) fabrics. Check out Sadar Bazaar, Bhatia Bazaar, Gandhi Darshan, Seema Gram, and the Khadi Emporium for a peaceful experience of browsing for hours.
Jodhpur is best for those looking to source different varieties of fabric. You can literally buy patterned cloth by the bale here! Traditional mojris (Jodhpuri shoes), at the Mochi bazar, and the world famous Jodhpur pants are a must buy, and the Kapra Bazar is famed for its bandhini (tie and dye) fabric and block prints. Chefs know Jodhpur for one ingredient they won’t find anywhere else – the famed Mathaniya red chilies, sold on the pavements of Jodhpur.