Jaipur is one of the most popular cities for shopping in all of India. As a local of Jaipur, I keep hearing from friends (who visit from other states) that their cars were stuffed with shopping when they went back home from Jaipur! It seems that every family has that one person who loves block prints and won’t have anywhere else but Jaipur to shop them from!
A Lahauli friend who now lives in Kullu once remarked that they had to cut short a family trip to Jaipur, because his wife couldn’t stop shopping!Among the popular things to shop in Jaipur are – Gems, block prints, miniature paintings, blue pottery, jewellery, brass utensils, mojaris (traditional leather footwear), leather products, floor coverings (dhurries and rugs), tie and dye cotton fabrics, travel souvenirs.
The heritage walled city (old pink city part) is the heartbeat of Jaipur and is the preferred place for shopping for the locals, because the products are authentic and the prices are very competitive here. There are lanes dedicated to specialised crafts; and tiny shops sell lac bangles, gems, paintings, block printed fabrics, mojaris, antiques, wall hangings, furniture, paper products and lots of other interesting stuff. The walled city part of Jaipur was also included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2019.
Here’s a Complete Guide to Shopping in Jaipur, what to shop and where to shop it from…
Lanes in the walled city –
Kishanpole Bazaar : Kishanpole Bazaar specialises in wooden handicrafts and puppets, tie and dye textiles and for its shops selling sherbets of various flavours like rose, pistachios, saffron. I highly recommend Shop No. 307 for buying sherbets. Their charnamrat flavour is especially good.
Johari Bazaar : The name Johari Bazaar literally translates to jewellery market. It is the preferred market for buying precious and semi-precious gems and stones like emeralds, ruby, pearls. Johari Bazaar is also a popular place to shop kundan jewellery, meenakari work (glazed enamelling), tie & dye sarees (leheriya) and gota saris. For sarees – Shop at Roop Laxmi and Rana Sari Emporium. Lal ji Saand ka Rasta is an entire lane dedicated to shops selling sarees and lehengas. Gopalji ka Rasta and Haldiyon ka Rasta can be visited to see the gemstone artisans at work with precious and semi-precious stones.
Tripolia Bazaar : Prominent things to shop for in Tripolia Bazaar include metal crafts, brass utensils like kettles, jugs and dinner sets, antiques and miniature paintings. Maniharon ka Rasta is a lane full of shops selling colourful bangles made of lac or resin. Shop No. 133 at Maniharon ka Rasta is recommended for buying lac bangles. Also, I can personally recommend Kishanlal Ramchand Brass Merchant, shop no. 173 in Tripolia Bazaar as it sells authentic brass utensils and has fixed prices.
Chandpole Bazaar : It is purely a local’s market with several shops selling spices, pulses and daily essentials. Khazane Walon ka Rasta in Chandpole Bazaar is a by-lane where marble and stoneware carvers chisel first-class statues of mythological figures. A few artisans in the same lane are also proficient in marble inlay work. It is best to check multiple shops, compare prices for the particular product that you have chosen and then buy.
Chaura Rasta : Highly recommended for buying Jaipuri Quilts, block printed quilts, dohars and quilted bedcovers. One may buy at any of the Lashkari shops on Chaura Rasta road, they all stock excellent quality of the above products and sell at a reasonable price.
Sireh Deori Bazar (Market near Hawa Mahal) : Although it is the most touristy market and one might be quoted sky-high prices, it still remains a market to experience for its sheer variety. Poufs, bright wall hangings, light weight quilts, leather bags, glass and mosaic lamps are among the souvenirs to buy from here. Remember if the price feels too high, you are being duped and simply walk away.
Purohit Ji ka Katla (Badi Choupad) : This is a real local’s market with shops choc-a-bloc with each other. It is a good place to buy textiles and wedding trousseau at wholesale rates, you will rarely find another tourist in Purohit Ji ka Katla. Also, it can get very crowded so the best time to go here is in the afternoons.
Bapu Bazaar : It is a popular market for tourists but still remains a good choice to shop for mojaris (traditional camel skin footwear), block print bedsheets, Jaipuri quilts, block printed shirts, dress material and suits. Check out the quality of fabric at different shops before buying. One can also head to Ramganj Bazar market to watch the artists at work making juttis, mojaris and leather shoes.
Thatheron ka Rasta is a lane that can be accessed from Chaura Rasta / Kishanpol Bazaar where one can see the utensil makers (Thatheras) go about their craft of making brass utensils. Thathera is a community of metal beaters who make utensils from malleable metals like copper, and from alloys like brass and bronze. The craftsmen also make traditional copper vessels and it is possible to buy directly from them, if you can finalise a product and agree on the price.
Unique Souvenirs in Jaipur, and Where to Buy them?
Kaushalam – It is a tiny store located in C Scheme with an exquisite variety of hand painted products like kettles, tiffins, glasses. It is a tiny shop and you might see artists at work, painting a product at any given time. Prices are a bit on the higher side but are fixed and the products are definitely unique and high quality.
Ridhi Sidhi Textiles – This shop is a favourite of textile designers who work with fabrics. Ridhi Sidhi Textiles specialises in Bagru Hand Block printed fabric and sells at a fixed price of INR 225 to INR 275 per metre. It is owned by two brothers and is majorly involved in exports and wholesale.
Meera Handicrafts, Amber Road – A small setup that is located on the first floor, Meera Handicrafts’ is a wholesaler and specialises in hand block indigo printed textiles. Their manufacturing unit is in Sanganer. I recommend buying the super affordable 2.5 metre fabrics for dresses and shirts (100 INR per metre) and the Indigo and Shibori cushion covers.
Manglam Arts – Manglam Arts is for the serious shoppers out there. It is an export house and has many branches across Jaipur. Among the products to check here are the carpets and floor coverings, furniture(antique and rustic), textiles, home furnishings & home linen, paintings, antiques, wall hangings. Their showroom is 4 storeys and is like a treasure trove. One must be aware of the extremely high prices though, they are used to catering to foreign clients for bulk orders.
Jaipur Blue Pottery – A Jaipur speciality(with a GI tag), blue pottery is a unique style of pottery that does not use any clay, is fired at a very low temperature and highly glazed. Recommended places to shop blue pottery are Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Centre and Neerja Blue Pottery. These are both authentic places making a variety of blue pottery products. Kripal Kumbh in Bani Park is another place to buy blue pottery. It is expensive but worth the exquisite designs. There are a few other shops on Amber Road but the quality may be doubtful. Aditya Blue Art Pottery in Sanganer can be tried but I recommend buying from the authentic 3 places mentioned above.
Pichwai Paintings – Pichwai paintings are usually made on cloth and depict tales from Lord Krishna’s life. Lord Krishna is commonly depicted as Shrinath Ji in Pichwai paintings. There are a handful of artists in Jaipur making Pichwai paintings as the craft is more popular in Nathdwara and Udaipur. A few art galleries stock these paintings made on cloth/paper in different sizes; prices quoted are at the whims and fancies of the owners. Often the amount paid to artisans and painters does not reflect in the prices quoted by the art galleries.
Regular readers of this blog would be aware of my love for arts and crafts, and the lockdown gave me a chance to delve into my passion and start a small business initiative – ‘Indilocal by Travelshoebum‘. Indilocal works with artisans and can also procure Pichwai paintings for clients. The collection can be checked here : www.instagram.com/indilocal
Kishangarh Miniature Paintings – Kishangarh Miniature Paintings are paintings inspired by the unique Kishangarh school of Art. Many artists make these miniature paintings in Jaipur and these can be bought at one of the art galleries. Kishangarh miniature paintings are made on paper and also on fabric (cotton/silk).
Rugs and Carpets – Rugs, carpets, dhurries are made in small villages near Jaipur and are sold in a number of carpet shops on Amber Road. Among the different varieties of rugs are – Cotton Dhurries, Cotton Punja Dhurries, Wool and Jute Kilim Rugs, Wool and Cotton Carpets, Silk Rugs, Silk and Cotton Rugs, Indigo Dhurries and Block printed rugs. These are all priced differently according to the materials used and the time taken to make. Roughly a 3*5 feet size rug takes anywhere from 5 to 7 days to make. Buying a rug can be a delightful but cumbersome process if one doesn’t know the prices and is unaware of the rug making process.
To make life easier, ‘Indilocal by Travelshoebum‘ also sources rugs from artisans working in different regions of Rajasthan and other parts of India as well. I have been buying rugs and dhurries for my family and relatives ever since I started travelling and hence have the required knowledge about the different kinds of rugs. Indilocal only works with real artisans and thereby the buyer can have the assurance that the quality is top notch and the money is being spent well. You can get in touch with me on email/instagram to see the rug collection.
Furniture – Jaipur has a rich tradition of arts and crafts as when the city was established in 1727 AD; Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II invited craftsmen and artisans from across the country to come and settle in Jaipur.
Hastkala Export House is located on Sirsi Road in Jaipur, in an area where people have traditionally worked with wood. They only use top quality of sheesham wood and have stunning products with rustic designs. Their prices are a little on the higher side but be rest assured that the quality is excellent. Alternatively, you can check one of the myriad furniture workshops across Jaipur and check for a product if you have the knowledge about the wood quality and prices etc before buying.
Aashayein : The Jail Shop – A unique shopping option for products that are made by prison inmates. The collection of products varies according to the season and demand – quilts, table cloths, bedspreads, organic masalas, pots, tote bags, skirts, stoles. Sometimes even furniture products like tables and chairs may be available, and paintings, carpets, and gudris too. They are priced reasonably high but you support a great venture if you buy from here.
Bunkar Sangh – It is a co-operative body that supports the handloom weavers of Rajasthan. This Bunkar Sangh shop is located near Rajasthali and is a great place to shop for those looking for authentic Rajasthani products at fixed prices. Bags, bedspreads, dress materials, textiles, quilted jackets, wall hangings, woven woollen shawls are among the products one can buy. The quality is ok for the price.
Anantaya – Anantaya is a new age design studio that is renowned for making handcrafted home decor pieces by employing local artisans. It is owned by a designer from Jaipur that employs rural artisans and products on offer are tableware, furniture, wall decor, stationery. Prices are very high as it is a premium brand.
Pottery products in Rajasthani designs – Street sellers in Vidyadhar Nagar. On the road to Central Spine and a lane near Wooden Street, there are a number of shops based on the street. Among the products on offer are lamps, stools, planters, pots, wall hangings, jugs and all the above pottery products are all sold by rural artisans. If you are looking for colourful ethnic products, I highly recommend buying it from these sellers sitting on the pavement, your money is being spent directly and benefits the local economy.
Chameliwala market off M.I. Road is a recommended market to shop for silver jewellery like pendants, earrings and necklaces. A few shops also stock tribal and vintage pieces. Maneeka is a recommended shop to buy in Chameliwala Market.
Jai Texart – An old and trusted name in block prints. Among the excellent products on offer are block printed bags, quilted jackets, block printed handmade paper products.
Handmade paper from Sanganer – Sanganer is well known for block print textiles and handmade paper industries. There is an entire lane of paper manufacturers and handmade paper sheets can be bought for Rs. 5 to Rs. 50 per sheet. The products made from paper like lamps, boxes, diaries, photo frame, block printed paper bags can all be bought from Sanganer. Kalpana Handmade Paper in Bawadi ka Bas is a recommended place to buy these products.
‘ I weave your name on the loom of my mind,
To make you a dhurrie when you come to me.
To clean and soften ten thousand threads,
To welcome your feet when you come to me.
No more shall I weave a mat of pain,
For you have come to me drawn by my weaving.’ ~ Unknown
Also read : A Quick Travel Guide to ‘Pink City’ in Jaipur