Royal Rajasthan is possibly the most visited place by all the shopaholics. Anyone who enjoys shopping would never want to give this destination a miss. Widely known as the ‘land of the kings,’ it carries with it the tag of the richest state of the country. Very significant to that is its rich culture and even rich is its style and grandeur.
Best time to Visit
Rajasthan is one state in India that you should avoid visiting during summers. The typical Indian heat will surely give you a heat stroke just in case you hail from a cold region. Despite the great heat, it is flocked by tourists from all over the world, the whole year round. It is advisable to apply a generous amount of sun block, invest in some good hat or maybe carry an umbrella to escape the harsh rays of the sun during summers. However, the best time to visit Rajasthan is during winters or in October. This is when the most number of events take place to promote tourism.
What to buy?
What could you possibly find in the ‘land of the kings’? Precious and rich jewels of course! Rajasthan is famous for gold, silver, platinum ornaments and it is also known for its precious and semi precious stones. The traditional lac bangles and glass bangles is a top favourite of all avid shoppers. The lac bangles are usually considered a good women if worn during special occasions. The traditional art of Meenakari (the art of enamelling gold and silver) Kundan (the art of setting stones in gold) Thewa (glass enamelled jewellery) etc will leave you awestruck. It’s not just the people who do these but it’s a common sight to see even the horse and elephants bejewelled in the streets of Rajasthan.
Rajasthan has a rich history and that richness reflects on their traditional art of painting. It houses some of the famous painting schools like Mewar, Marwar, Alwar, Hadoti, Kishanghar, etc. Rajasthani paintings mainly depict the famous Indian culture, Indian mythologies from the great epic Ramayana, Mahabharatha, Krishna Lila, Geetgovinda, etc. The famous miniature paintings, replicas, portraits on hand made paper, cloths, potteries, furniture are breath taking and is a must include item in your shopping list.
Rajasthani textiles are bright and colourful. Some of the very famous include the tie and dye style, also commonly called bandhani, embroidered fabrics, mirror worked fabrics, gold brocades, block printing, etc. This is one purchase that no one can miss.
Rajasthan’s traditional carpets are famous not just in India but abroad too. They are either woollen called Namdas or cotton commonly termed Durries. They are embroidered and hand woven with fascinating colours
Another ‘must buy’ on your shopping list should include the Rajasthani leather products. They are reasonable and they come in varieties. You can buy the very famous leather footwear commonly termed ‘jooties’, leather bags, wallets, belts etc.
- Stone Carvings: Small stone sculptures, statutes of human and animal are pretty famous and makes for a great souvenir to take home.
- Wooden Crafts: Wooden souvenir items at unbelievably reasonable rates include the wooden miniature houses, toys, gift box, bangle holders, key chains, pen holders, ash trays and furniture.
- Toys: Handmade puppets and dolls clad in colourful dresses are pretty pieces to take home as souvenirs.
- Clay and Terracotta Products: Rajasthan is famous for its exotic handmade pottery; this also includes the famous blue pottery. Products like painted pots, flower vase, lamp stands, etc are most common. The terracotta items like vessels, pots, paper weights, water pots etc are also very famous items and a’ must have’ in your list.
- Red Chillies: Rajasthan produces the finest red chillies and if you really want to spice up your life, you know where to go.
Where to shop?
Jaipur also known as the ‘pink city,’ is the capital of Rajasthan and one of the most visited tourist spot which you cannot afford to miss. If you are looking for ethnic wears (mirrored ghagra cholis), traditional Indian jewelleries, footwear (Rajasthani Jootis), colourful bangles, tie & dye scarves, paintings, pottery, traditional carpets etc, then your search ends here. You will find all that is there in your shopping list at reasonable prices. It is most famous among all the other states for its precious and semi precious stones. Some of the most visited shopping markets in Jaipur are Johari Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, MI Road, Rajasthali, Maniharon ka Rasta, Chaupar stall, etc.
I’m sure everyone in India has heard about the very famous Bikaner Bhujias (packet snacks) so, you know exactly what you should include in your shopping list when you are in Bikaner. Yes! You are right, lots of mouth-watering yummy Indian snacks. Bikaner is also famous for the great Camel Festival, you will find huge varieties of camel and sheep leather goods like leather shoes, sandals, belts, bags and other leather accessories at a very reasonable price. Bikaner is also famous for Rajasthani Handicrafts like the colourful dupattas (scarves & stoles), traditional carpets and the famous paintings. Some of the shopping hubs in Bikaner are in KEM road, King Edward Memorial Road, Station Road, Junagarh, etc.
Popularly known as the Golden City or the Desert City, Jaisalmer is very famous for its unique markets located along the narrow lanes. This city gives you the feeling of old India, colourful and innocent. It is famous for its textiles and fabric. You will get the best Rajasthani costumes in this city, embroidered and mirror worked. It is also very famous for Khadi material and dresses. The Rajasthani handicrafts like wooden miniature items, stone carvings, puppets etc are great souvenir items you can purchase in this big city. The famous places for shopping are Gandhi Darshan, Rajasthani Government Shop, Sadar Bazaar, Bhatia market etc.
Jodhpur is known as the Blue City because most of the buildings are painted blue like a uniform. This is the second largest city of Rajasthan and is famous for its craftsmanship. The Jodhpuri shoes are famous worldwide but more importantly it is famous for the red hot chillies especially Mathaniya red chillies. The traditional carpets and exotic handicrafts make great souvenir items. Shopping in Jodhpur is such a delight for all the shoppers. Some of the must visit markets are Mochi Bazaar, Clock tower, Mapra Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Sojati Gate, National Handloom Corporation centre, Salawas Durry Udyog centre, etc.
Also known as the Lake city, Udaipur is famous for its beautiful lakes and its rich cultural heritage. Some of the most famous antiques and ethnic crafts are found in this city. The prices are reasonable and you can bring home the best miniature paintings, beautiful dress materials, wooden toys and puppets, silver ornaments etc. The local textile shops are famous in this city. You can buy colourful turbans, dupattas and pretty jhootis from the street shops at best price.
The holy city of Rajasthan is famous for stone sculptures of famous deities, miniature wooden statues, toys, bangles, paintings, pottery, home decorative items, etc. The famous places to visit for shopping in Pushkar are Baza Bazaar, Kedalganj Market , Sarafa Bazaar etc.
This small town is famous for its miniature paintings and potteries. You will get some of the finest art and craft items in this town. Kota Saris are famous among the women for its comfort and style.
Shekhawati is another town that is popularly referred to as the art gallery of Rajasthan. It houses some of the best and unique paintings and frescos in India. It is also famous for its wooden furniture and metal utensils. All these items can be purchased at a very reasonable price in this region.
It is again a small town in Rajasthan famous for its annual fair, where they sell beautiful traditional mirror work dresses, colourful bangles and the local handicrafts. The famous Sadar Bazaar in Barmer town is the best place to shop.
Ajmer is another famous historical city in Rajasthan flocked by tourists mainly because of the famous Moinuddin Chishti’s Dargah. It is famous for its quality leather goods and textiles, some of the must purchase items in the city.
This region is very famous for its alcohol free Khas perfumes and popular for Khas products like gift boxes, fans, accessories etc.
What not to shop?
You should be extra cautious before buying any gemstone in the city. Gem scam in Rajasthan is a well known affair and you need to make sure that you purchase these stones only from a certified store and not just from any corner of the city.