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Insider's guide to shopping in Jaipur

How to shop like a local in the walled city of Jaipur - the best of gemstones, juttis, jewellery and comfy jumpsuits from the bazaars of the Pink City!


Photo credit: Siân Warren


Jaipur is synonymous with shopping, with guidebooks and the internet being full of suggestions for where visitors to the city can get their fix of textiles, handicrafts, furniture and gems. However, I wanted to dig a little deeper than the usual spots and find out where the locals of Jaipur really go shopping and what lesser known outlets are waiting to be discovered. I have personally been visiting Jaipur for nearly 15 years but only a local born and raised in the city can truly know the best shopping suggestions inside and out.


I asked Poorvi Singhal, a journalist from Jaipur, to give me her personal shopping insights. Poorvi grew up in a 200-year-old haveli (townhouse) in the walled city, and her love for her culture, textiles, jewellery and history is inspired by her unique home. Poorvi has made her it mission to share her love of the walled city of Jaipur with the world, showcasing its fashion and tradition's through the use of her Instagram @poorvi.says and monthly newsletter.


Photo credit: Siân Warren


Words and insights by Poorvi Singhal


There’s a famous Marwari adage that goes, “Jag mein aakar kya kariyo, agar na dekho Jaipuriyo,” which literally translates to – “What have you done with your time on earth if you’ve never seen Jaipur?” And having grown up in the city’s open-air townhouses, running around in its maze-like bazaars and breathing the pink of the Pink City every day for 21 years, I couldn’t agree more.


A major part of my childhood went pootling in the terracotta lanes of the walled city of Jaipur, waving at foreign travellers and marvelling at their dangling DSLRs as they tootled on cycle rickshaws. But one thing often infuriated me – why were they always being escorted to the same five shops by the rickshaw wallas under the pretence of, “Madam ji, this is where the locals shop.”?


Truth? I had never seen a living, breathing native there sans the seller who exalted the price by fivefold on the mere sight of Caucasian shoppers.


And that was the day I decided - I’m going to take the walled city - the real, raw and rustic walled city of Jaipur to the world. Built as a bastion within the larger city in 1727, today, the walled city is a melange of marketplace and residences contained into seven gates.


Here’s divulging my favourite bazaars and brands that offer the best of Jaipur.


For your wedding trousseau


Trusted by generations of women for pure handloom sarees, Handloom Emporium in Nehru Bazaar is a 200-year-old textile house that you must check out for pure silk, patola, Benarsi and kanjivaram drapes.


Flag down a tuk-tuk and head to Pratap Sons and Nikhaar in Saraogi Mansion on Link Road if you want classic textiles like bandhani and leheriya combined with modern silhouettes, think capes, cowls and cropped tops.


A few steps ahead, Ganesh Lal Sagarmal Jain in Johari Bazaar makes a case for timeless gota patti, leheriya and bandhej sarees and lehengas. Jostle into Ghee Walon ka Rasta in the same bazaar to find Radhagovind Sarees where swathes and swathes of ghatchola, kalamkari, digital printed chiffon and cotton six-yards await you.


Insider’s tip: Be friendly with the bhaiyas in these shops and they might treat you with chai


Other spots: Aari Taari and Rajvesh in Johari Bazaar, Poshaak and the other shops in Navjeevan Plaza


Photo credit: Poorvi Singhal


For your bijoux box


Jaipur’s Johari Bazaar is the epicentre of the city’s thrumming gemstone and jewellery scene. ‘Johari’ literally translates to ‘jeweller’, making this bustling bazaar home to the ruby, emerald, sapphire, aquamarine, tanzanite and tourmaline traders and brokers.


While the marketplace is dotted with many lightbox-like golden shops both big and small, Motison’s is my number one with its limitless repertoire of bangles, earrings, rings and more bedecked with Kundan, Meena, diamonds and gemstones.


Shyam Jewellers in the same market has been championing statement silver jewellery and artefacts for many years now. And for your oxidised and imitation anklets, jhumkas and chaand baalis, head to Bapu Bazaar and trust any of the many shops.


Insider’s tip: Buy silver clip-on nose pins from Johari Bazaar as souvenirs for your friends and family back home


Other spots: Slip into the tiny lanes of Johari Bazaar to chance upon some gold-dust of shops for unique, even antique finds


Everyday phenomenal


The survival kit for Rajasthan’s ready-to-roast heat contains lemonade, lassi and lots of handblocked cotton attire. Start your shopping spree at 0 KM in Bapu Bazaar, the new kid on the block known for its uber-cool co-ord sets, Calcutta cotton sarees and hand-block printed dresses.


Walk into the market to shop no. 53 - Shreenath Handlom House for quilted, paisley printed bath robes and cropped shirts. Organic Drapes ten steps away is a fairly new, slightly swanky shop with indigo tunics, ikat peplum tops and khadi culottes.


Hop on another tuk-tuk to Badi Chaupar where you’ll find the oldest shop of Gulab Chand Prints (three others in Jaipur). Their anarkalis and salwar-kameez sets come in such happy hues, dainty prints and airy fabrics that you’d be tempted to buy more than you’d planned for. Also check out their handmade paper diaries swaddled in beautiful prints.


Insider’s tip: Don’t be too tempted to buy extra cheap fabrics from Bapu Bazaar as they might fade and tear in one wash


Other spots: An above-the-ground-level jutti or mojari shop in Bapu Bazaar makes itself noticed from every corner. Buy ballerinas to match your printed suits from this, and the nearby shops


Photo credit: Poorvi Singhal


Jaipur away from Jaipur


Take a slice of the Pink City for your home, think bed linens and covers, duvets, rugs, mugs, tabnel runners, mats and more. While racks of every other shop in Bapu Bazaar would be oozing with sunflower sheets and paisley pillow cases, I have a few favourites that tick these boxes: quality, novel designs and longevity.


The aforementioned Shreenath Handlom House is your go-to for patchwork and elephant motif bedding range - highly recommended for gifting too. And here’s my trumpcard – Pachouli in Tripolia Bazaar.


Throng through the verandahs of Chaura Rasts from Bapu Bazaar and strut into the Tripolia Gate to find Pachouli from Poornima Hanidcrafts on your left hand side. Tucked inside the majestic Tripolia Gate itself, the shop offers you a little more than apparel - a peek into the coming-of-age of Jaipur.


Explore their range of delicately printed duvets and afterwards, the shop help will gladly match them with your bedsheets, throws and bed covers. Their dining and kitchen range with handblocked oven mitts, pot holders, napkins and table runners will spoil you with choices and word for the wise: you can indulge your cravings from time to time!


Insider’s tip: The entire bedding set with sheets, pillow covers, duvet and cushion can be a tad expensive. Do not skimp on it as it is something you’ll keep washing and using for years.


Other spots: Mona Prints in Bapu Bazaar, SML Prints in Chaura Rasta, Kadar Bux opposite Hawa Mahal


Photo credit: Siân Warren


Poorvi Singhal is a journalist from Jaipur - her work has been published in Conde Nast Traveller, Outlook Traveller and First India. She is currently studying Magazine Journalism at Cardiff University, Wales. For more insider’s trivia on Jaipur, follow Poorvi's Instagram - Poorvi Says, and subscribe to her monthly newsletter - Inside the Walled City of Jaipur

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