Jaipur is one of my favorite shopping destination along with the Bazaars of Old Delhi. Markets of Jaipur are full of colors that would entice you to take them home. It is home to everything desirable – garments, home linen, jewelry and ubiquitous puppets. Being a planned city, it is a pleasure to walk through the Pink Corridors while shopping for Jaipur Souvenirs.
Not just traditional bazaars, Jaipur is also home to many homegrown brands like Anokhi and Soma that offer you a unique combination of tradition and modern sensibilities.
Basically, when you go shopping for Jaipur Souvenirs you can come back with a basket full of things that have tradition, use, chic look, kitsch look but always with lots of colors.
Shopping in Jaipur
So here is my list of favorite Jaipur Souvenirs.
Lehariya is a design – comes from the word Lehar or Waves. The fabric has a pattern of waves on it – usually in two colors. One is a base color and other makes the random diagonal lines on it giving an impression of waves. This looks the best in Saris. You will see Lehariya Saris in all possible color combinations and all possible fabrics. This means they come in all possible price ranges. You can buy a Lehariya Sari for as low as Rs 200/- or something in georgette or crape for as high as Rs 20,000/-.
If you do not wear Saris, Dupattas are the next best buy in Lehariya.
You can also pick stoles to go with your western outfits.
Buy them in any Jaipur Market – Jauhari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar.
Bandhani Work Jaipur Souvenirs
Bandhani or Tie and Dye is something that is the signature design of Rajasthan. It is a tiresome process where threads are tied around a part of the fabric before it is dyed. When you untie and remove those threads you realize the effort that goes into creating these simple yet elegant designs. Pulakband is the old name of Bandhani.
Do you know Bandhani design can be seen in some Ajanta Paintings?
Pick your choice of colors. Bandhani is available in all possible shapes and forms for you to experiment. I would say pick up the unstitched cloth and let your creativity flow.
A popular Bandhani or Bandhej souvenir is pagri or colorful headgear for men.
Buy them in any Jaipur Market – Jauhari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar.
Meenakari Work Jaipur Souvenirs
The Meenakari or the enamel work on metal creates magic when it is done on Jhumkis and pendants. Traditionally, it was done in red and green color, now it can be seen in other colors as well like Pink and Blue.
This lightweight, but rich look jewelry is a must buy in Jaipur.
Gulabi Minakari or Meenakari in pink color incidentally does not belong to Jaipur but is instead done in Varanasi.
My personal favorites in Meenakari work are the small colorful artifacts. Peacock in Meenakari looks lovely. I personally bought a small statue of Ganesha with Meenakari work.
Kundan or the uncut stone jewelry has its origins in royal courts of Rajasthan. These uncut diamonds set in metal with a gold leaf around them look stunning. White and gold look good on most skin tones and can make anyone feel royal. Stones are usually large in size.
I find Kundan jewelry a bit too heavy to wear, but it is great to wear for occasions like weddings. It perfectly matches the elegant Indian wears like Saris and Lehengas.
A lot of Kundan Jewelry in Jaipur comes with Minakari work in reverse. So you have a reversible jewelry – especially the necklaces and pendants.
I wish someone makes lightweight Kundan Jewelry.
Jaipur is well-known for its gemstones trade. Walk through the lanes of Jauhari Bazaar around Hawa Mahal and you would see many gemstone stores.
Go, explore, choose and pick what you like – but remember to bargain hard. Jaipur is a tourist place and the tourist prices are always higher than regular prices.
Ghevar – the Quintessential Jaipur Mithai
The Ghevar is a traditional Rajasthani sweet made for the festival of Teej that comes at the onset of monsoons. It is typically sent to the daughter and daughters-in-laws. Nowadays, of course, you can buy it anytime in Jaipur.
Even if you are not one to buy sweets, do taste it. For your foodie family and friends, this is a perfect Jaipur Souvenir to carry back.
The Choorma of the famous Daal Baati Choorma of Rajasthan now comes in neatly packaged form – easy to carry back home. If I am not wrong, this is a sweet that you can keep for many days, unlike Ghevar which has a short shelf life.
Choorma is full of ghee, a bit heavy on the tummy, but blissful on the tongue.
Perfect Rajasthan souvenir for people like me who love Desi Food.
Wherever you stay in Jaipur or most of Rajasthan, you would see a puppet show. Most high-end hotels have a puppet house for the performance. Wherever you walk in the Jaipur City someone will walk up to you to sell puppets.
I think colorful puppets make a great takeaway for home decor and for young children to play with. You can ask them to create a play or a dance with puppets.
You can get a base pair of puppets for as low as Rs 100/-.
Block Print Home Linen
The Block prints from Sanganer and Bagru are famous for their exquisite patterns. I remember visiting Sanganer many years ago and picking up bed sheets that I am still using. During a recent visit to Jaipur, I visited the Anokhi Museum near Amer Fort and was nostalgic to see the map of Sanganer there.
You can buy block printed home linen or a fabric. The best place to buy is Sanganer where you can see the block printing workshops.
If you want to try your hands on block printing at home, buy the wooden blocks of your choice. A good souvenir from Jaipur for your creatively inclined friends.
Lightweight soft cotton quilts – that can be folded into a very small bundle are a favorite souvenir from Jaipur. Now, I do not need them in Goa, but all the years I lived in North India, I used the thin Jaipuri Razais. I like the ones that come in soft cotton cover, although these days you get them in all fancy fabrics.
In colors again, I like the traditional Jaipuri prints in either White & Blue or White and Pink.
You can get these in all markets.
Jaipur Blue Pottery
Jaipur Blue Pottery is not really from Jaipur, but just like Azulejos in Goa, it had become a key art form of Jaipur. There are a few blue pottery workshops around Jaipur. I visited the Jaipur Blue Pottery Art Center on Amer Road, near Jain Temple. The center gives you a small demonstration of the art form and then lets you roam around in its double storey showroom.
The place is full of colorful potteries primarily in blue and yellow color. There are pots and pans, soap cases, jewelry, and games.
I already have a few blue pottery items received as gifts from generous friends. This time I picked up a pair of earrings.
Every region of India has its own tradition of bangle making. Ferozabad has glass bangles, Hyderabad has loud ornate Lac Bangles. In Jaipur, you get Lac Bangles with Kundan work on them. Traditional ones come in auspicious colors like red and green.
You get variations in, colors and sizes – from thin bangles to heavy Kadas.
You find these bangles anywhere in Jaipur markets.
Jaipur is famous for its hand-knotted carpets in wool and silk. Jaipur Rugs are one of the biggest exported handmade products from India. The quality of these carpets is measured in terms of no of knots per centimeter – the higher the knots, better the quality and higher the price.
If you live in hot climates, pick the silk rugs. For cold weathers woolen ones are good.
National Handloom Emporiums are a good place to buy genuine Jaipur Rugs.
Rajasthani Miniature Paintings as Jaipur Souvenirs
Rajasthan is well known for its various schools of miniature paintings. The originals may be out of reach for most of us. However, there are the ones that are painting on old court papers that you can buy. Another option is miniature paintings on marble plates or paintings made with gemstone dust.
Watch here how they make such fine miniature paintings.
Colorful Leather Shoes
Colors of Rajasthan are not limited to fabrics, quilts, and carpets – even the footwear in Jaipur is colorful. You get both simple colorful footwear as well as embellished ones. Once upon a time, I used to pick them up on my Jaipur trips.
Whatever you buy, I am sure you would enjoy walking around in the colorful bazaars of Jaipur.
Do let me know which of these are your favorite Jaipur Souvenirs.