Jet Set to Jaipur: Part 7 – Shopping in Jaipur and the Hunt for Lacquer Jewelry

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Back in March 2014 when we were a couple, Daraius and I flew to India as part of an around-the-world trip for my parents.  During our journey, we visited India, the Maldives, and Hong Kong.

We took a 4-day trip to Jaipur, a city in the Northern part of India called Rajasthan.  I really like Rajasthan for its historic palaces, extraordinary forts, and excellent shopping.  And we even took a picturesque elephant ride!  It’s different than anywhere else I’ve traveled, and that’s why I liked it so much!

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Daraius Putting on His “Shopping Face” During Our Trip to Jaipur ;)

This series of posts will cover the logistics of getting to Jaipur, the hotel we stayed in, the activities we did, and restaurants we visited.

Jet Set to Jaipur Trip Report Index:

Shopping

This post will cover various shopping destinations we visited including:

  • Babu Market
  • Johri Bazaar
  • Rajasthali
  • Khushbu Handicrafts
  • Sahiba Handicrafts

Seven years ago, I went to Rajasthan with Daraius.  It was my 1st trip to India, and I was so excited!  We went to several towns in the north, including Udaipur (my favorite!), Jodhpur, Ranakpur, and Jaisalmer.

While I was in Jaisalmer, I picked up the most beautiful cobalt blue and gold necklace.  I learned that it was lacquer jewelry.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

I Love the Lacquer Necklace I Bought in Rajasthan 7 Years Ago – So I Went on a Mission to Find More!

I’ve been trying to find the same jewelry ever since I went to Jaisalmer, and was on a mission since I was back in Rajasthan.  Surely I would find it…right?

Babu Market

After the City Palace, we went shopping to Babu Market.  These shops had a lot of saris, blankets, leather shoes, and kurtas (traditional Indian clothes).

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

I Enjoyed Browsing and Trying the Brightly Colored Garments

The shopkeepers can get pretty aggressive and really want to make a sale.  I learned how to say “no” in Hindi to help keep them at bay.  But the best thing to do is ignore them and keep walking if you know you don’t want it.

“No” in Hindi is “nay”, and to put some emphasis, you can say, “Nay, nay montah,” which means “No, I don’t want it.”

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

I Got Good at Saying “No” in Hindi – Everyone Wants You to Buy!

Daraius’ mom bought a bedcover, but she could only dry clean it, and it fell apart after 1 wash.  Take a close look at the stitching to ensure it’s high quality.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Be Careful!  Check the Quality of Items (Stitching, Fabric, etc) BEFORE You Buy!

I was on the lookout for my jewelry, but didn’t find what I was looking for here.  I even learned how to ask for the jewelry in Hindi (“Lak jewelry hey?” meaning, “Do you have lacquer jewelry?”).

Most of the shops were similar, and we got bored after seeing the same items for sale shop after shop.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

If I Wanted Slippers, I’d Come to the Right Place!

Johri Bazaar

Next, we went to find the jewelry market.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to find a good selection of cheap jewelry so we passed it up.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

The Markets Can Be Busy and Loud!

I did, however, find a beautiful umbrella for only 200 rupees (~$3).

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

No Luck With Jewelry Here!

While shopping, we saw the Hawa Mahal.  It was built in 1799 and designed to look like the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god.

It’s fascinating!  There are 953 lattice windows, designed so that royal ladies could look out to the street below without being seen.  Back then, they had to stay covered up.

The latticework also allows for cool air to flow through the building, like air conditioning in the hot summer months!

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Royal Ladies Hid Behind the Lattice Windows to Observe Daily Life in the Streets Below

The streets in Jaipur were very congested with cars, motorcycles, and bicycles.  There were also hundreds of pedestrians.  Navigating the streets was a little dangerous, and you had to watch where you were going at all times.

The best thing to do is to stand behind some locals and follow them.  Never run across the street, just walk quickly.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Navigating the Jaipur Streets Can Be Stressful!

One time, we were crossing the street, and my mom got caught in the road.  She screamed out and froze as cars were whizzing around her.  Fortunately, she continued to cross the street without harm, but I was scared for her!

Rajasthali

We stopped in Rajasthali to check out their handicrafts.  It’s a government owned shop that has a lot of high-quality shawls, bedcovers, pottery, jewelry, and souvenirs.

I loved Rajasthali because you don’t have to haggle.  Sometimes all of the haggling back and forth wears me out!  It’s nice to just go to a shop where the prices are set.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

The Price You See Is the Price You Pay at Rajasthali, a Government Run Store

Luckily, the prices were very good for the quality.  Their 100% pashmina shawls were 3,500 rupees (~$52).  We went to the airport and checked the prices of 100% pashmina shawls there, and they were 7,600 rupees (~$114).

My mom found a beautiful wall hanging she liked…but she could not decide which color.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

So Many Beautiful Fabrics!  It Was Hard to Choose

The men in the shop were very friendly and worked really hard to show us all of the styles and colors they had.  They were not aggressive (like some of the street vendors are).

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

When in Doubt…Get Both!

The wall hangings were handmade of patchwork designs.  The detail and craftsmanship was stunning.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

You Can’t Find Anything Like This Back Home!

My mom was happy with her selection.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Success!  Shopping at Rajasthali Was Easy!

I asked to see their lacquer jewelry and showed them pictures of what I was looking for.  They had a very small selection, but none of it was as beautiful as what I hoped I’d find.

Khushbu Handicrafts

Khushbu Handicrafts is located at Jorawar Singh Gate, Main Market, Amber Rd, Santosh Sagar Colony in Jaipur.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

All Kinds of Purses and Accessories at Khushbu Handicrafts

Outside of the shops, there were several men making the goods for sale.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

You Can See What Kind of Quality You’re Getting Watching the Men Create the Different Products

They had a big selection of handicrafts.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Textiles, Decorations, Clothing, Souvenirs – It Was Hard to Choose!

Across the hallway from Khushbu, we found a jewelry and shoe shop.  They had a very big selection of shoes…but none of the lacquer jewelry I was looking for.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Some of the Shoes Were Very Sparkly and Ornate!

We had to ask for their “big size,” since most shoes were made for smaller Indian women’s feet.  My mom and I wear size 9, so this was a big size, and they only had a few styles from which to choose.  I tried on a few different pairs…

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Just Call Me “Bigfoot!”  Indian Women Typically Have Smaller Feet, so It Was Harder to Find Styles That Fit!

They were all so cute and colorful!  Which ones should I choose?!

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Which Would You Pick?

I decided on the pink pair.  I thought these were a little more fun and fancy than the black and gold, and much better than the orange and blue pair.  They were 400 rupees, or ~$6.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

I Found My “Ruby” Slippers – but Still, No Lacquer Jewelry!

Next, we continued walking in the same market, and saw another jewelry shop.

Sahiba Handicrafts

Sahiba Handicrafts is located at Jorawar Singh Gate, Main Market, Amber Rd, Santosh Sagar Colony in Jaipur.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

The Kind and Helpful Folks at Sahiba Handicrafts in Jaipur

I asked for the jewelry, and showed them a picture.  They had a couple of styles, but it wasn’t exactly what I was looking for.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Lots of Pretty Things, but Not What I Wanted

They said that they could bring some back in 1 hour, in various colors and styles.

I didn’t have anything to lose, so I agreed, and got the guy’s phone number.

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

They Were Happy to Go Out and Find the Jewelry I Wanted

After that, we went to lunch, and then decided to return to see if he had brought the jewelry….and were happy to see that he did!

Shopping In Jaipur And The Hunt For Lacquer Jewelry

Success!  They Brought Back Exactly What I Was Looking For!  And I’m Giving a Similar Necklace Away!

To celebrate my find, I’m giving away a similar necklace!  All you have to do is comment on this post and let me know what your favorite color is.

Bottom Line

You can find some amazingly beautiful handicrafts in Jaipur!  Learn to bargain and never say yes to the 1st price they offer.  Ideally, the price should be about 1/5th of what they 1st quote you.

Rajasthali is a great shop for set-priced items.  The quality is very good, and their selection is also 1 of the largest I’ve seen.  However, they don’t have everything, so it pays to shop at the smaller shops as well.

All the shopping and touring worked up our appetites!  Check our next post to find out where and what we ate in Jaipur!

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32 responses to “Jet Set to Jaipur: Part 7 – Shopping in Jaipur and the Hunt for Lacquer Jewelry

  1. Pink is totally my favorite color. The brighter the better.

  2. “Back in March 2014 when we were a couple…” Two things: 1) Please lose the drama, i.e. “when we were a couple”, it is irrelevant 2) A trip report almost 2 years later, a little past its prime, no?

  3. Yellow!

  4. Love blue, and like the trip report, regardless of the delay.

  5. i loce teal!

  6. @ kenny
    Two things: 1) Please lose yourself (get lost) … your comment is irrelevant 2) info that’s still relevant, unlike your comment, never passes its prime.

  7. Teal!

  8. Purple is my favorite color! Thanks for the great post. I’d love to visit India, but it’s always seemed a bit overwhelming. Hearing about your trip makes it seem easier somehow. 🙂

  9. Green! Went to Jaipur 4+ years ago with my 3 kids but never found jewelry that beautiful when I was there and I looked! Great report!

  10. Green’s my #1 pick but I wouldn’t turn down a lovely blue like your first necklace!

  11. Love your posts. Red is my fav.

  12. The rainbow! Thanks for the great post.

  13. PumpkinTravel

    Always PINk. Love your writing. Please continue.

  14. Leslie Johnson

    yellow, the color of the sun and warmth
    keep posting,love all the info

  15. My wife’s favorite color is green. She would love any of these colors though. Thanks!

  16. Green! Great info…thanks for sharing 🙂

  17. I love green and love this part of your trip report. More on shopping please!

  18. Emily Cartagena

    I love shades of blue! I also enjoyed your article on India. It’s my dream to visit someday.

  19. Purples and blues are my favorite colors. As I write this I was supposed to be in India, but my mom became ill —had to cancel my trip. So, I can “travel” reading your post and dream about taking the trip next year.

  20. I love burgundy red or royal purple :).

    @ Kevin, agree with you.

  21. Thanks for sharing your experience. 🙂

  22. You are a shopping all star. Way to persevere ! Shades of blue and green are my favorites

  23. I love green. Your necklace is beautiful. Lucky lady.

  24. I love maroon or a dark, deep red. Thank you so much for sharing the shopping stories!

  25. Purple. Thanks for sharing.

  26. Toss up between Pink (definitely for clothes, shoes) and Red (also for clothes, shoes, jewelry and cars – all of our cars are Red!!). Thanks for a great post.

  27. My favorite color is blue.

  28. Love green! My husband went to India a few times, but was never able to find a nice necklace for me. I guess shopping is for girls 🙂

  29. Loved shopping across northern India a few years ago. Favorite colors: pink and green!

  30. Love India….pink and green are the best.

  31. Hi everyone! Glad you all liked the trip report! If you all like shopping, I can recommend the very best places to go in Bombay (Mumbai) since I’ve been there many times before (8 times to be exact!…it’s like my 2nd home!) I love it there. My email address is emily at million mile secrets dot com. Thanks again!

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