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!
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:
- Part 1 – Planning and Introduction
- Part 2 – Getting to Jaipur, India
- Part 3 – ITC Rajputana Hotel Overview
- Part 4 – ITC Rajputana Hotel Room
- Part 5 – Activities in Jaipur – Amber Fort and Elephant Ride
- Part 6 – Activities in Jaipur – City Palace and Jaigarh Fort
- Part 7 – Shopping in Jaipur and the Hunt for Lacquer Jewelry
- Part 8 – Eating in Jaipur
- Part 9 – Conclusion & Blog Giveaway
This post will cover various shopping destinations we visited including:
- Babu Market
- Johri Bazaar
- 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.
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?
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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.
I did, however, find a beautiful umbrella for only 200 rupees (~$3).
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).
The wall hangings were handmade of patchwork designs. The detail and craftsmanship was stunning.
My mom was happy with her selection.
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 is located at Jorawar Singh Gate, Main Market, Amber Rd, Santosh Sagar Colony in Jaipur.
Outside of the shops, there were several men making the goods for sale.
They had a big selection of handicrafts.
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.
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…
They were all so cute and colorful! Which ones should I choose?!
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.
Next, we continued walking in the same market, and saw another jewelry shop.
Sahiba Handicrafts is located at Jorawar Singh Gate, Main Market, Amber Rd, Santosh Sagar Colony 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.
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.
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!
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.
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!