No amount of time is sufficient to plan a shopping trip to Jaipur. I arrived armed with insider recommendations and stacks of informative guidebooks, but nothing could have prepared me for the sheer volume of production and quality of craft this city has to offer. Traipsing through noisy, colourful bazaars and marvelling at luxury showrooms, I met a wealth of people: owners of small shops, who come from a lineage of craft, as well as young Indians and expats who are reinterpreting Rajasthan’s culture in contemporary ways. Of course, I invested in classic gota saris, timeless block-print fabric and celebrated Rajput jewels. But the new, contemporary designers, who create handbags out of rough jute dhurries and create elegant jewellery from marble and stone, delighted me with their restrained sensibilities.
As was only to be expected, I fell in love with the Pink City, postponed my flight and paid for 10kg excess baggage when I finally flew back. And sometime during my last day there, while running from an Israeli designer’s home store to an appointment with a block-printing expert on the outskirts of the city, I realised that it was impossible to capture the magic of Jaipur in just one trip. Instead, the beauty of this place is that it pulls you back, again and again, to discover its riches. Most of the stores are located either on Mirza Ismail (MI) Road, which is the main commercial street of Jaipur, or in C-Scheme, where charming boutiques dot the lovely, leafy residential streets.
Satayam: This elegant store right outside the City Palace has some fantastic gota patti dupattas and traditional weaves in stunning colours. I found lovely hand-painted jackets and pop-coloured shawls embellished with pompoms. (
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