Souvenirs and gifts are an integral part of any travel experience. They not only serve as a valid excuse to scour the popular and offbeat shopping areas of your travel destination, but also bring back fond memories of the visit quite vividly as well! Rajasthan is literally a treasure trove of souvenirs that can leave visitors spoilt for choice. Irrespective of the souvenir or gift you choose, you carry home a piece of the intricate craftsmanship of local artisans!
Rajasthan – Souvenir Choices
Gift and keepsake choices include but definitely are not limited to:
- Brass Items
- Silver Jewellery with semi precious / precious stones
- Leather Items (small musical instruments)
- Pottery (embellished or painted)
- Paintings (miniatures, wall hangings)
- Carved wooden jewel or bangle boxes with brass inlay
- Sandalwood /Marble / Terrcota figurines
- Cloth Puppets or Kathputhlis which add a splash of color to any space
- Traditional embroidered footwear
Do make sure to ensure that the items aren’t too heavy to lug back home!
Mementos – Where to Shop?
Shopping at the local bazaars can prove quite challenging and probably a great place to test your bargaining skills. It is important keep an eye out for fakes, especially when shopping for Pashmina items.
Government Craft Emporiums and several private craft stores stock a variety of colorful trinkets, carpets, scarves and ethnic handloom fabric. Though the quality of items definitely is superior, the prices can get way expensive. Here are some shopping markets where tourists can manage to get a choice of quality artefacts at affordable prices as well.
Jaipur is a great shopping destination with a wide choice of local merchandise. The Johri bazar features exquisite pieces of jewellery embedded with colorful stones both precious and semiprecious varieties. Handmade jewellery especially those with warranty make a good buy, even if you may not really avail the warranty! Bapu Bazar houses the best collection of souvenirs from Razais to Katputhlis, and literally is a one-stop-shop for affordable mementos. Markets at Kishanpol and Chandanpol are also worth exploring.
Shopping in Jaisalmer is equally exciting, with the Sadar Bazar being a popular destination for souvenirs. Great choice of memorabilia from wooden artefacts and fabric to jewellery and leather goods at whole prices ensure a good deal. Bhatia Bazar and Pansari Bazar and other shopping areas also feature ethnic collectibles. Silver jewellery and traditional footwear made from camel leather are best buys in Jaisalmer.
Jodhpur is equally famous for traditional shoes and Bandhej items. Flavored-tea and spices are best picks at the Clock Tower Market, while the region’s signature tie and die (Bhandani) clothes are a must-buy from Nai sarak market here. Sojati Gate Market and Mochi Bazar are also popular shopping areas with a great collection of ethnic items. Camel leather footwear reportedly is also available at few shops at Jodhpur Fort.
Udaipur has a rich collection of ethnic items that make great gifts or keepsakes. Bada Bazar in the City of lakes aka Venice of the East, is home several shops both large and small dealing in a range of items from vintage artefacts to ethnic fabric. Bhandhini clothing, leather goods, traditional jewellery are but a few best picks here. You must visit Udaipur’s Hathi Pol Bazar for the best of miniature paintings and handicraft pieces to adorn your home. Do bargain to avail reasonable prices. Chetak Circles and Lake Palace Road also prove quite rewarding, especially for relentless shoppers. Compare prices and bargain to enjoy a price advantage.
Tourists visiting Mount Abu may not have much choices when it comes shopping for mementos, or grabbing the best deals either, but this is no way mars the pleasure of shopping here!
Travelling across Rajasthan, one may find that there is a multitude of handicraft shops both large and quaint run by the Government, private owners or social organizations. Village Women Craft in Sawai Madhopur and several other such social ventures feature handmade artefacts such as tribal rugs, paintings of wildlife, shawls, and carpets crafted by rural women. Responsible shopping can ensure that artisans are directly rewarded for their craftsmanship and improve their economic stability.
Make sure to collect some leather goods, bandhini, silver jewellery, yellow stone, spices, miniature paintings and puppets to reminisce about your visit to the land of Maharajas.