Shopping alert! The best of Pink City

Shopping is must in Jaipur
Image courtesy: ©Shutterstock/ Nila Newsom

Jaipur is a shopper’s paradise. Commercial buyers come here from all over the world to stock up on the amazing range of jewellery, gems, textiles and crafts, which come from all over Rajasthan. You’ll have to bargain hard, particularly around major tourist sights. Many shops can send your parcels home for you – often cheaper than if you do it yourself.

The city is still loosely divided into traditional artisans’ quarters. Bapu Bazaar is lined with saris and fabrics, and is a good place to buy trinkets. Johari Bazaar and Sireh Deori Bazaar are where many jewellery shops are concentrated, selling gold, silver and highly glazed enamelwork known as meenakari, a Jaipur speciality. You may also find better deals for fabrics with the cotton merchants of Johari Bazaar. Kishanpol Bazaar is famous for textiles, particularly bandhani (tie-dye). Nehru Bazaar also sells fabric, as well as jootis (traditional shoes), trinkets and perfume. The best place for bangles is Maniharon Rasta.

Jaipur Modern

This contemporary showroom offers local arts and crafts, clothing, homewares, stationary and fashion accessories. The staff is relaxed and if you are not in the mood to shop, there’s a great café serving Lavazza coffee and Mediterranean snacks.

Inde Rooh

This tiny outlet in the Hotel Pearl Palace highlights the talents of Jaipur’s traditional block printers blended with contemporary design. Handmade and stitched, the quality and value of the women’s and menswear compares well with Jaipur’s more famous fashion houses. Homewares are also available.

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Rajasthali

This state-government-run emporium, opposite Ajmer Gate, is packed with quality Rajasthani artefacts and crafts, including enamelwork, embroidery, pottery, woodwork, jewellery, puppets, block-printed sheets, miniatures, brassware, mirrorwork and more. Scout out prices here before launching into the bazaar; items can be cheaper at the markets, but the quality is often higher at the state emporium for not much more money.

Anokhi

Anokhi is a classy, upmarket boutique selling stunning high-quality textiles such as block-printed fabrics, tablecloths, bed covers, cosmetic bags and scarves, as well as a range of well-designed and beautifully made clothing that combines Indian and Western influences. There’s a wonderful little cafe on the premises and an excellent bookshop in the same building.

Silver Shop

A trusted jewellery shop backed by Hotel Pearl Palace’s management hosts the store. A money-back guarantee is offered on all items. Find it under the peacock canopy in the hotel’s Peacock Rooftop Restaurant.

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Mojari

Named after the traditional decorated shoes of Rajasthan, Mojari is a UN-supported project that helps rural leatherworkers, traditionally among the poorest members of society. A wide variety of footwear is available, including embroidered, appliquéd and open-toed shoes, mules and sandals. There’s a particularly good choice for women, plus a small selection of handmade leather bags and purses.

Shopping for Gems- Jaipur is famous for precious and semiprecious stones. There are many shops offering bargain prices, but you do need to know your gems. The main gem-dealing area is around the area of Pahar Ganj, in the southeast of the Old City. Here you can see stones being cut and polished in workshops tucked off narrow backstreets. To receive an authenticity certificate, you can deposit your gems at the gem-testing laboratory (0141-2568221; www.gtljaipur.info; Rajasthan Chamber Bhawan, MI Rd; h10am-4pm Mon-Sat) between 10am and 4pm, then return the following day between 4pm and 5pm to pick up the certificate. The service costs ₹1050 per stone, or ₹1650 for same-day service, if deposited before 1pm.