A Complete Guide for Buying Souvenirs in Rajasthan
Rajasthan is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India known for its rich culture, lip smacking food, majestic forts, grandeur of Heritage Havelis and artisan crafts. The overwhelming variety of items on sales in every tourist hotspot in Rajasthan is sure to perplex anyone who wishes to buy souvenirs. Here is a complete guide to help you choose from a variety of souvenirs to take back home during your visit to Rajasthan.
The rulers of Rajasthan were patrons of art and have encouraged many types of painting such as Phad paintings, miniature paintings, Kajali paintings and gemstone paintings. The major schools of paintings include the Mewar, Marwar, Kishangarh, Bundi, Kota, Jaipur, and Alwar. One wouldn’t go wrong in choosing a beautiful painting to take back home during the visit to Rajasthan.
Where to buy: While there are many shops in the tourist hotspots of Jaipur, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, the painting gallery in the Jaipur city palace has a huge collection where one can see the artisans live at work and purchase paintings from them.
Unlike the usual soft toys, the stuffed toys from Rajasthan look more sturdy and colorful. You can find many traditional toys embellished with sequins and jewels while stuffed with cloth. These can be used extensively in home decor.
Where to buy: You can find them on many roadside shops near the popular forts and palaces in Rajasthan. You can find a few artisans working on making the toys in the Mehrangarh fort of Jodhpur and the promenade along the Mansagar lake in Jaipur which houses the Jal mahal palace.
If you are a crafty person and would like to buy some supplies for your craft stash, you would love the printing blocks made of wood which are used in printing patterns on fabric.
Where to buy:The small wooden blocks with simple designs are available in many roadside shops near the tourist attractions in Jaipur. If you are looking for a block with more intricate designs, you should head to Sanganer and Bagru which are the epicenter of hand printing in Rajasthan.
Bed covers and Quilts
One would find some of the finest quality bedcovers and quilts made of cotton or silk in Rajasthan. While you can find fine and detailed floral patterns made on white background in the Sanghaneri printed textiles, the Bagru printed textiles boast of many geometric patterns made on color or indigo dyed fabric.
Where to buy: Head to Bapu bazar or the Johri Bazar located in the pink city of Jaipur to get best deals on printed bed covers and quilts.
Bandhini or Tie-dyed garments
The bandhani or the Bandhej garments are made by tie and dye technique where the cloth is tied with dye resistant threads and then dyed using natural colors to form beautiful patterns. Since the dying is made by hand, you can find the best combinations of colors in the garments made with bandhej technique. You can buy sarees, scarfs, dresses made using bandhani.
Where to buy: The Bapu bazar and Johri bazar in the pink city of Jaipur have many shops selling the bandhani garments at a very affordable prize.
The artisans of Rajasthan make beautiful carvings with marble and sandstone which make amazing showpieces. the intricate patterns carved with immense finesse are sure to enthrall anyone with their beauty. Some of them are even embellished with colorful stones upping the ante of the carvings.
Where to buy: You can find a few shops on the promenade near the Jal Mahal palace in Jaipur. These shops sell some simple stone crafts at affordable prices. For more intricate patterns with rich embellishments, head to one of the numerous handicraft emporiums located across Jaipur.
You cannot miss noticing the colorful jutis put on display for sale near the tourist attractions across Rajasthan. The Rajasthani jutis are very famous for multiple reasons- they are easy and comfortable to wear, they come in multiple colors to match any dress you wear, each juti can be worn on any foot- there is no juti dedicated to left or right foot and they are very cheap.
Where to buy: You can buy them from the numerous roadside shops located across all tourist destinations in Rajasthan.
Rajasthan is very popular for different types of bangles. While the lac bangles are quite famous for their embellishments, you can also find bangles made of different metals, plastic, and thread.
Where to buy: Bangles are sold in many roadside shops across Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Udaipur. You get the best deals in these roadside shops.
The kathputali or the string puppets are one of the major forms of entertainment in Rajasthan. These beautiful puppets can also be used in home decor because for their colors and beauty. The puppets are sold mostly in pairs consisting one male and one female puppet. You can hang them on your walls to add a Rajasthani touch to your interiors. Why not try your hand at entertaining your family with a puppet show at home?
Where to buy: You can buy the puppets from the roadside hawkers found near the major tourist destinations in Rajasthan. If you are in Udaipur, head to Bagor ki Haveli which has a huge puppet museum, some of which are kept for sale.
Your trip to Rajasthan cannot be complete if you have not tasted some of the famous sweets made of ghee, sugar, and milk. While there are many tasty sweets you can take home from Rajasthan, we would suggest you try ghewar because it has a better shelf life when it is not dipped in sugar syrup and hence easy to transport. You can soak the dry ghewar in sugar syrup and top it with cream, mawa or dry fruits when you are ready to consume it. There are many more milk preparations you can try such as mawa, rabri, and milk cakes – however, they have a very little shelf life and should be consumed within a couple of days after preparation.
Where to buy: While ghewar and other sweets are sold in many sweet shops across Rajasthan, the Rawat Misthan Bandhar in Jaipur is the most popular sweet shop famous for its assortment of sweets and kachoris. If you are in Jaipur, make sure to visit this shop even if you have to spare a few hours to get to it.
- You can purchase almost all types of souvenirs from Johri bazar and Bapu bazar of Jaipur within a few hundreds of rupees. So, you know where to head to when you are short of time for shopping for gifts or souvenirs from different locations in Rajasthan.
- Do not forget to bargain to get a better deal. Try to negotiate with the shopkeepers to reduce the price to around 60 – 70% of the quoted price. You will get the deal in most of the cases.
- Make sure the items are separately packed with enough padding if you have to transport them to distant locations and especially if you are putting the packages in your check-in baggage.