My one favorite place when it comes to shopping in India is Rajasthan. Its culturally so rich and colorful that it makes the experience a whole lot bigger and better every time you visit. My shopping tryst with Rajasthan started from the famous ‘Johri bazaar’ in Jaipur where I found the best accessories and most colorful home décor. But that was a long time ago. I even got the chance to explore the markets in Jodhpur but I couldn’t discover much there. Ever since I’d been craving to explore other places in Rajasthan and I got this brilliant opportunity two years ago. A family vacation planned with a stop over at Ajmer followed by a three day stopover in Udaipur.
Ajmer and Pushkar are twin towns and the latter happens to be one of the better markets. I’ve seen really good silver jewelry in the Brahma Temple market there and have picked up a few trinkets in my past trips from there but in this blog I shall talk about my shopping trip to Udaipur !
Udaipur, officially known as the city of lakes or Venice of the East is home to some spectacular lakes and palaces. The heart of activity is mostly around the Pichola lake. The best hotels, the best home stays, lodges, restaurants, cafes are either at the edge of the lake or in close proximity to the lake. So we chose to stay at one of the heritage ‘havelis’ there, run by a Rajput family. It’s a complete touristy destination and we could find little stores all around the hotels in that lane. Everything from colourful bags to colourful clothes and even bed linen is available all over the place. On asking around we came to know about ‘Hathi Pol’ Market that is immensely popular amongst the locals. So we took a rickshaw and reached the market one fine day. There’s a huge circle at Hathi Pol that is a convergence of various lanes and right here we found this beautiful shop selling ‘Dupattas’ and stoles made using the traditional tie and dye techniques. I ended up picking quite a few pieces and so did my mom and my sister. The rates were just way too reasonable and the quality so good.
From Hathi pol circle we walked towards the jewellers market. It was quite a walk, but we ended up buying such beautiful silver jewellery there. The thing is, most of the stuff you get there would be sold as antique but it usually isn’t. Based on my experience, this sort of jewellery will almost always have wear and tear and the trained eye can make that out. I don’t mean to brag 😛 but I can identify a fake most of the times.
So when we were looking for silver jewellery there we actually asked around if somebody buys and sells old silver etc. We found a shop from where I picked up a broken ‘Haathphool’ that I later converted to this super chic ‘avatar’. Added a few pearls and Lapis Lazuli stones and voila !
I also picked up a few pendants of various shapes and sizes. Some with the Hindu gods on them are very typical Rajasthan designs and are easily available at very good prices there. I intend to used these pendants for making some stunning neckpieces.
My sister on the other hand, picked some traditional designs that can be worn with ethnic outfits. These are more popular designs that are available across Rajasthan and can be purchased from markets in Jaipur and Jodhpur as well.
The most unexpected purchase from Udaipur was brocade and raw silk dress that I got tailored to fit in just one day! From a store on Lal Ghat Road that specialises in Silk/ brocade dresses and delivers the order in one day and at unbeatable prices 😉
It was quite a trip. Two days packed with shopping, eating and sight seeing and yet left me craving for more. I shall be making a second trip in the near future 🙂