In a quest to find stores which do justice to Jaipur’s legendary love affair with Design and authentic luxe, I recently decided to spend an extended weekend exploring Jaipur’s shopping scene : from hip boutiques to heaving bazaars to zen-like designer ateliers. The constraint I put on self was to handpick stores which create or stock exquisite objects that transcend borders and have a deep understanding of their craft enabling them to add fresh perspective to ancient traditions.
Apart from my own research I had the privilege of insider lists from my friends – Priya Kapoor and Malvika Singh in particular – who are both champions of authentic ‘cool’ and visit Jaipur regularly, making my pre-visit shopping list for Jaipur as expansive and discerning as possible.
After visiting many (many!) shops which resulted in a rather long list, it took some time to distill the list to 30 shops each of which promise modern design sensibilities and exquisite craftsmanship. Since I visited Jaipur only a couple of weeks ago, this may be the most updated list of best of Jaipur shopping in January of 2017.
This curation of my favourite 30 stores in Jaipur are listed in no particular order except bundle them as per their respective proximity to major tourist sights. That’s how I like to roll. But if you’d rather just see them at a glance, listed alphabetically & in their respective categories simply click this link to download your handy guide (Link : curated-shopping-in-jaipur-the-list)
AT OR NEAR AMBER FORT, AMBER
CMYK Gift & Souvenir Shop at Amber Fort (just before exit)
CMYK is a beautiful designed souvenir store filled with a tightly curated selection of stationary, postcards, music CDs, fashion accessories and easy-to-carry-home gifts.
Especially love: Postcards, many of which are designed exclusively for CMYK stores and drool-worthy selection of coffee-table books.
Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing || Museum, Shop & Cafe , Amber Village || 5-7 minutes’ drive from Amber Fort
A stunning display of varied selection of block-printed textiles housed in a beautifully restored old haveli – Anokhi Museum to my mind is one of India’s best small museums . There is a cafe too – a perfect little spot to put your feet up, write your diary or simply take-in the sights and sounds of rural Jaipur.
Especially love: Some of the merchandise available at the museum store is exclusive and may not be available at other Anokhi stores.
Brigitte Singh Studio || Hand Printed Textiles || Amber Road, 20 minutes from the fort
Brigitte Singh’s Mughal inspired, hand printed designs and impeccably finished textile lengths/ garments are legendary. Her studio, in Amber town, is a bougainvillea-covered haveli hidden behind huge emerald green gates where visitors can shop as well as watch artisans at work . Visits are by appointment only.
Especially love: In addition to the beautiful textiles, the haveli itself – outfitted with a thoughtful collection of interesting furniture, objects and arts – is a treat for the senses.
Narad Ka Bagh, Amber +91-141-253 0229 / +91-9414-052-639
AT OR NEAR CITY PALACE, JAIPUR
Satayam || Hand Woven Clothes & Quilts || Outside City Palace on the right-hand corner
The owner & designer of Satayam uses India’s rich weaving and block-printing traditions to create finely woven shawls, modern garments, and hand-stitched quilts.
Especially love: Handspun and Tie & Dye Beach towels, Woollen shawls created using mud resist technique and cotton shawls with gold leaf work. Also, Cotton Oxford shirts with sterling silver buttons is a fine choice for the Mister.
174 Laxman Dwara, City Palace, +91-141-260-0555 / +91-141-260-3131 || Map it
Tokree || Apparel, Accessories, Homeware || Alsisar Haveli, 15 minutes’ drive from City Palace
Sanyukta Singh’s apparel and accessory store at Alsisar Haveli has a curated collection of accessories for women and children, handpicked pieces of semi-precious jewellery from local designers, multipurpose antique boxes, rustic table fans, vintage Indian perfume bottles, tribal inspired art, amongst a range of period furniture pieces.
Especially love: Mul block printed kurtas and Ikat collection of open sandals.
Gem Palace || Precious Jewellery || M.I.Road, about 15 minutes’ drive from City Palace
Kasliwals, the owners of Gem Palace, have been jewellers since the 9th century and were invited to set-shop in Jaipur by the Royal family. Famous world-over for quality and craftsmanship, Gem Palace has been the jeweller of choice for many a Royals, collectors and celebrities.
Especially love – Munnu: The Gem Palace – a glittering atelier in tribute to the Late Munnu Kasliwal who was responsible for some of its most inventive & opulent designs.
Note: Atelier visits are by invitation only, but Victoria and Bertie Dyer of India Beat do a Jaipur shopping tour which includes a visit to this atelier.
Amrapali || Semi-precious & precious jewellery || 15 minutes from City Palace & 2-3 minutes from Gem Palace
I’ve loved Amrapali forever. This homegrown Jaipur jewellery brand is best known for its Polki (uncut diamond) jewellery, but also has an equally a large and fantastic variety of gold temple jewellery, antique tribal silver amongst other collections which range from modern to traditional and simple to glamorous.
Especially love: Antique silver anklets, gold bangris (tribal bangles) and polki mathapatti (uncut diamond hair accessories)
Note : Amrapali also two other stores in Jaipur: at Taj Rambagh Palace and in C-Scheme
Allah Buksh & Son || Home ware – Brass-work & Traditional Lanterns || 15 minutes’ drive from City Palace and 5 minutes from Amrapali (towards Ajmer Road)
Established in 1880, the current owners are the fifth generation of brass artisans in the family. Known mostly for the exquisite filigree work on metal, they sell superb hand-engraved, enamelled, and embossed brassware. Purchases are shipped anywhere in the world.
Especially love: Their oversized trays, historic armour, and antique brassware.
101, M.I.Road, +91-141-2376198 || Map it
NEAR HAWA MAHAL
My favourite thing to do around Hawa Mahal is to take a walk into the bazaars, which are all in the vicinity and part of the old walled city. Its crowded, chaotic and is best seen with locals – whether they may be a friend or a guide. Unless you’re only looking to feel the vibe and take some Instagram-worthy pictures, be prepared to bargain – and bargain hard.
Johari Bazaar || About 7-8 minutes’ walk from Hawa Mahal
With over 400 stores on a long stretch of road, Johari Bazaar is best known for its jadau jewellery and tie and dye sarees / textiles though one can buy almost anything at this bazaar. My favourite haunts at Johari Bazaar –
Rana Saree Emporium
Rana Sarees has been in business for over 170 years and has a huge variety of sarees especially Leheriya, Tie & Dye and Gotapatti sarees which are traditional styles of Jaipur / Rajasthan. My favorites here are Gota Patti sarees with Marodi work.
Shop 202,203,204/14, Johari Bazar, +91-141 401 0600 || Website || Map it
Indian Gota Work
Embroidered Saree Blouses
Shop No 212, Johari Bazar, Near Khandaka Om Shri Jewellers, +91-141-2576612 || Map it
Gopalji ka Raasta
It is a by-lane for silver shopping and gem trading provided you are ready for some serious hunting and bargaining. Map it
Bapu Bazaar || About 10 minutes’ walk from Hawa Mahal
Popular with the locals, Bapu Bazaar is a multi-specialty bazaar. Shops here sell all kinds of merchandise – from lac bangles to stone sculptures, from sarees to utensils. Having said that, my favourite shops at Bapu Bazaar are –
Deepak Footwear || Juttis and traditional camel leather footwear
112-A, Bapu Bazaar, Near Sanganeri Gate
Krishna Supaari and Churan || Imli Churans and Khatta Aam papad
49, Bapu Bazaar +91-141-257-3944 || Map it
Manihaaron Ka Rasta || Tripolia Bazaar || Lac Bangles
In a little bylane in Tripolia Bazaar is Manihaaron Ka Rasta where artisans make and sell Lac Bangles. This tiny but fascinating street has tens of shops selling fairly similar bangles, so walk into any which takes your fancy. Map it
Not too far from Manihaaron Ka Raasta is the 200-year-old Rajasthan Trunk Company which makes and sells rather inexpensive and surprisingly light-weight, polished metal trunks in every imaginable hue. Priced at 500 to 2,000 rupees these trunks are rather popular with rural Rajasthani customers who come to buy trunks which match the colour of their trousseau.
Shop no 150, Tripoliya Bazaar, +91-141-2606446 || Map it
Good Earth || Apparel & Home-wear || On the Grounds of the Raj Mahal Palace
One of India’s leading design and lifestyle store, Good Earth is best known for its ability to use exquisite materials in designs which combine varied Indian crafts with modern sensibilities.
The store on the grounds of Raj Mahal is much smaller than its counterparts in Delhi or Mumbai. But what it lacks in size, it more than makes up in its selection of ‘best of’ Good Earth
Kashmir Loom || Kashmiri Shawls || On the Grounds of the Raj Mahal Hotel
A visit to Kashmir Loom is a study in modern artisanal Kashmiri embroidery & pashma. And my ‘go-to’ place in India to buy Cashmere. Until recently Kashmir Loom mostly exported its creations to top international brands and only just formally entered domestic market with its retail store at The Raj Mahal Palace.
Especially love: Kani, the the heavily embroidered wall-tapestries : every one of these takes years to complete. These are heirloom pieces and I am certainly saving for one.
Jaipur Modern || Multi-brand Lifestyle Store
Jaipur Modern is an interpretation of Indian Crafts for a design-sensitive, discerning, citizens-of-the-world audience. Set in a beautiful 1920s bungalow, with dramatic black-and-white marble floors and inlaid tables Jaipur Modern is a multi-brand store for home accessories, clothes and jewelry.
Especially love: The beautiful indigo hues of Chinar Farooqui’s Injiri’s line of clothing and home textiles inspired by design aesthetics of rural India and handspun in Gujarat using a special weaving technique
Note: Jaipur Modern’s restaurant The Kitchen is a great choice for lunch with its delicious food and superb ambience
Teatro Dhora || Multi-brand Concept Store
Teaotro Dhora is a wonderful melting pot of some of India’s best (mostly young) craft designers. A space where art meets art lovers, the store is beautifully curated space and stocks a varied collection of objects – including furniture, fine art, apparel, and home decor.
Neerja Blue Pottery || Ceramic Home Decor
A lovely store for blue pottery typical of Jaipur, Neerja has a large selection of lamps, vases, doorknobs and crockery. There are also some mirrorwork frames and costume jewellery on display.
Tilak Gitai || Miniature Paintings Artist
Award-winning artist Tilak Gitai creates exquisite miniature paintings in classic Mughal, Rajput, Pahari styles using colors made from semi-precious stones and embellished with real silver / gold leaf on antique paper.
E-5, Gokhale Marg, C-Scheme, +91-141-237–2101 || Map it
Thahryamal Balchand || Home Line and Furnishings
An almost hundred-year-old enterprise and a household name for soft furnishings in Jaipur has a wide range and beautiful range of bed and table linen, cushions and curtains.
Especially love: Applique bed covers and fine cotton bedsheets
Vrisa ||Designer Clothes & Accessories
Rahul & Shikha of Vrisa are combining age old Indian textile crafts with a variety of cuts, patterns, and embroideries to create urban & modern collections. All clothes at Vrisa are handmade, making each piece unique.
Especially love: Fine cotton kurta & a handpick selection of jewellery by Astha Jagwani
Rashid, Mughal Garden || Block printed quilts and clothing || Behind City Palace, 5 minutes walk
Abdul Rashid, a former block-printer who worked at Anokhi for 24 years, Rashid ’s home studio produces wonderful lengths, quilts and clothing
Especially love : Dohars & Quilts
Block No C-35, Shekhawati Enclave, Main Lajpat Nagar (Near Rajdhani Hospital) +91-141-237-3880 / +91-954-997-1746|| Map it
AT AND NEAR NARAIN NIWAS PALACE
About 20 minutes’ drive from Jantar Mantar / Albert Hall Museum / Rambagh Palace is ‘the’ hotspot of Jaipur Shopping with some of the coolest designers who’ve set shop in the sprawling gardens of the Narain Niwas Palace. Highly recommend spending a few hours in the shops followed by one, (or many) drinks at the beautifully designed Bar Palladio which opens at 6.30pm every evening.
Anantaya by AKFD || Furniture, Home Decor Accessories, Apparel
Jaipur’s own Ayush Kasliwal is, to my mind, one of India’s best contemporary furniture designer. He and his team of designers collaborate with master artisans of Indian crafts to create luxury, contemporary home products. At their store at Narain Niwas there is also a collection of some interesting costume jewellery designs.
Especially love: Cloud Shaped stools which are multi-functional and fabulous.
Hot Pink || Designer & Lifestyle Store
A wide collection of clothes, scarves, bags from some of India’s hottest designers everything at Hot Pink is handpicked for a globe-trotter.
Especially love: Block printed leather bags by Isi and Kurtas by Gitto
IDLI Design || Lifestyle Store by Thierry Journo
Created by French designer Thierry Journo, has an interesting collection of Indian inspired but European designed apparel for men and women and some very cool home accessories.
Especially love: Cushion covers in quirky prints
Andraab || Kashmiri Shawls
Photo Credit : aestheticmovement.com
Owned and run by two personable Kashmiri brothers, Andraab has a fantastic collection of scarves, wraps, and bedspreads, all made of the finest cashmere.
Zari Jaipur || Formal, Wedding Ensemble || 5 minutes from Narain Niwas
Hop, skip and jump from Narain Niwas is Zari Jaipur. It wasn’t on my pre-visit list but I was pleasantly surprised to have bounced upon this huge, five story store selling Indian formal wear embellished with Zari (silver filigree embroidery). Their bridal section was quite impressive.
Especially love: Leaf shape Gota Patti work on monochrome sarees
WORTH DRIVING OUT FOR
Out of the way and middle of nowhere but if Bespoke Trunks or Woven Rugs is your thing, these two are really worth the tedious drive..
Trunks Company || Luxury and be-spoke Trunks|| Kartarpura Industrial Area
Best known for their bespoke trunks made from Italian leather, French hardware and German casters Trunks Company is a dream come true. The store has built trunks for storing everything — from a minibar to hats and sunglasses or anything else you may wish to store in this suede lined beauties.
Jaipur Rugs || Carpets & Rugs || Mansarover Industrial Area
Winner of several Indian and International Design Awards, and one of India’s truly global brands, Jaipur Rugs has a fantastic and extensive collection of Classic, Flat Weaves, Modern, Overdyed, Solids, and Transitional designs, many of which have been created in collaboration with renowned international designers.
Especially love: The Artisans Collection where artisans use their own inspirations and designs to make the rugs. Made ingeniously, each of these reminded of rustic earth, unpretentious design which is inspired by nature and rural surroundings. ’Antarag’, a rug from this collection recently won German Design Award 2016 for Material and Surface Category.
A note to my fellow design enthusiast
In a city which is constantly evolving and full of hundreds of exciting options, there must be a gem or two that I’ve missed and yet, I hope this handpick selection would still be a great start to a curated tour of your Jaipur shopping.
Raising my glass to new (and amazing) acquisitions, curated living & authentic luxe….