Jaipur is known for its royalty, design, monuments and needless to say, the markets. Some of the best shopping experiences can be found in the city’s old bazaars. And if you are a shopaholic, the city is a bliss for you. Located in the heart of Jaipur in the walled city is the Bapu Bazaar market. The market is one stop shop for all the Jaipuri items available at a very reasonable price. Be it traditional clothing or footwear or accessories or even the hunger for Rajasthani delicacies, the market offers it all. Here is a glimpse of what you can find at the most popular bazaar in Jaipur — Bapu Bazaar.
Leheriya symbolizes the beauty and tradition of Rajasthan. Fancy traditional Indian clothing, the beauty and richness of Rajasthani handicrafts, which is said to have been started by the royal family of Jaipur is not just a favorite among the married women but is adopted by young girls as well. There goes a folklore which talks about the origin of lehariya from an accidental scrunching of a Queen’s dupatta that mixed its colors and formed diagonal stripes.
One of the popular beliefs among the people of Jaipur is that the wavy design of Lehariya resembles the waves of the wind .Most Popular outfits in Jaipur is Lehariya a vast variety of styles and designs as it is one of the most experimented styles in Indian wear. Lehariya is a colorful style of tie and dye and dyed in wavy patterns .Some popular lehariya patterns include Mothda, Panchranga and Satranga. The peppy and dynamic hues of lehariya abound in plenty in Bapu Bazaar. Lehariya tunics, kurtas, salwars and skirts, being a perfect blend of traditional and modern, are the in thing these days.
Usually made of fabrics like – Chiffon, crepe and georgette. The price of Lehariya duppata starts from as low as Rs 100. However, the cost of lehariya sarees of crepe, georgette can go up to around Rs.10,000- 12,000 with works of gota-patti, sequins and zardosi.
Apart from the lehariya sarees, the lehariya turbans of Jaipur are also famous worldwide.
Kulfi is one of the most popular and favoured frozen dry dessert. There are various flavours in kulfi. The traditional ones are rose, mango, cardamom and pistachio. New flavours such as apple, orange, strawberry, peanuts and avocado have also been introduced. The best place to enjoy the yummy flavours of kulfi faluda is the Indian Ice cream outlet in Bapu bazaar (link road). The shop was inaugurated in 1957.
Their menu includes- kulfi rabdi, matka kulfi, lime soda, ice-cone, rabdi gola, ice-cream cup, softies, rabdi faluda, and shakes. Every day they witness a large number of customers. Many old customers still love the flavour, and because of their increasing demand, they will soon be opening their branches in other parts of Jaipur as well. It is a must visit shop for everyone who is crazy about ice-creams (Indian style).
What did people do when there was no TV, radio or internet?? How did they entertain themselves?? The answer to this problem was given by the traditional forms of entertainment and one such popular form is PUPPETRY.
Puppetry is an art form where string puppets are used, to tell old mythological stories and narrate the adventures of the maharajas and legends. Rajasthan, which is known for its art, culture, tradition gave the world one of the most vibrant puppets, the Kathputli. Puppetry here is said to be more than a thousand years old.
These puppets are used for shows as well as for decoration. One needs to visit the markets of Jaipur to get these beautiful puppets. Bapu Bazaar, the best place for shopping in Jaipur provides a plethora of choices and design in puppets. The speciality of these marionettes is that all of them are handmade which depicts the craftsmanship of the city. According to Kishan Bhat, a puppeteer and manufacturer, these dolls like creatures are very easy to make and all one needs is wooden stick, some paints and colourful pieces of clothes. He also said even his ancestors were involved in this business and he himself has been making puppets from as many as 20 years.
These puppets are available in the market for the price of Rs.100-300 a pair and are available in various different colours and sizes. The major customer group comprises of tourists especially foreigners. But if you really want a good deal, ensure to bargain before you buy.
LAKH BANGLES AND JEWELLERY
“Every beauty is God blessed and every ornament is beauty blessed”.
Every woman loves to adorn herself. Bapu Bazaar is haven for jewellery lovers.
In Rajasthan women wear lakh bangles not only as an ornament but also as a sign of good fortune and for luck and prosperity. Moreover, it becomes the identity for them being married. Lakh bangles have always been an attraction for the tourists because of its vibrant colours. To gain more knowledge about Lakh bangles and jewellery, we visited Bapu bazar and interacted with one of the shopkeepers, Ashok Baksani.
They have a variety of bangles, neck pieces and earrings. He told us about 2 different types of Lakh bangles. While one is made of metal, the other is made from original Lakh. He then explained us how the Lakh bangles are made. The processing of Lakh bangles starts with the melting of Lakh pieces in a shallow vessel. When it is in a semi molten state, Giya pathar, powder and colour are added to it. Then the mixture is blended continuously. The Lakh slowly gets deposited on the wooden rod which is then heated slowly on an angeethi. It is continuously pressed with a wooden tool called hattha at regular intervals. After it becomes warm and soft it is laminated with the desired colour by rubbing the coloured Lakh sticks on it evenly. Now after this process the Lakh is shaped into a coil and cut off from the plain Lakh rod. And then the coil is heated over the burner so that the ends of the bangles can be joined together to form the bangle. After joining the bangle it is slipped through a round Wooden beam. It is then embellished with sequins, semi-precious stones, etc.
The process requires great precision. The prices of both bangles vary accordingly. While the bangles made of metal cost around Rs 150, the original Lakh bangles cost around Rs. 300-400. It is more popular among tourists rather than the local people. They get as many as 50 customers in a day to buy these bangles.
The famous ‘Tourist Shoe Store’ in Bapu bazaar, (link road, shop No.39) is a 65 years old shop, thus making it one of the oldest shops in Jaipur. The craftsmanship of these mojries and jooties are done and exported from Jodhpur or Jaipur itself. You can find all types of beautiful and colourful traditional shoes here. This shop has seen tourists from all over the world.
“This shop is one of the oldest ones and also been popular since my fathers’ days of running this shop. If you ask anyone around here about the best mojree store, they are going to guide you straight here. Not only tourists but local and elite families are also a part of our customer list” said the store owner. He seemed like a man who is satisfied with his job, which was overwhelming to see. There are various sizes and designs available for all type of customers to suit their taste, also making it easily affordable as the starting price to these shoes range from ₹150 to ₹300 and accordingly. These mojries and jooties are made of camel leather, buffalo leather and fish leather due to which it makes them the most comfortable and long lasting shoes.
These moojris are decent enough to sport out with all types of fashion be it jeans, long skirts, kurtis or shorts. The fanciness just doesn’t end at this. There are about 25 other business stores in Jaipur owned by the owner of the shoe store. “Doing any other business has never been a thought that crossed my mind; I earn more than enough to make me and my family satiable”.
So what are you waiting for, grab you shopping bags and head out to enjoy, what this royal city has to offer. But remember to use the art of bargaining to get the best deal on things.
Do let us know what you like about Bapu Bazaar!
Also see – SYL Canal Issue