Jhooties from Jaisalmer
I bought these fabulous jhooties in Jaisalmer- they were from a little shop in the main square (Ganhdi Chowk) and are made from camel leather. More comfortable than slippers.
They also sold camel-skin bags and belts.
What to pay: My jhooties cost me R100. A bag I bought cost R200.
- Arts and Culture
- Castles and Palaces
- Historical Travel
JAI Shankar Handicrafts: Shop for the Amazing Embroideries
The embroideries in the South-Western region of Rajasthan are amazing. Traditional wedding dresses, opium bags, and dowery bags come from the desert villages and are then sewen together to make magnificant wall hangings. The villagers are selling their heirlooms for hard cash. This is a little sad, but it is happening. The embroideries have material that is up to 90 years old. It's quite stunning.
These authentic ebroideries will not be available in 10 years due to the desert village shortage of supply and these traditional garments are slowly being replaced by western ones.
Shankar is one of the best in town and the most honest. His shop is south west of the main gate to the Golden Fort. He has a small half basement with clever signs out front to get your attention. The guys on the opposite side of the road are real jerks, so ask for Shankar.
- Arts and Culture
Ghandhi Chowk: Souvenirs
Ghandhi Chowk lies to the west of the old city near the Amar Sagar Gate and is where the city's main market and shopping areas are located. There are plenty of shops in the small streets that sell all kinds of things. I bought a Rajasthan flute player puppet and a notepad book where the pages are made out of hand-made rice paper and are bound with camel leather. Also, bargain down the prices quoted at you!
Sushil Barsa's Jaisalgear: Pashmina & Silk stuff
This is tucked in a small shopfront you go downstairs to what could be likened to an Alladin's cave of shawls and scarves. In no particular order:
- There is a great assortment of shawls; scarves and stoles available to look at
- The prices are very reasonable
- What you are shown is the real deal (I've been stung in Jaipur from someone who sold me rayon and told me it was pashmina).
- There's a no hassle mindset from the guy who runs the shop. I prefer this to the pushy vendors who follow you down the street after you leave the store, to try and get you to buy.
- Fortunately, there was a credit card facility available, because I wasn't expecting to be buying pashminas in the desert.
What to buy: At this store, I purchased five shawls (pashmina) and some blends of cotton /silk for friends.
What to pay: I found cheaper scarves and shawls could be had for Rs.400 but the better and really nice (I later found out genuine) shawls were around US$50. For the absolute best, you pay a lot more but the quality is unsurpassed.
- Women's Travel
- Luxury Travel
Ramesh leather shoe shop: purchase Camel leather shoes ...!
This shop is meant for manufacturing the Camel leather articles like purses, Money pockets,shoes, Chappals,and a lot od good articles like leather statue of Camel, horses and a lot.. It is worth to purchase and keep in our home. It is just an antique piece BUT The shoes and chappals and money purses we can use , its life is also too much, Leather Waist belts are so nice....
What to buy: As it is a desert so we have to purchase the caps made from Camel leather to protect ourselves from heat....Leather belts,money purses,Camel, horses, dolls and a lot of articles made of Leather...!
What to pay: dallars =100 Max.
The fort is Jaisalmer's main tourist attraction and so you'll find lots of souvenirs in and around the fort for sale. There are plenty of shops in the small streets that sell all kinds of things. I bought a Rajasthan flute player puppet and a notepad book where the pages are made out of hand-made rice paper and are bound in camel leather. Also, bargain down the prices quoted to you!
Buying something made of yellow sandstone is something which is REAL Jaisalmer, because one wouldn't find this anywhere else in Rajasthan.
What to buy: I bought a bowl (mid sized) and a glass made of yellow sandstone!
What to pay: It cost me about Rs. 75 each!
Jaisalmer Zilla Khadi Gramoday Parishad: A touch of gold in your satchet
A large outlet, with portraits of Gandhiji, J P, Ambedkar etc adorning the walls, run by the local handicrafts cooperative society. Also adorning the walls are exquisite hand-woven stoles, wall hangings, blankets etc.
What to buy: A must-buy at this outlet are gift items made of sandstone, the same raw material that went into the making of Jaisalmer Fort. You may opt either for hand-polished or machine polished items from this range.
My particular favourite was a set of six liqueur glasses that I pounced on.
The store also offers round-the-year rebates on woven items.
What to pay: Prices are fixed. But rebates on specific items are offered, which are boldly announced in all parts of the shop
Jewel Caravan: Jewellery shopping
Incredible choice. Their collection is unbelievable. My personal favorite was the tibetan jewellery collection. But you can also find lovely Rajasthani silver tribal jewellery. They also have more classical pieces, mostly in silver with or without gemstones. Prices are reasonable and you don't have to "bargain till you drop".
What to buy: Tibetan necklaces !!!!!!! But seriously: apart from the jewellery, they also sell nice textiles, shawls, rugs, statues and singing bowls. But I would go back for the jewellery...
What to pay: Anything from 150 rupees to 10 000 ... Depends of what you want to buy...
- Arts and Culture
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Women's Travel
Fruit & Veg Market: Fruit & Veg Market
Jaisalmer's fruit and veg market is located just outside the southern walls of the fort (exit out of the fort and turn left). I like walking around markets in foreign countries, especially fruit and veg markets but Jaisalmer's was fairly small in size but the few stalls that make up the market were brimming full of good looking locally grown produce. I think there's another market further round the corner from this one. There's also a few stalls down a side road on the way to the train station.
Great Rajasthani Crafts
There are a number of carpet shops in or near the old Haveli sandstone homes and in the Fort that offer a fantastic range of carpets, rugs all in the local Rajasthani style.
What to buy: Look out for rajasthani mirror work, rugs and blankets.
Amongst the most beautiful crafts I have ever seen.
What to pay: A big range of prices. I didn't have confidence in my knowledge so I didn't buy. So do your homework first (I later bought a nice, but lesser quality carpet in Kathmandu).
- Arts and Culture
Antique shops in havelis: Bit of a tourist trap but nice
If you visit the Nathmal-ki-Haveli or Patwon-ki-Haveli, you'll no doubt be shown round some antiques which are an attraction in their own right. The shops are brimming over with stuff such as small boxes, wooden door frames, wooden panels, camel bone, metallic figures amd paintings. They're just like aladin's cave.
Shop till u drop
What to buy: Shopping is a must but one must understand what to buy. Lot of stuff sold in this city actually does not belong to this place. Hence tie-n-die bedsheets, leather stuff and stone handicrafts are the 'Originals'. Otherwise you can get a lot of handicraft and dress materials. Bargaining is a must and the best way is not to show too much interest in a stuff you are ready to die for and start walking out of the shop. This helps tremendously.
Jan Shankar Handicrafts: great textiles from Shankar
Rajasthan is awash in beautiful textiles. The living fort in Jaisalmer has scores of shops selling the beautiful mirrorwork textiles and more. Above these is the shop run by Shankar Khatri on Dhibba Para Road just outside one of the gates into the fort. Easy to recognize with the catchy expressions pinned to the ones displayed outside(Bill Clinto Monica Lewinsky bedspread, etc.), the interior is covered with gorgeous textiles, including many antique items from surrounding small villages. He will negotiate a little; still a far better value than the tourist trap our tour guide (Indus Travel, Hi Tours) took us to in Udaipur!
Leather goods shops in main market: Emulating the Duke
There are several of them, as you stroll through the crowded, colourful alleys of the main market at Jaisalmer. They specialise in leather items made out of camel skin.
What to buy: Try the large hats (preferably in dark tan shades) made of camel leather, to enable your metamorphosis to John Wayne!!
Also available : a large range of duffle bags, overnighters, portfolio bags of similar leather.
What to pay: Bargain hard, and try playing one against the other. In other words, have time in hand to indulge in this exercise.
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